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Buying a home that is owner-occupied, and wants 30 days?

I am looking at a home which is currently lived in by the owner/seller.  The seller said they do not currently have another place to live secured, and would like 30-45 days.  How does this usually work?

Obviously the occupant would want some time to find a new place, and move all of their stuff, but how does that affect the closing?  Would I put in an offer, and if accepted, the deal won't close until after the 30-45 days?

Also, since all of their stuff is in the house, how does the inspection work?  What if their area rug or bed was covering a massive carpet stain, or scratched floor?
  • June 19 - US
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Answers (4)

This is a very interesting question and what makes representing someone in a purchase rewarding, since we can all work together to get everyone where they want to be. 
  Whenever a home inspection is done by the buyer on a new home it is really necessary for them to be present during the home inspection.  While the inspector and even the agents may not be required to look under the carpet, it doesn't mean the buyer can't during the inspection.  The seller's Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) is important here and should be carefully read, even to include a judgement on how complete their answers are, or do they always check "Don't Know" for every response. While Seller's are not required to disclose normal wear and tear on a property, the buyers through their agent, can always submit additional questions to the seller(s) prior  to removing their inspection contingency.  The inspection process can really move the transaction along in a very positive manner if handled correctly. So in many ways having the seller still in the home is relatively normal and can be handled routinely.  I love this part of the sale process because this is where the transaction begins to really get cemented in and made  real for both parties.

If you're in a multiple offer market like we are in San Francisco, a seller's request for a rent-back is actually a negotiation of the sale price.  Normally what they are really saying is they would like to have the transaction close escrow, get their money, yet have 30-45 days to remain in your property.  While the Seller to Remain in Possession Addendum gives you the opportunity to ask for a rent back amount- in a very active market it is may be a better idea to allow them to stay without charge as a way to improve your offer.  You might want to consider having your agent negotiate a shorter time frame of less than 30 days so a lease agreement is not required and a tenancy is not created between buyer and seller.  Negotiating the terms is also one way to check as to how important this item is to the seller, or is it just on their checklist to get the most they can for their home? The Seller in Possession Addendum gives everyone a lot of guidance and protection.  It talks about the seller being required to have insurance to protect the property and covers other items like access to the property by the new owners, paying utilities, condition of the property after they sellers have left (No they cannot paint your new home purple.) .  It's a very useful form for this part of a sale.  I am sure an attorney's advice would be helpful here too.  Here's wishing you a great sale process! 

 
  • June 19
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
When one makes an offer, usually a closing date is suggested in the offer.    As it takes time to get financing, inspections etc, 45 days is very reasonable.  Make it clear in the offer that the seller must be out for an empty home walk through before closing. 

In your offer, plan on an inspection.   During the inspection, check under rugs and furniture for massive carpet stains and  massive scratches.   (You are buying a pre-owned house, do not expect brand new finishes everywhere.    The final walk through is to confirm that the condition of the home is the same as when you made the offer and if repairs have been requested that they've been completed.   It is to start requesting new repairs.

IF they are asking for 30 to 45 days after closing as a rent back, I'd recommend not doing it.  If you do, hold back in escrow say 20% of the funds until they move out, charge a daily rental rate covering double or triple your daily costs, make sure they have insurance (confirm it with a policy number).

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Hi-
It all depends on your contract. Are you using a Realtor? They should be able to answer all these questions for you.

Thanks!

Sinead
  • June 19
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This is a tricky matter with lots of potential for difficulty. Do you have a buyer's agent?  If not, my best advice is to get one!

Good luck.
  • June 19
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