Closed on purchase of the property. The sellers won't move out.

13 Replies

I looked all through the forums and didn't find anything similar to the situation that we are in:

We closed on a property on 6/30, the sellers negotiated 10 extra days of possession of the home because their next residence wasn't ready. The real estate co has a short term lease agreement that all parties signed to allow for them to stay. Wednesday of last (7/5) week my
Realtor got a message asking if they could stay until August 1st, which we declined because we have contractors lined up all this week.
This morning (day we are supposed to get the keys) my agent gets a message saying they won't be able to leave for "at least a week".
These are the SELLERS -- they have our money and the house! Has anyone ever had this? Any advice? Thanks in advance!

I had a deal like this last year except in mine case we built a contingency into the contract, that if Seller's new home finish was delayed, they would then start paying a premium rental charge. So if you can't get them to leave immediately (I'll assume they will be leaving when their new home is ready so this is not going to be a permanent thing), then I would press hard for additional compensation for letting them stay in the house. Just as in my case, it would be a much higher rate than simple normal rent, it would compensate you for all your extra costs and inconvenience. Seems as if you should have a strong negotiating position since they are in breach of the original terms. 

Any trouble collecting the premium rent? This lady is saying she has no money. It's such a crazy story but she sold the house along with her son/step son who was a rep of the husband's estate. So she is trying to move in to low-income housing and is waiting for an "appointment ". (This is based on what little info we have).
We did tell her that we needed a rent check & extension of the agreement by the end of the day, or the keys. But all communications are through her agent so still waiting to hear back.
Also, since docs were signed all around and it went into escrow and we got a closing date we have been driving by the property. Not only have they NOT moved anything, they've added two satellite dishes, a broken down motorcycle, lawn chairs, and kids toys/scooters to the property. There is absolutely no sign of anyone preparing to move.
I have contacted a real estate attorney but would love any additional advice/thoughts!

start the eviction process now. if they are adding junk to the property, they may not really be intending to leave. you will have to start eviction process now to be on the safe side. the law is on your side, since you have a contract.

this may not help you know, but I have heard of people who allow sellers to stay past closing, but in the contract the title company keep a portion of the proceeds of the sale until house becomes vacant to ensure seller leaves. if seller does not leave, that money is used for eviction.

The seller has become your tenant and need to be paying rent.  I have had this situation and the money should come out of the proceeds from the sale.  In your case, an eviction seems will be necessary to get them out.

Call 911 and say you have intruders that have locked themselves inside and won't come out.  Have your property deed showing you are the owner.  Get it on camera.

This is a common scam that sellers will use to draw out their stay for as long as possible after closing. They never had any intension of leaving voluntarily. Do not agree to any extensions. File for a eviction immediately.

As others have said, I would start the eviction process asap. You don't know how long they actually want to drag this out and live for free. You can always cancel the process if they do end up moving out in a timely manner. Or you could offer cash for keys if you have some extra money to get them out quick.

I believe at this point they may have tenant rights depending on your state, so it won't be as easy as kicking them out.

Originally posted by @Andrea Bailey :

Any trouble collecting the premium rent? This lady is saying she has no money. It's such a crazy story but she sold the house along with her son/step son who was a rep of the husband's estate. So she is trying to move in to low-income housing and is waiting for an "appointment ". (This is based on what little info we have).
We did tell her that we needed a rent check & extension of the agreement by the end of the day, or the keys. But all communications are through her agent so still waiting to hear back.
Also, since docs were signed all around and it went into escrow and we got a closing date we have been driving by the property. Not only have they NOT moved anything, they've added two satellite dishes, a broken down motorcycle, lawn chairs, and kids toys/scooters to the property. There is absolutely no sign of anyone preparing to move.
I have contacted a real estate attorney but would love any additional advice/thoughts!

This sounds a little more (or perhaps a lot more) serious than I initially thought and my parenthetical about this not being a permanent problem is therefore perhaps not valid. My situation was totally amicable, and the Seller's kept their word throughout. 

I can say this, which may not do you any good now. But when we added the contingency clause for an over stay to the original deal we also made them pay 2 months worth of advance premium rent as a deposit, refundable to the extent of the time they did not over stay. They ultimately were out in about 3+ weeks, so they got back about 5 weeks of the premium rent.

For future reference, this is why we do a final walkthrough within hours of closing.  

If there is unexpected damage from the sellers moving out or people still occupying it, we either don't close (if delivering the property vacant was a condition of sale) or we do a holdback of funds in whatever amount it would take for repairs or eviction.

And some people say that we real estate agents don't bring any value to the table....   :-)

These are all amazing and helpful replies-- thanks so much. The seller has agreed to pay rent (somewhat elevated) and gave us a move out date of between Aug 1-15th. I asked for all of August rent up front, pro-rated to the day they move out. They agreed. Is there anything I should put in the agreement about damages/stuff left behind?
The house is a disgustingly dirty and we are going to completely rehab it.

What do you do in a case like this where the seller vacates, but their adult child refuses to leave, doesn't come to the door or respond to notices to vacate the property, and uses the house as a drug den? Asking for a friend. ;)