The main purpose of this article is to generate discussion and debate, with advice offered by fellow agents, and a sharing of good, and bad, experiences.
The issue? When does the buyer get to move into the new home?
In general, once escrow has closed, or settlement occurs, the new home owners are given the keys to their new home and can move in. Occupancy is specified clearly in the Offer to Purchase Contact here in California and is part of the negotiation and contract. But there are a number of scenarios that can occur.
Is occupancy by the end of the day at Close of Escrow? Maybe.
- What if the seller wants or needs some more time (e.g., buying another home at the same time, relocation)?
- What if the seller wants to be SURE the closing has occurred and recordation has as well before moving out?
- What about liability for the new home owner if the seller remains for a few days after closing?
- What terms and conditions should be negotiated if buyer occupancy is not immediate?
- What if closing does not occur as planned at the last moment?
What is the normal practice in your area? I talked to a friend in Orange County and there it is pretty standard for occupancy to be COE (that's close of escrow, or settlement in some part of the country) plus 3 days for homes that are occupied.
I'm not in favor of letting sellers stay on once recording has occurred - it's now the buyer's home, let the buyer move in. BUt there are times when an alternative must be negotiated.
And I am really not in favor of letting a buyer move in early, before closing. But there are many circumstances where these, and other, scenarios might be entertained. And folks ask about this stuff, especially if a home is vacant, they are relocating and need a place to live, or for other reasons.
So share your thoughts.
When does the buyer get to move into the new home?