The Buyers of your home would like to move in prior to closing. Before we talk about the three pitfalls of buyer occupancy prior to closing, let’s talk about the three times I see buyer occupancy most often occur. Should you decide to allow the Buyers to occupy your home prior to closing, I would recommend all parties sign the Buyer Occupancy Prior to Closing form that we use in South Carolina.
- The Deed does not record the same day as the closing paperwork has been signed. Ownership of your home does not officially transfer until the Deed is recorded in the new buyers’ name. Usually, this happens the same day as you sign your closing paperwork. However, for various reasons the Deed may not record on the same day as closing.
- Buyers want to store their belongings in your home or garage but not move in. This situation most often happens when the home is vacant and buyers are moving to our area from out of state and their truck arrives before closing. I have also seen this situation when buyers are renting and their lease ends prior to closing. They can stay with friends or in a hotel for a few days but need a place to put their belongings.
- Your home is vacant and closing was delayed. Sometimes the Buyers ask if they can move in on the day closing was supposed to have happened.
What are Three Pitfalls of Buyer Occupancy Prior to Closing
Pitfall #1 - Liability
Since the home is still owned by the Seller, the Seller would be responsible for the personal property in the home. I try to think about worst case scenarios and plan for those. If there is a fire, personal property is damaged in some way or stolen from the home, the Sellers homeowners’ insurance would be responsible. Most likely, you do not want to take on this responsibility.
Pitfall #2 - Closing Does Not Happen & Buyers Will Not Move Out
If closing does not happen and the buyers do not want to move out, you may have to go through the eviction process to have them removed. This situation could take weeks to months to resolve plus the additional costs and not being able to list your home for sale. Also, if there are damages to the property, the Seller would need to fix those prior to re-listing the home for sale.
Pitfall #3 - Buyer Changes Their Mind
After spending a few days living in the home, the buyer may decide they do not like the home as much as they thought when they wrote their offer. They may decide to terminate the transaction and you will have to start marketing your home again.
As you can see, there are several pitfalls that could happen by allowing the Buyers to occupy your home prior to closing. Be aware of these pitfalls should you decide to let the Buyers occupy prior to closing.
Contact me if you are interested in buying or selling in Murrells Inlet or the surrounding area or if you are interested in learning more about living at the beach.