Sometimes a seller will ask to take possession of the property prior to closing. If the buyers need a place to live until their property closes, tell them to stay with a friend, relative, in a hotel, or send them on a vacation, but whatever you do, avoid allowing them to take possession of the property prior to closing.

Carlyle Towers Bedroom
Carlyle Towers Bedroom

The liability is too great and the risk of failure to close too severe when sellers let buyers move in early, but if such a situation is unavoidable, here are some of my key recommendations.

  • Insist that the buyers sign a separate lease agreement with a two- or three-month security deposit.
  • Use a lease agreement generated by an attorney or other real estate professional.
  • Make sure that there is appropriate insurance in place. Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover the situation.
  • Document the condition of the property with extensive photos and videos.

For more information or to set up an appointment call Stuart at (703)765-0300.

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Stuart Nesbitt

View posts by Stuart Nesbitt
Stuart Nesbitt is a Realtor® licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia. His office is located in Fairfax County near the City of Alexandria in Belle Haven. He was born and raised in Northern Virginia and attended Fairfax County schools. Call him at any time to discuss your real estate needs.