What happens if a seller isn’t out by your possession date?

| Dec 13, 2019 | Real Estate Transactions |

You finally found the house of your dreams here in Florida. You are no doubt eager to start making memories at your new place, but waiting is usually part of most real estate transactions. The seller usually has a few weeks or even a couple of months before they need to move out of the house.

Negotiating the possession date for the home is usually one of the important considerations in a home purchase transaction. The seller may need to purchase a new property or make arrangements to move their possessions. Setting an official date gives both the buyer and the seller the ability to plan and make necessary arrangements. Sadly, sometimes, the buyers show up ready to get their keys, only to learn that the seller isn’t ready to leave.

Reviewing your offer and purchase agreement is the first step.

If the seller claims they have the right to be there, you will need to look carefully at your paperwork to make sure you didn’t misunderstand the possession date. You may have counted out from the day of the offer, not from the date of closing.

However, it is also possible that the seller simply hasn’t made arrangements for themselves and now doesn’t have somewhere else to go. While that is very unfortunate for them, that can also be a very big problem for you. You deserve access to the home you’ve paid for and purchased.

Your purchase agreement or offer should include a per diem charge for any extra days that the seller stays in the property. Setting it to a high figure, such as $100 or more per day, better motivates the seller to leave on time. Once you confirm the date you should have had possession and the amount you can charge per day, you can initiate legal action if necessary.

The courts can evict the seller and order them to pay for their stay.

Although no one wants to have to actually enforce their real estate agreements, sometimes it is necessary to go to the courts. Such proceedings can result in an order for the seller to vacate the premises or with help in evicting them. Additionally, you can ask the courts to order the seller to pay the amount agreed on per day for the time that has passed since your date of possession.