Should I Let a Buyer in Our Home Before Closing?

Couples who are about to get married encounter no shortage of advice. Always side with your spouse in disagreements between your spouse and your parents. Never go to bed angry, and its opposite, wait until you have calmed down to discuss contentious issues. Maintain your own separate hobbies and identities, but never keep secrets from your spouse, and so on.

Families buying or selling a house for the first time could probably use some advice, as well, although perhaps they do not get enough. Here is an important piece of advice for the buyers: Never get emotionally attached to a house until after you have closed. The corollary for the sellers is this: Under no circumstances should you let a buyer move into the house before the sale has closed. The absolute best-case scenario is that you could end up with property disputes that can only be resolved with the help of a residential real estate attorney. If you find yourself in a conflict between the buyer and the seller of a residential property, call attorney Dean Rindy right away.

A Mess Waiting to Happen 

If the buyer moves into the seller’s house before closing the sale, the most likely outcome is that both parties will find themselves in a pickle legally and financially. While the seller may be in a hurry to move out or may even have already moved out, and the buyer may be eager to move in, moving in before closing almost always creates more problems than it solves. Anyone with a real estate listings app can tell you that things in the world of real estate are always in a state of flux, and every real estate agent has stories about sales that seemed like a sure thing but fell apart at the last minute.

Here are some reasons why it is important to wait until closing before the buyer moves into the newly purchased house:

  • The property still legally belongs to the seller until closing. All problems related to early move-in go back to this fact – the seller.
  • If the buyer moves in while the house still belongs legally to the seller, the buyer is a tenant. If the sale falls through and the seller wants the buyer to move out, the seller must start the arduous process of trying to evict a tenant.
  • If the buyer damages the property before closing, getting the insurance company to pay for repairs could easily turn into a legal dispute.
  • If the buyer gets injured in an accident on the property and claims that the accident resulted from the fact that the property was unsafe, the seller could become a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit.
  • That small drip in the faucet, squeaky garage door or other trivial item may now become the reason to delay the closing until fixed; or until a new trivial item becomes the reason. 

Contact O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss about Legal Services for Real Estate Property Owners 

Attorney Dean Rindy can help real estate property owners resolve disputes, but if you contact him early enough in the process of selling your home, he can help you avoid them entirely.  Contact O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss in Fargo, North Dakota or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 for a consultation.