Normally the advice from me to my sellers would be a flat out NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!
And the reason for that recommendation is all related to risk.
There's ONE good scenario and more than a few bad ones that can come into play if a seller allows the buyer to move in prior to closing.
If all goes well, it all goes well. The buyer moves in a bit early on whatever terms are acceptable for the seller and buyer and we go to closing on time, all the paperwork gets signed off and the buyer becomes the owner.
But if things go wrong, they can go VERY wrong.
- What happens if the buyer does something to the home prior to closing? Will they fix it or will they expect the seller to do it?
- Does your homeowner's insurance cover you if there's a "tenant" in place?
- If the closing falls through for any reason, how quickly will the buyer get out of the home? Will he or she leave willingingly or will you have to use the legal process to get the buyer out the door?
- What if the buyer loses his/her job? Has a bad accident? Some family emergency the prevents closing the home on schedule?
So obviously, the prudent thing to do is say no. Here's what the purchase contract says and we can agree to close early if everything is in place, but we don't want you in early.
Is there something else the buyer can do to address the reason why moving in early is needed? (move into a hotel, rent a storage unit, etc.).
However, all that being said, sometimes as humans we DO want to help, so there are things a seller can do to protect themselves:
- Get it in writing. Utilities. What the buyer can and can't do to the home, etc.
- Homeowners insurance coverage and renter's insurance in place.
- Limit the time period. Can it be for AFTER the buyer's clear to close notice has been provided by the buyer's loan officer?
If you can limit your risk and you're already out of your own home, perhaps letting the buyer in early isn't a total NO NO NO!!!! situation.
But do be careful.
Questions about buying or selling real estate in the Cincinnati/Dayton corridor? Just give us a call at 513-520-5305 or email Liz@LizSpear.com.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Liz and Bill aka BLiz
Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas
The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS
William (Bill) Spear, CRS
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Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
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