Seller forgets they had to Move!

Real Estate Agent with Florida List for Less Realty,Inc.

This is one for the books. My buyer and I sat through a 6 hour closing yesterday. It seems that the Seller was ready,willing and able to close, but somehow they thought that they could remain in the house until next Wednesday!

No kidding, they claim their Realtor who was Red Faced never told them they had to move! Needless to say, the buyers with Moving Van in tow weren`t thrilled and refused to sign until the Sellers placed $3,500 in escrow for any damages to the home.

The Sellers thought that they should receive their money "In Full" without being penalized. They wanted the Buyers to sign off on the HUD-1,but continued calling it "Their Home".we had to remind them throughout this arduous process that once the HUD-1 is sign, "Their Home" becomes "My Buyer`s House".

It took 6 hours to finally get this mess straighten out. The Buyer`s are now in a motel courtesy of the Seller, who was Kicking,Biting and Scratching along the way, and fully determined not to cover the Motel stay! Several times, we almost walked out of the closing threatening to sue!

The sellers wanted to take a Brand new Maytag Washer, which I had to keep telling them they couldn`t because it`s part of the executed contract and was clearly stated on the MLS!

Throughout the process the Buyers were thrilled that we stood our ground against the Sellers, who I`m positive were acting! They knew what they had to do weeks in advanced, their Realtor explained everything to them! It felt like I went 5 rounds with Godzilla because the Husband was an overall certified nut case!

We finally signed everything by 7:00pm, what should have been an easy close, was impossible.

Comments (14)

Erika Cannet
Optimar International Realty - Hollywood, FL
Someone once told me that as a Seller their entitled to remain in their house for one week... I found that very odd! 
Aug 31, 2006 11:36 PM
Jami Cassarino
Cassarino Law Offices, LLC - Bristol, CT
This is completely customary and some states do permit sellers to stay on, but generally title passes at closing, so the keys should too!
Aug 31, 2006 11:55 PM
Scott Daniels Florida Real Estate 2.0. Agents Earn 100% Commission.
Florida List For Less Realty, Inc. Broker/Owner. - Cooper City, FL
I always wonder how a seller thinks it "Remains Their home". when you sign on the dotted line, it`s not your home!
Sep 01, 2006 12:06 AM
David and Bonnie McIlvaine
Keller Williams Select REALTORS - Ellicott City, MD
And they say we are paid too much!
Sep 01, 2006 12:47 AM
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
Personally, I think the sellers probably didn't plan the move in a timely manner and were trying to think of ways to make it seem like it was someone else's fault (as in their agent didn't tell them they had to be out of the house by closing day).
Sep 01, 2006 01:15 AM
Eddy Martinez
Nationwide Funding Group - Highland Park, CA
In the end you got it done thats all that matters :)
Sep 01, 2006 07:06 AM
Diane Colombi
Brio Realty - Everett, WA
In Washington State it is customary for seller to have 3 days after closing. And there have been problems with custom. If the new owner's house is financed and insured as owner occupied. and the seller is still in it and has a fire it could be in litiagtion for a long time. It happend.
Sep 01, 2006 07:49 AM
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert

On Long Island depending on how the contract is written, sellers usually have 3-5 days after the closing to vacate.  If they choose to stay, a negotiated escrow is held till the buyer has a second chance for a final walk-through.  Only then are the funds released to the seller.

However, many time the seller is out by the closing.

Sep 01, 2006 09:36 AM
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
Sending out time-line letters to both buyers and sellers helps to prevent this sort of misunderstanding. The move-out date is also something that the sellers' agent should clearly explain to them at the time of the offer.
Sep 01, 2006 10:11 AM
Omar Camejo
Florida List For Less Realty,Inc. - Ocala, FL


What happens when you have no contact with the Sellers, and the B/A tells you that they`re doing the job?

Major problem for so many Realtors today, is communicating... 

Sep 02, 2006 01:00 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Closing or Settlement translation=Buyers get the keys, Sellers get the check!  or You Pay You Stay, You Don't, You won't.


In your case, Jenny.. All's Well that ENDs!


Sep 02, 2006 02:13 AM
Pam Hofmann
Third Tennessee Realty & Associates, LLC - Crossville, TN
Your Crossville, Lake Tansi & Fairfield Glade Specialist

Way to go, it always amazes me when something goes so terribly wrong. You always say to yourself how could this happen and I will make sure that it never happens in the future.

Sep 02, 2006 07:23 AM
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX

Least we forget, possession is a negotiable item!

When I came west from Michigan twenty some years ago, I was shocked to learn that possession is excepted to pass on the day of closing. In my experience I knew closings get held up and sometimes blow-up! I found the idea both un-civilized and a grave violation of the listing agents fiduciary to the seller.

Many sellers can't afford temporary housing until their home closes let alone move out then have the sale fall through and have to wait for another buyer. I was financing homes not selling them so I had to set quietly and keep my mouth shut. My students selling their homes always negotiate a week to 30 days after closing for the change of possession.

I can hear the up roar! Yes, I know all the problems that delayed possession

can cause, but before you holler let me remind you who pays your commission and where you fiduciary lies.

Before you think I'm just nostalgic for a distance place and time, let me tell you closing were done with all the parties in one room at one time! That was the reason for more fall out and if I ever decided to write horror stories instead of real estate and mortgage books, I'll use those stories.

Just for the record. When we sold our last home a little over a year ago, we negotiated 10 days possession after closing and a non-refundable $10,000.00 deposit released to the sellers in 8 days (so the buyer could get their appraisal and inspectors thru the condo) the buy agreed and paid. Unfortunately they also closed on time.

The point is don't mistake local practice with law. Don't forget who you represent. Most importantly solve the people problem! You'll close more sales and get more referrals.

All My Best,


Sep 04, 2006 02:37 PM
Dave Rosenmarkle
Highland Realty, Inc - Fairfax, VA
33 years of providing fully satisfying service!
I think you may be right that the Sellers knew or had a good idea that they should be out of the house by closing. In VA, possession is negotiable only to the extent as spelled out in the contract. Otherwise, the expectation is that the Seller will have vacated the premises on or before the day of closing. I also suspect the Seller may have been a little bit of a bully, used to getting his way by how he said something rather than the content of what he was saying. Glad you resolved it.
Sep 13, 2006 05:44 AM