Good morning everyone,
My name is Wilson and I am an investor who owns 8 properties in Jackson MS. I have a day job and real estate is something I do on the side. So I have a contract for a short sell and everything is settled except that seller wants to stay 11 days after closing to move out. I would like her to vacate the property so I can start rehab and also I feel like the house right now is unsafe since there is a lot of mold/water damage to the back of the house because of a leaky roof. We have not signed any legal documents that states the terms of her occupancy after closing, but the agents are insistent on me doing the closing now. I dont have enough experience with short sells but do the seller normally stay for a period after? (The seller's agent said I should be ethical about this) Also who would be responsible for cleaning up if she still leaves a mess (south jackson tenants will just trash the place usually cost ~500 to clean up after them)? would I be responsible for her safety? (like I said mold/bad roof) Is there any law that protects me in this case for being a good person and letting her stay on my property free of charge after closing to get her move complete? It just seems after closing, everyone else involved in the deal gets to wipe their hands clean and I am left with a tenant who obviously has a lot of attachment to the house who needs to move in 11 days. Anyways, frustrated about this deal.
You've outlined much of what could go wrong, don't close until the house is empty. You have no security deposit and full liability for your new tenant in your new house. You would probably have to evict her. Ethical? Then the seller's agent shouldn't mind waiting 11 days for their owner to move out.
It's not normal, but if you need to do it to get the deal done, sometimes you gotta do what you need to do. I'd treat it like an AirBnB where you are renting by the day for a certain amount (even if it's $1) to be treated legally. Get everything in writing so it's clear you expect her to leave in 11 days. I've had a lot of experience in South Jackson and I literally pay tenants to leave the house clean ($150 if it's spotless) to encourage responsibility. That may be what you get out of the deal... She needs to leave the house spotless to stay there. But, again, get everything written down, or you are wide open.
I agree with @Michael S., make the Bank wait the extra 11 days before closing.
There's likely a Contractual "vacant possession" clause. Remind THEM to be ethical! Cheers...
Do not close unless it's vacated.
Hi @Wilson Jing ,
If I was the sellers agent I would be trying to convince you to let her stay 11 days (If she ever really leaves who knows). I am not sure about MS, but trying to remove a previous homeowner vs a tenant are two different animals. I would recommend that she get to stay after closing and then tell her to squat until she decides to leave..... I mean it is only ethical and humane.
Now if I was the buyers agent. I would say no way, not today, not next week, not never .... is a short sale owner staying while I own it. It is a short sale because the owner is behind in payments. The bank has established that it is cheaper to take a loss (of many thousands) than fight to get them removed and take control of the property. Guess who they are all trying to put that on? You... of course the agents and everyone want it to close, they all get paid while you go find an attorney to get them out.
Best of luck in navigating it!
Thank you everyone for your responses. I had my agent to make clear to the seller that she is to be moved out of the property prior to closing. The seller however was concerned that we would not go through with the purchase, so as a compromise the closing attorney will hold the funds in an escrow. We have given the seller until 11/11 to move out and I will be doing the final walk through on 11/12 to make sure the property has been vacant. This experience has taught me a few things 1. If something doesn't feel right, its ok to walk away from the deal even if that means losing earnest money. 2. Make sure to include language of seller vacating the property prior to closing on next short sell 3. Post on Bigger Pockets sooner instead of second guessing myself.
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