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Do home buyers need a post-closing occupancy agreement?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Real estate transactions

There are many different contractual inclusions that can protect those purchasing a new home. Home buyers may add contingencies to their offers in case they need to back out of the sale or add other terms that protect them during the complex transaction.

The right terms in a purchase agreement can make a major difference for prospective home buyers. Some of the terms that buyers may need to negotiate include the price for the property, what fixtures and furniture the seller leaves behind and the occupancy date.

Occasionally, sellers may want to remain in an Arizona home even after the date of closing. The current real estate market sometimes makes such arrangements necessary. A post-closing occupancy agreement is a crucial form of protection for those who know that a seller may not leave the property by the closing date.

What is a post-closing occupancy agreement?

As the name implies, a post-closing occupancy or post-possession agreement is essentially a short-term rental arrangement. It allows the seller to remain in the home even when they are no longer technically the owner of the property.

Arizona real estate professionals often warn their clients about the many risks of such arrangements. Sellers can damage the property while living there after closing. They may agree to pay a daily rate to remain in the home and then refuse to pay that amount to the buyer. The seller may not leave by the agreed-upon date, leaving the buyer without housing.

If someone intends to execute a post-closing occupancy agreement with the seller, they need to be very careful about what terms they include to ensure that the agreement is enforceable and valid. In extreme cases, buyers may actually need to evict the previous owner if they don’t leave willingly. That may then snowball into secondary legal proceedings when the buyer seeks payment for the time that the seller remained in the property or reimbursement for any damages they caused.

There are many issues that buyers can protect themselves from with the right paperwork and legal support during a residential real estate transaction. Exploring the various challenges of buying Arizona residential real estate can help people determine what documents they need when preparing to buy a home.