10 Reasons We Don't Want Buyers Moving In BEFORE Closing!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747
https://activerain.com/droplet/4ZXb

Moving truck10 Reasons We Don't Want Buyers Moving In BEFORE Closing!

As Warren County listing agents, one of our primary jobs is protecting our sellers' best interests, and there's more to that than just getting the best possible price for them.  Now ultimately we provide the advice, but it's their final decision as to what to okay or not. 

And a request that comes up more often than you might think from buyers is a request to take some form of occupancy prior to closing.  It may be having appliances delivered early, it may be wanting to make repairs early (perhaps new carpet?) or to actually move in!

And at first glance you might think what's the harm?  Especially if you've already moved out and the house is vacant.  Putting a few boxes or a new fridge in the garage before moving in probably isn't a high risk event, right?  True....but even that simple kindness has the potential to backfire.  And if you let them actually move in, the risk climbs even higher.

So let's start with 10 reasons we will typically recommend our sellers to say NO to any early occupancy requests:

  • Insurance.  Homeowner's insurance is designed to cover the HOMEOWNER and their property. Read your insurance policy fine print lately?   What if they accidentally burn your home down?
  • We don't know the buyer's history.  Perhaps the cops know them well?  Maybe that box they want to store in the garage is filled with illegal "product"?  Honest Yer Honor, it wasn't MINE!! Pomeranian
  • Maybe the buyer is in the Witness Protection Program and Two Toes Tony is looking for him?
  • What if their precious furry angel Sir Chews-a-lotta-ankles bites the neighbor?
  • Maybe once they're in the house they decide not to close after all?  They suddenly realize that floor plan just won't work?  The furnace is too loud?  The walls too thin?
  • The poltergeist in your home might not like the new owners-to-be!  Paranormal Activity 4, coming soon to a theater near you!
  • Maybe the buyer gets into it with the neighbors and decides that's enough reason to not purchase after all!
  • Maybe the buyer is a deadbeat.  For a small earnest money deposit, they get possession of your home, don't go to closing, and now you're stuck with an eviction process to get them out.
  • Maybe their kid decides to ski down the stairs and gets hurt.  They sue YOU as the homeowner.
  • They find out they're allergic to something in the carpets and now ask YOU to replace them or they won't go to closing! 

Now admittedly some of these reasons are far-fetched, but understand the principle behind the advice.  Life's funny.  Unplanned things happen.  Maybegavel 99 times out of 100 everything goes fine, but do you want to be the 1 of 100 that goes wrong?  We live in an ever increasingly litigious society.  Protect yourself by listening to us.  Protecting YOUR best interests is just one of the many reasons you hired us!

Serving Warren County's residential real estate needs,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

 

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Stacey Smith 01/28/2012 07:00 AM
  2. Stephanie Arnett 10/31/2013 05:07 AM
Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
Ohio Warren County
Groups:
Active Rain Newbies
Realtors®
RE/MAX Active Rain Bloggers
Advice for Sellers
House-Proud
Tags:
selling your home
early occupancy

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Rainmaker
5,171,015
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Sunday morning! 

We are seeing last moment problems with mortgage financing.  It would be bad to have occupants that do not qualify for the needed mortgage.  It many states, it is very difficult to evict tenants that do not want to leave.

Jan 29, 2012 01:24 AM #33
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Andy, Just watched some old Dragnet episodes over the holidays :)  And you're right, once you're in, the pressure is off....make it happen but maybe not in such a hurry, especially if they're not paying rent to be in.

Roy, We almost assume all closing dates are optimistic and that a delay SHOULD be expected.  The financing landscape is increasingly complicated.

Jan 29, 2012 01:40 AM #34
Rainer
238,290
Anne M. Costello
Weidel Realtors - Yardley, PA

BLiz: Had one seller stay a week or two after closing. Buyer blamed me because all the furniture hid the ripples in the carpet. They must have been smoothed and shoved under the furniture. We did right up an agreement and a Hold Harmless.

Jan 29, 2012 02:04 AM #35
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Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

You can add #11, Don't let them 'rent' the month before closing either. It has the same potential as forcing an eviction and all they have to do is charge something big for a few days to blip the credit.

