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Does the seller have to leave the home after closing?

| Dec 11, 2020 | Real Estate Law

When you close on your new home, you sign all of the paperwork and then get the keys. The house is yours. If the seller already bought a new home and the house is sitting empty, you may head over right away. 

But what if the seller is still living in the home? Do they have to leave immediately? Or can they stay while they search for a new house?

You may need to negotiate with the seller for rent and other considerations

Technically, that house is now yours and the seller should move out. Odds are they already did. If they haven’t yet, though, they may ask you if they can take some time to move out. 

If you enter these negotiations, get everything in writing. It’s your home, after all. It passed inspection, but what if they cause damage before leaving? Who is responsible? What if they take longer to move out and you can’t move in? There are plenty of potential complications, so you want to have your rights clearly defined in writing. 

In some cases, sellers will agree to sell and then ask to rent the home from the new owners until they find a place to live. This can work, but you need to know exactly how it will work upfront. Even if you don’t think of it as your house yet, you do own that property, and you need a rental agreement to ensure you get paid and that they move out on a set schedule. 

When your home purchase gets complicated, get help

If you’ve involved in a complicated case like this, it can help to work with an experienced legal professional every step of the way. Most real estate deals work out fine — but you do need to protect your rights.