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Can You Stay in the House You Just Sold After Closing?

When selling your home, various reasons might make moving out immediately difficult or even impossible. Many people scramble for temporary housing between residences because they are unaware it may be possible to remain in the house they have sold after the closing date, provided some negotiation occurs before signing the papers. Contact Taub and Bogaty to arbitrate this agreement to ensure a stress-free transition between homes.

Consider a Use and Occupancy Clause

Use and occupancy clauses, also called occupancy agreements, leaseback, or seller rent-back, are agreements that the seller or the buyer can use to negotiate a real estate transaction. This clause grants the intended party the right to move into or remain on the property. For example, a signed use and occupancy agreement can allow the seller to keep living there beyond the typical 7 - 10 days past closing. This option is beneficial if, after selling your home, you have not found another location to move to and want to avoid making a hasty decision due to panic.

An example of when this type of clause would be appropriate is if your home has become too small due to the addition of children or an aging parent in need of wheelchair accommodation. Your current starter home would seem perfect for a couple starting out, so selling it is easy. However, finding something adaptable to your changing family may take longer than expected. You may not need to scramble if the new buyers have indicated an ability to remain where they are for a period of time. This is the time to have your lawyer create an agreement wherein you can stay where you are until everyone is ready and able to make the move.

The downside to this arrangement for the seller is that the buyer can then ask for concessions during negotiations. Even if delaying the move aligns with the buyer's plans, they will have the advantage in those talks before closing. These concessions can be monetary or involve additional inspections, which can be the same if repairs are necessary. Suppose buyers need to move as soon as possible. In that case, there is a chance they can choose to walk away from the sale altogether when the seller is unable or unwilling to be out at closing. The Use and Occupancy clause may include a rental agreement wherein the seller pays the buyer a certain amount to cover the living expenses they incur by delaying their move to a house they will, in fact, own.

As in most less straightforward situations, it is your best bet to hire experienced real estate attorneys, such as Taub and Bogaty, to handle the details, whether selling or buying.

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