Home Buying in Antioch>Question Details

Idona917, Home Buyer in 94531

Short Sale; Escrow closed, house is in my name and the sellers are still there! Can they do this?

Asked by Idona917, 94531 Tue Oct 16, 2012

I didn't know that they were going to stay until 2-3 days before I signed loan docs and wasn't given the Purchase Agreement Addendum until after I signed the loan docs. The PAA says they will be out 10/31 but I don't agree. I need them out sooner. Can't I force them out? They shouldn't get to tell me when they are leaving, I should tell them when to get out. And I am being reasonable. I want them out by 10/25. I still have not signed the PAA because I don't agree with the terms. (the move out date)

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James Tan’s answer
Hi, you have already received a lot of good advice from my esteemed colleagues.
You are right not to sign the PAA.

Since escrow has already closed, there is little pressure you can apply to all the agents involved.
However, You should still contact your selling agent and ask him to help you in this issue. It seems to me, he should still be somewhat responsible to finish this transaction.

You should also contact a real estate attorney for advice and to draft a letter to the seller to demand that he leaves the property, (3 days notice) with penalties involved, etc. You can try to submit your question to an attorney at a website like http://www.lawguru.com.com.

If you should decide to pursue legal action against seller, you should do it right away,while they are still at that address (this way, you can serve the complaint easily).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 17, 2012
Thank you Mr. Tan. I am hoping I don't have to go the legal route.
Flag Mon Oct 22, 2012
Thankfully, this scenario does not happen that often with short sales. Since this is a short sale, the seller signed a contract stating that they would move prior to Close of Escrow, they are in breach of contract and are illegally remaining in the home. I agree with Chuck's suggestion on how to handle this situation with grace. If that suggestion does not work because the sellers are demanding relocation assistance and you do not agree, you can contact an attorney that works with Unlawful Detainers to have the sellers removed by a local Marshall. Unfortunately, this is not an inexpensive venture and It could end up costing you over $1,000.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 10, 2013
All this paperwork aside, you have a Seller in a house they are loosing, probably not getting any relocation assistance, and most likely dont really care if you buy the home or not. Stay on good terms with them and try and find a middle ground. You are the winner of this because you actually have an approved Short Sale. A year from now it will just be a good story to tell.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 9, 2013
UPDATE: I ended up signing the PAA, but with a date that reflected 10/27/2012. As of now, they have a move out date of 10/27/2012 and the feedback I get from my agent and the seller’s agent is that they are in compliance. (or else I would hope) I should have the keys that evening. Should things not go as planned, I will most definitely be pursuing a real estate attorney. I pray I will have good news to post soon.

Thanks to everyone who gave their input. It is all very much appreciated.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 22, 2012
Since none of us in this forum have seen actual copies of your contract docs, we are providing advice based solely on what you have stated above.

As Bill stated, the transaction should not have closed until all contract documents were signed and the property had been vacated. However, since that didn’t happen, I can only assume that your agent dropped the ball.

From a purely contractual standpoint, if what you state is correct and there indeed is no signed PPA, then the sellers need to vacate immediately at close of escrow OR as stated in the signed purchase agreement. If they fail to do so, they are continuing to reside in the property illegally and you have the right to evict them. To do so, however, will take much longer than 10/31 and you will also incur legal fees. You do retain the right to take them to small claims court after they vacate for financial damages you may have suffered by their refusal to vacate on time.

Since there is no signed PPA, there is no agreement as to the length of time the sellers can stay. In reality, your only practical recourse is for both agents (buyer’s and seller’s) to work together to get this resolved. Unfortunately, this scenario happens all too often – some sellers in short sale situations take their frustrations out on the buyers – who are left out in the cold. The other issue you are going to have here is to verify the condition of the property – if they take things with them when they leave, your only recourse will more than likely be small claims court for actual damages.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 17, 2012
Thank you Mr. Medford. I pray they don't damage the property and just leave. I don't have the time, nor the extra funds to spend chasing people.
Flag Mon Oct 22, 2012
"Hind sight" is 20/20......

But the best way to avoid this scenario is to not let the property close while the sellers occupy it. This is perhaps an issue that should have been addressed earlier via your agent?

Charging them rent and requiring paynment for water, insurance, electricity, etc. etc. may not be too remote an idea.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2012
Thanks Bill.
Flag Tue Oct 16, 2012
Might be too late for this idea but ask your lender if you can rescind the mortgage. If the answer is yes that may add a little pressure on the sellers. Otherwise nothing I know of could speed up the eviction process.

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
Web Reference: http://jamessimms.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2012
Thank you Jim
Flag Tue Oct 16, 2012
The PAA is not valid unless signed by all parties to the transaction, just like all legal documents. You need to have your buyer agent talk with the sellers agent to make sure everybody understands that (I trust you have your own buyers agent?).

If you don't get agreement quickly, you would be advised to talk to an attorney.
Web Reference: http://bernardgibbons.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2012
Thank you Bernard.
Flag Tue Oct 16, 2012
Hi Idona917,

The PAA has to be signed by ALL parties for it to be in effect. If you didn't sign it and you are the legal owner, they are trespassing and you can evict them. You might want to contact a Real Estate Attorney.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 16, 2012
Thank you for your reply Shanna. I hate to be the bad guy, so I am hoping they comply with my request.
Flag Tue Oct 16, 2012
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