Should Sacramento Home Sellers Give Early Possession to Buyers?

pica the cat and early possession

My cat, Pica, has a one-track mind when it comes to communicating what he wants. His focus is crystal clear, because he asks for only one thing. It’s never food nor treats nor pets nor playtime that he begs for, perhaps because those requests are often ignored, especially when I am working, which is most of the day for at least 5 days a week. The one thing that he truly wants above all else in life is to go outside, and that’s the one thing he cannot do. Fortunately, he is not traumatized by his inability to access the forbidden and, after I acknowledge his efforts, he will realize defeat and go roll happily in a sunny spot.

The funny part is if he does slink outside, soon as he is outside he wants to come back inside. After he gets what he thinks he wants, he doesn’t want it anymore. I don’t want him stolen or lost or runover by a car or beat up by skunks, so he stays in the house. We once let him out on our back steps, where we could supervise, but he stooped to give a ride to those hitchhiking fleas with their little flea thumbs stuck out — which quickly spread throughout the house and to our other 2 cats. That’s when the law was laid down — no outside. Ever. Period. End of Story.

There are some things in life that are just not a good idea to do. Like sticking a fork in an electrical outlet to see what happens or giving a home buyer early possession.

An agent called last week to ask if her buyers could have early possession of a home, prior to closing. This particular home is a Bank of America FHA short sale, which means it will take a long time to get approval, even after receipt of the Approval to Participate. The tenants moved out, the home is empty, and the buyers would like to move in and rent back from the seller.

Apart from the fact there can be no agreements between the parties that are not disclosed to the bank, and apart from the fact the seller cannot make a profit in a short sale, early buyer possession is a bad idea. I’ve been in this business almost 40 years, and there is rarely a benefit to early possession for the seller. There is liability, tons of it, and there is also the possibility the buyer might decide after moving in that the home, for whatever reason, that the home is not to the buyer’s liking.

When I represent the seller, the time we want a buyer to realize that maybe the purchase was not right is after the transaction has closed, and the buyer’s feet are up on the coffee table in front of the television in the living room of the home that now belongs 100%, hook, line and sinker, to the buyer.

If you’re interested in finding out how much your home is worth today, call your Sacramento real estate agent, Elizabeth Weintraub, at 916.233.6759.

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