Jan 29, 2012 02:30 AM #36
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Anne, I think if there's carpet, we should expect there to be wrinkles and differences in color.  Those sofas leave dents in the foam that don't come out.  One more reason we like our red oak floors :)

Ed, Exactly!  Who needs a tenant when what you're really trying to do is transfer title?  SOLD, not RENTED is the goal for our clients.

Jan 29, 2012 02:48 AM #37
Rainmaker
820,765
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

I'd like to reiterate what Roy said - because credit is pulled right before closing on a mortgage, the loan commitments change and, sometimes, the loan is now denied.  If the new "homeowner" is already in, there's little urgency to correct this problem.  

Jan 29, 2012 02:50 AM #38
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Juli, It's a real risk, especially if no one told them the "don't buy a new car, new furniture, a new anything" bit.  Once slip and the ratios can be whacked.

Jan 29, 2012 02:59 AM #39
Rainer
240,177
Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc.
pha logistix inc - San Francisco, CA
SF NYC LA

Bliz... I like your idea to move up the closing date so the buyers can move in early... there is just way too much liability and forces of nature that could occur to mess up completing the transaction.

Jan 29, 2012 04:35 AM #40
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Peggy, The closing early worked out perfectly.  Not always feasible, but with our sellers already out, it was a logical way to meet the buyer's request.  He jumped some hoops to make it happen, but it filled his need.

Jan 29, 2012 08:07 AM #41
Rainmaker
316,101
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Bliz, in my opinion, your #1 ~ Insurance~ is the most important of all. When I explain the liablility part of it, the client's 'get it.'

Jan 29, 2012 10:12 AM #42
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Sandy, When you take it to worst case, something bad happening and insurance NOT covering because the policy holder no longer was the occupant?  That should be enough right there to know they need to say No to any early requests.

Jan 29, 2012 10:51 AM #43
Rainer
1,756,848
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Liz & Bill.  Great blog.  We will allow some buyers to store furniture with a valid use on non occupancy agreement if the closing is late because of the seller.

Jan 30, 2012 06:25 AM #44
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Conrad, I can see that exception when the delay is due to the seller, but even then there has to be some acknowledged risk.

Jan 30, 2012 06:28 AM #45
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Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Great blog BLIZ!  I still find it amazing how many buyers have asked to move in early.  No way Jose.            

Jan 30, 2012 11:55 PM #46
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Jared, Almost without exception our advice to the seller will be not to allow it.  After that, it's their call.  We've had some allow boxes in the garage.  We've even had buyers do it without our knowledge....swing by their new place, the sellers are there, they hit it off and swing the side deal.  Not what we'd recommend for either side, but they're big boys and girls.

Jan 31, 2012 12:16 AM #47
Rainmaker
753,475
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

BLiz, you hit the nail on the head - they are big boys and girls and it is their call.  We agents need to give the clients all the information and risks, but ultimately it is their decision, whether we like it or not. -Kasey

Jan 31, 2012 07:23 AM #48
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Kasey, And that's what we have to remember.  We have to do an effective job at communicating the risks, the pros & cons on each decision, then THEY make the decision.  We operate within the boundaries of our client relationship.  And if we can't be happy with their decisions, we always have the option to decide to quit.

Jan 31, 2012 10:11 AM #49
Rainmaker
1,178,554
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Bill and Liz-

I totally agree, I think there's more chances for something to go wrong with early occupancy for any reason(s). I have a buyer who wants to get in and start doing some repairs prior to closing on a listing of mine. I don't think so. 

Aug 15, 2013 12:41 AM #50
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Adrian, For our tastes, just too much risk for the sellers to let the buyers in early.  The seller ultimately decides, but it will most likely be against our advice if they agree.

Aug 15, 2013 12:45 AM #51
Anonymous
Jeremy

Yes but what happens if the seller takes a bunch of money from the perspective buyer than decides to break the contract and not sell the house? Where does that leave the buyer?

Aug 25, 2017 08:07 PM #52
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