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Sandra, Home Seller in Tampa, FL

Can not close on my short sale...I posted my question on Sun, 7/27/08 regarding the buyers agent giving the

Asked by Sandra, Tampa, FL Wed Jul 30, 2008

lock box key to the buyers. anyway, We are now faced w/dilema #2. As if that wasn't hard enough, we are expected to close on Friday, 8/1 or Mon, 8/4. I was asked by my agent to sign a release form over to the buyers allowing them to move in prior to closing as they have no place to go. Is this normal? I don't feel comfortable doing it because of what just happened a week ago. Am I being stubborn? I understand my agents frustration wanting to seal the deal, but this is not about my agent. I sense from her that she is upset, I feel that she is looking out for the better interest of the buyer. but truly, what is my part as a short-time seller. I feel through out this entire process we've had to bend over backwards and accomodate every single offer that came through as ultimately the bank makes the final call. What would you advise? What happens if for some unforseen reason we do not close...then what?

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Let me tell you a true story that my broker told me. Buyer sends offer, seller accepts. They went into escrow. One day both parties and seller’s agent and buyer’s agent met at the property. Buyer & seller started exchanging stories as if they were best friends, both agents got tired of standing around while the seller and buyer are yip-yapping, so they left. Buyer found out that seller is relocating in a few days (before close of escrow). Seller, bless her little heart, gave the keys to the buyer and told them they could certainly move in as soon as they move out - and buyer did.

Buyers decided to do some “remodeling” and tore down a wall that had a fireplace since that was their original plan anyway, they thought they could have a head start. Lender decided to send an appraiser a week before closing and of course the fireplace that was mentioned on the original appraisal is not longer existing. Long story short, bank decided not to lend and deal fell out of escrow, so the house has no buyer and now needing some repairs…

This is just one of the many things that could potentially go wrong, so please don't did it before escrow closes.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 30, 2008
You have a couple of options. I am still concerned that you and your Realtor do not seem to be discussing these points because they know the situation better than we do.

In California we have a CAR form that deals with occupancy before possession. Normally it is handled like a lease. The buyer's are treated like tenants, they pay a fee, plus they need to have Renter's insurance (which you need to verify).

The big problem I foresee you already figured out. What happens if you don't close. And as you have posted before, this is not a hassle-free transaction, so you want to avoid any further surprises.

Don't you wish you lived in the UK? There are no Realtors there, the banks took over the Real Estate system. You want to buy or sell, you go to your local bank.

Am I right in assuming that your Realtor is representing both buyer and seller? Although not necessarily a legal issue, it would cause you to have more concern about being treated fairly, which I completely understand.

If you really are concerned, and based on your posts, you have reason, I would ask to speak with the Realtor's broker about these issues. Advice from Trulia is all well and good, but the broker has a legal liability and may in fact have wisdom regarding local laws or customs that may take away some of your anxiety.

Technically having renters in your property may not be an issue, however It seems to me that the fact that you don't know when you are going to close is a concern. This is not uncommon with short sales because the lender has a completely different agenda. I don't know how much foregivness you are getting in this sale, but I would be darn sure that you have a letter of agreement with the lender stipulating that your loan is either "paid in full" or "settled". it would be a shame to jump through all these hoops and see a FORECLOSURE on your credit report.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 30, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Pre Occupancy is a major NO NO, you do not want someone test driving your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 30, 2008
No way! Don't let them move in until after closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 30, 2008
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