Casualty Loss - Whose house is it anyways?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX 1st Class 0542725

League City Real EstateEven though I had a closing yesterday for a home in League City, I couldn't sleep last night.  You see, I was worried the house I just sold would get burned down, knocked down by an earthquake, vandalized, or any other type of casualty loss..  You may be asking why should I's not my house, but...

...this closing had a little bit of a wrinkle (elephants have wrinkles too ;-).

Both parties signed their paperwork and left the title company before the deal funded.  Obviously, this isn't atypical, but usually when that happens, I keep the keys, and then hand them over to the buyer once the deal has funded.  In this case, the seller went ahead and gave the keys to the buyer, and the buyer started having the carpets cleaned.  I tried to tell him that he didn't own the home until the deal funded, but he seemed unconcerned about the reality that he was essentially cleaning someone else's carpet!

Even though the buyer put his insurance in place yesterday, if something happened to the house overnight, there would definitely be a fight over who has to bear the loss.  I think that it would ultimately be the seller who would be out of luck if something happened last night, I really hope to avoid involvement in such a dispute... hence the reason I never give over keys until the deal has funded.  I haven't checked on the house yet to see if it is alright, but I haven't heard anything, so I am going with "no news is good news."  But, it's not exactly sold until it's all the way sold.  And the fat lady isn't singing yet on this one.


not exactly sold

Has anyone else ever experienced something similar where there was damage to the home in the intervening period?  I would love to hear how it was resolved!


Posted by




Brian Worrell - GRI, CNE
Bayou Properties Realty  |   The Worrell Team, Realtors
Cell  281-948-7042  |  Fax  832-514-7029  |


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Comments (4)

Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

Happy to say that I haven't had to deal with that problem.  I hope you never have to either! :)

Aug 25, 2011 04:28 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker



  I made the mistake once of allowing "occupancy before closing". 

   The HVAC system mysteriously failed.  It was a mess. 

   The Buyer threatened to move back out unless the Seller paid for a new AC Unit.  

   The Seller ultimately paid.


Aug 25, 2011 05:04 PM
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

I hope nothing like that happens to me.  So far so good.  I did hear some horror stories from other agents that have experienced it.

Aug 26, 2011 01:31 AM
League City, TX - Worrell Team, REALTORS, GRI, CNE
RE/MAX 1st Class - League City, TX

Stella, Sonja, and Fred -- thanks for the comments.  I think its safe to say that we need to expect that things will go wrong and hope they don't!!! Cheers!

Aug 29, 2011 10:48 AM