Don’t Let Buyers Move in Before Closing

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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Title Insurance: More Important Than Ever

Ryan at closing
Starting a closing with Ryan Stuart

Understanding the tenets of title insurance is especially important considering the turmoil in the real estate industry.

Title insurance is intended to protect the insured from improper titling, including defects in foreclosure proceedings, forgery, or impersonation or cases in which no title is legally conveyed. Other defects are partial, such as a neighboring fence or garage encroaching on the insured person’s property.

The title insurance industry recently set down strict guidelines for when and if they will insure a title to a property on which there has been a foreclosure.

The buyer should be equally vigilant, insisting on a 60-year search and paying for an owner’s policy as well as the lender’s policy that the bank will demand.

Source: Washington Post, Harvey S. Jacobs (11/27/2010)