Q: My mother has a contract on her house to close on July 8. The buyer wants possession that day. Unfortunately, my husband and I are out of town until July 7 and cannot help her move until after the closing.
What if my Mom moves out and the closing doesn’t happen? Then where are we? Is there any legal way my Mom can have 2 days after closing to get moved? We are willing to rent the house back for 2 days if that’s an option.
A: You need a post-closing possession. That shouldn’t be that difficult to arrange, but, the buyer has to agree to it. If the buyer won’t agree to it, your mother will have to hire a mover to pack her up that day and move her out. If she won’t agree to this, she could lose her sale.
What about moving your mother out before you and your husband leave town? It may be less stressful to help pack her up beforehand, and then simply store the items until her new place is ready.
Your mother should insist, however, that the buyer not take possession until the closing has occurred, even if she has moved out. That way, she won’t run the risk that they will take possession but not pay her the sales price.
If the buyer does agree to a post-closing possession, it’s up to the buyer to determine how much you will be charged for the post-closing possession, which may be a small fee or may be what it actually costs the buyer for his mortgage, taxes, insurance and other daily or expenses. Or, you may be charged nothing, since you only need it for a day or two.
Make sure you’re adequately protected. You should probably consult with a real estate attorney.
Feb. 28, 2001.