What the settlement process when selling and buying a house? can the seller move after settlement?

Asked by jus me, Philadelphia, PA Tue Aug 11, 2009

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Samantha Wee…, Agent, Upper Darby, PA
Wed Aug 12, 2009
Normally it best to have the seller out of the home prior to settlement. The worst case is the seller is malicious and does extensive damage to the home in which the buyer may have to pay for or sue for. If a seller can not move out by settlement, the buyer can impose a daily or monthly surcharge to the seller in order to give them incentive to move out in a timely manner. You should have the agent add this to the agreement of sale or have a lawyer to draw up the paperwork. Another option is to delay the settlement date to a time in which the seller could be out. It won't be fair to the buyer but it alleviates any issues that may arrive.

Good Luck,

Samantha Weekes, Realtor
Exit Tri-State Group
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Brigita McKe…, Agent, Stroudsburg, PA
Wed Aug 12, 2009
Good morning!

Normally, the seller has moved out of the home so that the buyer can move right in after settlement. In the rare cases that the seller needs to stay in the home after settlement, an agreement of terms for this situation has to be drawn up between the seller and the buyer. Not all buyers will agree to such an arrangement.

Why would the seller want to remain in the home after settlement? Is it because they are building their home and it is not complete yet? Do they need to search for a home?

If the seller needs to search for a home for themselves, that can be put in as a contingency in the agreement of sale, at which point the settlement will not occur until after the seller has found suitable housing.

Since the home buyer has ownership of the home as of settlement, the seller may be able to rent the property for a short term from the buyer. These terms need to be agreed upon before closing.

Brigita McKelvie, REALTOR, e-PRO, GRI
Residential, Rural and Horse Properties
Keller Williams Real Estate, Bethlehem, PA
Office: 610-867-8888 Direct: 610-393-9424
E-mail: brigita@brigitamklv.com
Web: http://www.RuralAndHorseProperties.com
Blogs: http://activerain.com/blogs/brigitam
0 votes
Fred Griffin, , Tallahassee, FL
Tue Aug 11, 2009
See a Real Estate Attorney for Legal Advice...

Get Written Approval from the Lender.

Check with the Insurance Company to make sure all parties are Covered.

A Buyer occupying prior to Closing, or a Seller remaining in the house after the fact, can present all sorts of problems - Legal issues, Insurance issues, and more.

Depending upon the State, it may be advisable to have an Attorney draw up a Lease or Rent Agreement, even if the time is only for a day or two.

The "What If's" are sobering:

What if the Seller does not move out when they say they will?

What if the House is damaged or catches on fire or undergoes some catastrophe?

What if the Seller is injured on the Property (will the Insurance cover it)?

What if the Seller's personal property is stolen or damaged?

What if the Lender deems that the Buyer falsified the Loan Application (they said it was their primary residence; then they "rented it" for a time).

What if, what if, what if?

See a Real Estate Attorney.

Best wishes to you,
0 votes
Terrence Cha…, Home Owner, Allentown, PA
Tue Aug 11, 2009
Yes the seller can move after settlement if the situation permits and the buyers accept. But there must be special circumstances for a buyer to accept this in the first place.
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