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Real Estate Fight Club

Dec 2019

Episode 13: Should Buyers Always Take Occupancy at Closing?

December 26, 2019

In Episode 13 of the Toe-2-Toe Podcast, hosts Jenn Murtland and Monica Weakley duke it out over whether buyers should take occupancy at closing. Hear why Monica feels that only confusion comes from deals when buyers don’t take occupancy at closing, and Jenn argues that sellers need time to move and that deals sometimes fall apart at the last minute. This episode provides great advice for agents looking to do a deal with a delayed occupancy.

Episode Highlights: 

  • Should buyers always take occupancy at closing?
  • Monica feels that there’s nothing but headaches in deals with pre and post-occupancy.
  • You don't know about insurance. You don't know about liability. You don't know about the condition of the house.
  • Jenn feels the seller should always have post-occupancy.
  • If sellers are going to have occupancy at closing, we need a more ironclad contract.
  • Staying is convenient for the seller.
  • Buyers can often get out for any reason.
  • It’s the seller’s house until the buyer buys it and they need time to move.
  • While Monica acknowledges that moving is hard, she reminds us that the entire contract process is based on faith that the other party will hold up their end of the bargain.
  • Jenn asks what happens to sellers when buyers back out of the contract.
  • A lot of sellers have been in the house for 10-20 years. It will take them a while to move out and they're going to be very nervous about the process.
  • Monica argues that most buyers don’t back out at the eleventh hour.
  • Why should a seller be penalized if a buyer backs out?
  • In Canada, they do not put the property in pending status until all the contingencies have been released.
  • Sellers used to get up to thirty days post-close to move.
  • Jenn and Monica lament that people don’t trust each other anymore.
  • When they surveyed fellow agents, the general consensus was that it's a headache.
  • Some people will need post-occupancy to move, for example, if they own several animals.
  • Jenn thinks people should have time to move out after closing.
  • Monica asked for five days post-occupancy when she sold her own house. This was strictly based on convenience for her.
  • There is a piece of paperwork where you can clarify the date and the actual time. When you're dealing with movers you need to know specifics.
  • A post-closing document outlines liability, insurance, and gives you an opportunity to say who will hold the utilities.

3 Key Points:

  1. Some realtors feel that allowing sellers to hold occupancy after closing only creates headaches.
  2. Other realtors feel that sellers need time to move and should be allowed to stay until the deal is truly done.
  3. If you are working on a deal with delayed occupancy, be sure to use the post-closing document to communicate specifics around dates and times.

Resources Mentioned: