Hi Richard, you have asked a couple of questions in the last few days that had to do with a variety of issue if I recall, one was "for a friend" which really left the door open for other agents to comment, another was general enough, about refrigerators. But in this question, assuming you are the same Richard, is very specific to your contract and I am going to really recommend that since you are in a contract and have a brokerage representing you that you refer back to your brokerage. If your particular buyers agent is not able to provide you with a satisfactory answer, you should contact the broker of record that they work for. If you are not communicating well with your agent, your broker is really who the contract is with and they should take whatever time you need to help you understand the answers to the questions you are posing. These conditions are so specific to your own transaction that I would be hesitant to take more than very general advice from this Q&A forum and run with it or instruct your Realtor or Broker that the answers you recieve here apply to you.
Because others might be reading though, I want to provide some general response. Close of escrow and posession are negotiable terms and I do not agree with the advise of the first to answer. I would almost never recommend a lease back and I would recommend it even less if someone is a short sale occupant. A lease back creates a tenant landlord situation. You do not want to find yourself as the landlord of a distressed occupant. The lease agreement does not, to the best of my knowledge, create a special circumstance where you would not be required to evict the occupant if they refused to go at the end of the leaseback period. Leasebacks can leave a buyer very open and therefore should be entered into very carefully and only when the buyer is fairly confident that 1) They can handle the unlikely but possibility that things could go wrong (with inconvenience but without financial ruin) 2) Have verified the Sellers reason not to be able to move out and are confident that the situation will improve with the leaseback. Ideally, I think , you delay close of escrow or have a close of escrow plus 1-3 days, which is also a risk but does not create a formal written lease agreement. To learn more, I would recommend going back to your Realtor/broker or contacting a real estate attorney.
As for the issue of damage after move out, many home buyers express this concern. Again, this is a good reason to buy from a seller in better financial circumstances because they are more likely to want to peacefully resolve the situation. When damage occurs during the move out, the previous owner and the brokerages typically want to neogitate a good outcome. Many times, the homesellers do their best to address it on their own because its part of their pride in ownership, they realize that they sold something in particular condition and will do onto others as they would have others do for them, really it happens. Other times, everyone pitches in to avoid a legal matter. Each situation is different and some do end with attorneys and courts working it out with all the parties involved but hopefully, this is a last resort as you can imagine.