Closing Without Possession
We are scheduled to close our home sale in two weeks. Our Realtor® suggested that in order to secure the home over other bidders we agree to allow the seller to remain in the home rent free for a month. We incorporated this in our offer, which was accepted, but I would like to be able to get in the home to obtain estimates to refinish hardwood floors, update the baths and paint. How would I go about this? Also, what if something breaks after escrow closes and the buyer is still in the home; who is responsible?
Congratulations for acknowledging that not every home seller is looking for the highest price; often terms (such as possession) are just as important. In this current market, buyers are often making similar concessions to the seller. Before you close escrow, ask that your Realtor® have a rental agreement prepared and signed by you and the buyer (soon to be tenant). Share your concerns with your agent and ask that all of them be addressed in the rental agreement.
I am not an attorney but believe as a landlord you have the right to inspect the property after giving the tenant (prior owner) appropriate notice. It is very important that all of these issues be resolved in writing before you close escrow. Also, check in with your insurance company and make sure they are informed that you won’t be moving in immediately and see if you need an additional rider or policy amendment. You want to be certain you are adequately insured in the event anyone gets hurt.
DJ, seller rent-backs are not unusual and, as long as everything is in writing prior to closing, you shouldn’t experience any problems. Congratulations on your new home.