Home Buyers To Take Possession Before Closing? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Posted on at 3:58 pm by Andrea Webber

Allowing your home buyers to take possession before closing?

It’s just a few days or a couple of weeks early, so what could be the harm in that?

More Than You Think!

You are well past all the objection deadlines and have moved out. Your buyer has already become emotionally attached to their prospective new home and can’t wait to move in, but the potential legal, insurance and repair issues of allowing them to do so before closing could carry serious ramifications.

Home Buyers To Take Possession Before Closing? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

“Can We Start Fixing Things Up?”

“No,” should always be the answer. You may be opening yourself to non-insured injuries sustained by people working on the property, and suppose that the buyer did not have permits pulled for that little redo of the master bath or the kitchen? Who would be responsible for any arising issues with the building department? You got it. The property is still titled to you.

“Let’s Get All New Furniture!”

There is always a huge temptation for a buyer to indulge in all things new. If they have already been given access to the home, chances are that credit cards are being charged to achieve the ‘new look’ and that new look is already moving in. Too much, and the buyer’s credit ratio is in danger of spiraling downward, resulting in the lender refusing to fund the loan at the last moment because the buyer is no longer qualified.

Always remember that this is still your home until the cashier’s check has changed hands!

If you have no choice but to allow a buyer into the home because they simply have nowhere else to go due to their own home closing earlier than expected, always consult an attorney. Ask about a lease agreement, stating rent due and security deposit, completely separate to your purchase agreement. This way, if anything goes wrong, you have a much easier path to reclaiming what is yours.

Under these circumstances, a home warranty plan is also a good idea. The dishwasher that worked just fine when you were living there might not work so well – for whatever reason – on the day of closing, resulting in a credit to the buyer that you were not expecting.

Allowing home buyers to take possession before closing is seldom a good idea. To know more about this pitfall – and others – always engage an expert Realtor. Contact me for a no-obligation consultation on safely selling your home.

… Andrea

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