Seller won't let me in a home I just purchased

35 Replies

This is a new one for me. I closed on a home today, about 3:30 on a Friday. At closing, there were no keys. When I reached out to the seller to collect the keys he tells me he will not turn them over or let me on the property until his wire transfer clears on Monday. Apparently, he has not received his transfer since the closing was so late on a Friday. He is not renting the property back. I don't see how this is my problem in any way. I have contractors scheduled to go there tomorrow and he is saying he won't allow it. I thought I legally own the property now. Am I mistaken or does he have a leg to stand on?

Let him know you will be breaking the door and sending him an invoice for its repair

@Russell Brazil he is threatening to have me arrested. Does it matter that the transfer to him has not hit his account? I have all the documentation showing my transfer cleared and all of my closing documents. 

Originally posted by @Ian Whiteman :

@Russell Brazil he is threatening to have me arrested. Does it matter that the transfer to him has not hit his account? I have all the documentation showing my transfer cleared and all of my closing documents. 

 Just show the police the deed when they show up.

Originally posted by @Ian Whiteman :

@Russell Brazil we closed hours ago. I don't have one yet unless there is some sort of temporary document in my closing paperwork Im not aware of

 You should get a deed at closing. Thats what transfers ownership. 

Originally posted by @Ian Whiteman :

@Russell Brazil  we closed hours ago. I don't have one yet unless there is some sort of temporary document in my closing paperwork Im not aware of

 The property is now yours, evidenced by the paperwork you signed at closing and the wire transfer. I'd plan on having your contractors at the property tomorrow. Let him call the police. He is now trespassing on your property and should be escorted away. With or without keys, how you enter your property is your business.

Deeds do not need to be recorded to transfer ownership. There are some places the deeds take up to 6 months to be recorded 

@Ian Whiteman Well you won't get an original deed but you could have certainly asked for a copy. Of course the guy is being a horses rear end but he may have a legal point.  If he haven't received the consideration for the deed and  most likely the deed did not get recorded today it cold be a legal gray area. 

Why did you leave settlement without the key? Were you both in front of the title agent at the same time. Did the seller refuse to give you the keys in front of the title agent. If the answer was yes they why did you not make a stink with the title agent?

 If he has "possession" of the property in many states it can take a legal action to get him out. I presume he will leave when he gets paid, but I am still waiting for my check from Thursday a week ago. 

I would go to the property with all your settlement documents. Take the contract with you presuming it says he will grant possession at closing. If he doesn't let you in call the police - or let him call the police.

Hold on

As I write this I am thinking "is he still living there?" Does he still have stuff there or has he moved? If he is not there when you show up I would just change the locks. Put a no trespassing sign in the window. If he is there wait until he leaves. Then go in. 

This is interesting let us know what happens.

@Ned Carey our title company does mobile closings so they went to him, then to us. When they arrived, there was no key.  He came down from NY to FL to collect his belongings. I am not clear as to if he is there or not, he wont tell me, but I am assuming he is. Additionally, most of the furnishing convey, which makes me even more nervous. 

@Nik S. @Eric Adobo A deed is not required to be recorded, ever.  It simply puts the world on notice of the sale.

The sale is valid the moment the deed is executed.

However, the seller is not trespassing...he is a hold over over just like a tenant.

I'd show up with a locksmith though, and see how it goes if the police get called, if it's that important.

His bank should have the incoming wire though, even if it won't "clear" until Monday.

Also, title co.s don't typically courier over the deed to be recorded right away, they mail it in.

You will receive keys after the transaction is recorded. Since you signed paperwork on Friday afternoon via mobile notary the recording will happen on Monday or Tuesday. This is the process at least here in California.

@Eric Adobo I’m with you. Every time I sell a property,l my agent texts me a few hours later and says it’s official, it’s no longer yours! So something happens... it “records”..... :-)

I think the most frustrating part is I’m simply trying to bring contractors on site to start getting bids. We’ve been on sit 10 times before with no issue. Now he is pulling this after closing. It makes me very nervous because something doesn’t add up.

Cops wont do anything....civil matter.     TBH, wait for the wire to clear his bank and deal with everything on monday.    Who's right?   Who's wrong?     Who cares, if you wanted to start any sort of eviction or whatever it will take far longer than just waiting for the wire to clear.

Learning curve, you left closing without keys.     On the plus side, a very cheap lesson I hope for you.    

Eventually when you actually close, file for eviction.  It might take some time to legally get the renter out.  Meanwhile, you can work on cutting trees/bushes away from the property at 7am with a chainsaw and having a dumpster delivered.  Good luck and please keep us updated.  DM me if you want details on how we got one of these frustrating sellers out of the house they just sold us.