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Carolyn Thom…, Real Estate Pro in Rockville, MD

How do you handle short sale squatters?

Asked by Carolyn Thompson, Rockville, MD Sun Jun 26, 2011

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9
Ugh! This is a sour pickle. Since the seller likely cannot buy, have you considered offering to help find them a rental? As for the rest, consult with your attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 27, 2011
I'm not the type of agent that walks away from deals without a fight. My client has a bit of money invested in this purchase and has been more than patient.

I'm not an advocate of court proceedings, but would not have an issue if my client went to court to force the sale. Has anyone done this before? I'm wondering how long it would take.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 26, 2011
Ok.

Here is some clarification. We are supposed to close on July 2nd, which is 30 days after bank approval.

Listing agent (possibly enabler) states that the seller needs more time to find a new home. I state that they've had eight months prior to bank approval and this gives them 9. They were the ones that elected to put their home on the market.

I don't and won't recommend closing unless the house is vacated.

I pulled in the listing agents broker after she sent me an addendum for my client to sign extending the close date and waiving the property condition clause - I don't think so!

The broker now says that the home owner wants to file bk. I state too late, they are contractually obligated to sell. They had eight months to consider this. Broker is trying to work through the issues and made sure that he knew that his agent was not supporting the contract. She had dug in her heels to extend the close date 48 days after bank approval, which is the last day of BOA approval. Then she wanted my client to sign stating that they would be responsible for any delay of closing. Where is she getting this stuff, from foreclosure sales - perhaps.

This does not apply. I want to get my client to closing. We negotiated a GREAT deal and got bank approval.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 26, 2011
As the others say, if you haven't gone to closing, don't.

One question, though: are the squatters the sellers, or are they tenants? If they're tenants, they may well have a legal right to remain there through the term of their lease. If that's the case, they're not squatters.

So, what do you do?

You can try buying them out--especially if they're tenants with a right to remain there. It's "cash for keys" applied to tenants.

And you can try buying them out even after closing.

If the residents--either tenants or former owners--don't have a right to be there, and you can't persuade them to move, then immediately begin eviction proceedings.

I know that there are some services that investors use (particularly in the Baltimore area) that specialize in getting people out of properties they don't have a right to occupy.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 26, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
MVP'08
Contact
If the seller/occupant is refusing to sell and move, its time to move on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 26, 2011
Carolyn the key is buyers should NOT close unless the house is vacant and they can take immediate possession after closing. If the buyer made that mistake and closed, now they have to evict the occupant. That occupant could strip or damage the house so an attorney who specializes in evictions would be best.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 26, 2011
....and if you haven't closed, it might be time to move on.
For one reason or another this one was not meant to be.
Web Reference: http://www.321property.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 26, 2011
The best way to deal with squatters is to not allow them the initial opportunity...in other words, we would recommend closing unless they were OUT.

Since it appears you have closed, the best legal options are "cash for keys" or going through the eviction process. Neither are great options and consume time and money but hopefully "results" in the end. This is a most unfortunate situation, one in which values and integrity seem to be in very serious shortage.

Good luck,

Bill
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 26, 2011
Ok. I should have clarified this by saying that the sellers are refusing to close as agreed and staying in the home after the agreed upon time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 26, 2011
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