Your agent, the listing agent, the closing company etc should all be made aware of your concerns ASAP. As a very basic thought, consider not closing until the home is in the condition is should be as per your agreement......including the previous owners and their furnishings.
So, tell title not to close without your final OK. Go check out the property to verify the sellers have move out, then, and only then, tell Title go through with the closing. It will be a bit of a hassle to do all in one day, but they can do it and it will protect you from any hassles.
In most cases, the agents have a pretty good idea of their clients' intentions and level with each other pretty well. If your agent has been in discussions with the sellers' agent then they are most likely right.
Remember, though, the seller might not clean the house very well (at all?). There isn't much that can be done about that. If it turns out that they haven't moved out when they are supposed to document what happened and document your intention to move in (so they can't claim you said they could stay) and contact an attorney.
Dilbeck Realtors, GMAC
First - most sellers move out in a timely way.
Second - when they don't, they are usually only a few days late.
Third - there is very often a little doubt toward the end of the esrow on whether the seller will get out on time.
Most likely, everything will turn out okay.
If the seller overstays their right of occupancy the worst case scenario is that the buyer has to evict them. This is very rare.
The best advise I can give is for your agent to open a dialogue with the seller/seller's agent to understand what their plan is.
In your question you don't mention what type of sale this is or how much time the seller's have at this point. If it is a short sale remember that the seller is often in an awful state of mind and having difficulty with losing their house.
Last couple of points: If you used the California CAR contract you do have a right to perform a walk-thru. The walk-thru does NOT include the right to delay or cancel an escrow. Its purpose is for the buyer to establish the condition of the house in the event there is a dispute after the escrow closes. In a situation such as yours it gives you an opportunity to document the seller's intent to move. If you doubt there good faith you might want to delay your walk-thru until as near your closing as possible to establish their level of preparation for the move.
Remember, this will almost certainly work out okay, especially if you can get a dialogue going with the seller's side.
Dilbeck Realtors, GMAC
Despite how bad you may want the home, if the existing sellers fail to be completely out of the home prior to you sitting down at the closing table, then IMHO, you should not close or sign any documents on the home.
Where is your agent in these proceedings? Where is the sellers agent during these proceedings?
Please remember I am only seeing a sliver of this issue and your agent should know how to best handle this situation, but if you believe the seller will not vacate prior to closing then you have no reason to close, unless you plan on renting the property to the seller.
In my experience, homeowners who are being foreclosed upon are not always in the right frame of mind. In their opinion the lender has done them wrong and they want to do what ever they can to cost the lender more money. This is where the agents come in.
I do not live in your state, so your laws may vary, but long story short. 9 times out of 10, if the seller has not moved out of the home prior to closing, you quite likely have just allowed them to stay and must go through eviction proceedings because you closed on the property with them living there.
Evictions can take months to process depending on your local laws.
Do not be pressed by "SPECIFIC CLOSING DATES" if the home fails to close because the homeowner failes to vacate, you can attempt to reschedule, or if worse comes to worst, you avoided having to evict the previous owner, whereby you start making mortgage paymenst on a home you can not live in.
If the seller / homeowner has not made any attempt to move, you should not proceed with closing.
This give you the ability to ensure you do not have a hold-over / new unexpected tenant.
Don't be surprised if things start happening rapidly, Some people can pack and move quickly. But this is exactly why you do the walk through before closing.