Louisville Kentucky Home Insider: "Can I Move In Before Closing?"

"Can I Move In Before Closing?"

Moving Van


I hear this questions a lot. Whether is it from my buyer wanting to move in prior to closing or the cross-selling agent asking for their buyer, I find myself dealing and struggling with this question quite a bit lately.

"Can I Move In Before Closing?"



Situation 1 - My Buyer: The home is vacant, we are past the appraisal and inspection, and everything looks Vacant Homegood for closing that is just a week or so away. They want to know if they can go ahead and start moving some of their belongs in to make "moving day" not so treacherous. I don't see what the big deal is...after all, I want to accommodate my clients in any way possible.

Majority of the time the selling agent says: "Sure, no problem" but recently I had an agent tell me (disgusted) "No way, my client will not do that and I would never advise them to do it!"

Situation 2 - My Seller: The property is vacant or they just moved their belongs to their new house. The buyer is past the appraisal and inspections, and everything looks good for the closing just around the corner. The buyer's agent politely asks, "Would it be okay if my buyer went ahead and started to move their belongs in?"

Naturally I consult with my seller first but a lot of the time they are indifferent. They look to me for the most appropriate answer and since I have never had a problem in the past on either side of the transaction, I tell them it's usually fine and totally up to them.

For the past couple of years this hasn't been an issue...until I had that one agent tell me, "No way, my client will not do that and I would never advise them to do it!" That has been stuck in my head for awhile now. And it got me thinking...

Of course you run the risk financing falls through and the buyer would have to re-moving but even bigger than that....what if the house:House Fire

  • Catches fire?
  • Gets robbed?
  • Storm causes damage?

There are a number of perils you could think of that could potentially occur with someone living in a home they don't actually own just yet. Odds are nothing will happen at all, closing will occur and everyone is just cheery. But odds don't always prevail and you could potentially get your buyer or seller and yourself in quite a predicament.

I definately have a new approach to this question and will start unencouraging this fairly common practice. I wonder what other agents are answering this question?


Sean S. Williams
Licensed Broker, Realtor
®, ABR®, e-Pro®
1st Time Buyer & Relocation Specialist
502.727.9784 cell
Semonin Realtors
of Louisville, Kentucky
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Comment balloon 4 commentsSean Williams • June 23 2011 02:26PM


I would think that wouldn't be a good idea either but, I'll definitely be checking back to see what others have to say also.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) almost 9 years ago

      Years ago we scheduled a Monday closing.   The Buyer wanted to move in over the previous weekend.  Seller said, "Okay".   

        After the Buyer was in, the HVAC "mysteriously" failed.  The Buyer refused to Close until a new HVAC was installed at Seller's expense.

        The Seller threw it back onto our Real Estate Company (we had "both sides").   After consulting with our Lawyer, my Broker and I paid for a new HVAC out of our pockets. 

       Today,  I would not allow Occupancy Prior to Closing, without involving an Attorney, and having all parties Sign a Release of Liability for me, the Broker.

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

There are post contract pitfalls, anything from incorrect information to the discovery of last minute liens and ever thing in between.   It's a Murphy law type of thing.  Granted it is the seller's final decision, so arm them with the consequence of such an action and have both parties sign an addendum that covers early possession of the property. 

Posted by Dee Mayers, San Gabriel Valley, CA almost 9 years ago

Great information...thanks for the advise. This question actually just came up to me AGAIN today. What a coincidence!

Posted by Sean Williams, Your Louisville Realtor (AcklesWilliams of Semonin Realtors) almost 9 years ago