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Protect yourself from delays in the seller moving after closing

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2022 | Real Estate Disputes |

Finding the right house is only one part of the home-buying process.  After you locate a property that suits your needs, then you have to make a competitive bid so that the seller agrees to let you buy their home.

It takes a lot to make your offer stand out when the market is hot and properties sell quickly.  Buyers often focus on making their offers as attractive as possible, possibly by offering more money or by including fewer contingencies than the average buyer might.

While making concessions regarding when the seller takes possession of the property could make your offer more attractive, it is still important to protect yourself in that situation.  Otherwise, your possession date could come and go with the sellers still living in your new home. 

You may need to create a seller occupancy agreement

Sellers don’t always know when they will move out of the property, especially if they need to buy a new house themselves.  You can include terms in your initial offer that give the seller a chance to stay in the home temporarily after closing.

One of the best ways to deter long delays in taking occupancy of your home is to charge more per day for the seller to stay at the property than they would pay to rent a similar-sized home or a room at a local long-term hotel.  By assessing specific costs in the agreement, including a daily rent of $100 or more, you can motivate the seller to get out of the property as soon as possible after the actual possession date.

In extreme cases, you may need to evict the seller

Charging the seller a daily fee to stay in your new home will provide you with compensation for changes to your own plans and the need to continue paying for alternate housing elsewhere.  However, it can be hard to collect that money, especially if the seller still hasn’t left the property.  In extreme cases, you may need to evict the seller and then take them to court to collect the money they owe you for staying in your property.

Understanding the kinds of complications that could arise after closing can help you protect yourself during a Pennsylvania real estate transaction.


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