How do you handle closing and occupancy in your town?

Real Estate Agent with Montana Homestead Brokers, Broker, CRS, GRI, SFR, RN

When you have a pancake deal, two homes and three parties involved, how do you handle occupancy?

I always try to get everyone on the same page and plan a weekend type move with the first part of this domino moving out first by closing day.  I always get a headache moving the one in the middle.  The party bringing the money that starts this whole deal usually wants in right after they sign the papers.  I have heard that it is customary to give the seller extra days to move out after signing at closing in order to move in some areas.  We have the middle person in a uhaul at the Title Company signing papers.

We have various methods of getting this done in Billings Montana, what do you do?


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Wanda Thomas

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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Sellers are packed and out by settlement.  Buyers get keys at settlement and move in when they can. 

We try to avoid the threesomes.  Dominoes are not my favorite game.

Jan 30, 2009 10:06 AM #1
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ

It's customary in our world for the seller to be out two days after the close of escrow which is considered the day of recording. The MLS provides a possession time frame, ie COE +2, and the purchase agreement has a possession date to be filled in and acknowledged by both parties. We normally fund the loan one day and record the next day as there is no "closing table".

When it' a chain deal it's always nice if the first seller moves prior to recording.

Jan 30, 2009 10:55 AM #2
Markelle Harden
Classy Inbound - Charlotte, NC
Digital Marketing Specialist

Aaaah great question! And only a truly thoughtful agent is thinking this far ahead when working on a contract. Realtors work SO HARD to get a transaction to close, only to have everyone left with a sour taste in their mouth if closing is delayed and someone actually moved before the delay was discovered. All of your hard work means nothing to their client when they are in limbo the day of closing. That being said, it's best to prepare according to the situation:

Make sure domino #1 has an unshakable loan qualification. Get them qualified with lender #2 if possible. Make the penalty very steep for a non-closing for any reason.

I work with agents all over the country, and in most cases, post-possession is frowned upon. BUT the caring and diligent agents will try to help their sellers by giving them some wiggle room, and draw up the documents for a post closing occupancy anyway, even it it's only one day so the seller can be sure funds are there before the moving van pulls out. If that fails, then the final contract should have a very very steep penalty for the buyer if they fail to close, to cover the cost of the seller loading up all of their stuff in order to give possession on time. I love the idea of PODS for these types of deals; you get most of the major stuff out of the house prior to closing, then the day of they can move their most important things in a moving van/company - the bed, the dining table, etc. Then PODS can deliver after closing.

It's a true dance and only seasoned agents can truly pull it off without a hitch - looking forward to others comments.

Jan 30, 2009 11:09 AM #3
Wanda Thomas
Montana Homestead Brokers, Broker, CRS, GRI, SFR, RN - Billings, MT
Billings Montana Real Estate

Lenn, that is my preferred way to handle the shuffle, but there are whinners

Cameron, I have heard this and wondered how it works.  We have a selection for possesion when documents are signed, when deed is recorded or other.  Do you have a deposit or agreement for occupancy in addition to the buysell contract?

Markelle  we have seen the pods around here, even better than the U-Haul because I think the time table is just not as pressing.  The penalty idea is interesting, we do have an early occupancy contract and a rent back contract, but still it would be the pits to enforce without a stiff penalty.  Of course it's a great position to be in, double closings, but it can be stressful.  I have found that "straight talk" helps get every client on board and gives them a sense of control rather than being told what to do.  Most people like to get along thank goodness.



Jan 30, 2009 11:51 AM #4
Simon Mills
Mills Realty - Toluca Lake, CA

We record the day after we fund and transfer of occupany usually happens at 5:00PM on the date of recording.  This gives the seller a full day after the loan has funded to move out.  The buyer gets the keys at 5pm.

Jan 30, 2009 12:39 PM #5
Mike Klijanowicz
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Perry Hall, MD
Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors

There is always the dreaded rent back agreement or post settlement occupancy agreement that can be utilized and does a lot of the time to make it easier on everyone involved...

Jan 30, 2009 12:51 PM #6
Ron Parise - Cape Coral, FL

It is flat out impossible to pull of the kind of move that you describe.

I never suggest that a seller be allowed to stay beyond closing, or a buyer be allowed access to a home before

Thats why we have storage facilities, moving vans and hotels




Jan 30, 2009 01:46 PM #7
Wanda Thomas
Montana Homestead Brokers, Broker, CRS, GRI, SFR, RN - Billings, MT
Billings Montana Real Estate

Impossible????  Not in my world.  Just happy to get comments on how others handle this delicate situation.  So far I think the ideas are pretty much how things happen here.  Does anyone let the sellers of any property stay 30 days past closing?  Not as the occassional rent back, but as a "normal" closing in their area?  I heard rumors of this happening and just wondered if it was folklore?

Jan 30, 2009 02:23 PM #8
Nancy Conner
Olympia, WA
Olympia/Thurston County WA

I like possession on closing rather than early possession or rent back situations as one potentially disastrous situation is that if there is some horrible circumstance like the house burns down in the interim period, you better be really sure that SOMEONE'S homeowners' insurance is in force! 

Jan 31, 2009 09:46 AM #9
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Billings Montana Real Estate
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