Pre-Occupancy & Post-Occupancy: What is that?



Pre-Occupancy and post-occupancy are not the norms when it comes to home buying. Sometimes when purchasing your New Orleans home the sellers will ask if they can stay a few extra days/weeks after closing. Other times, we find our buyers in a situation where they are wondering if they can move into the house before the act of sale.

When the buyer needs to move in early, it’s called pre-occupancy.

If the seller needs to stay after the closing, it’s called post-occupancy.


Here at Be New Orleans, we strongly discourage either of these two things from happening. 


Here’s why:

Post-Occupancy: The seller won’t leave. 

Yep. You had a closing, you officially own the home but you let the seller stay longer. Now you’re in a position where the seller refuses to go. Guess what? You can’t just drag them out of the house. You have to go to court and start eviction proceedings to get rid of them. This is not how you want to start your new life in your new home.


Pre-Occupancy: The deal falls through and other situations. 

If you’re the seller and you allow the buyers to move in early – a few things can go wrong.

What if the buyer’s financing falls through? Now you’re stuck with tenants and that’s not what you bargained for.

What if the house burns down? It’s on you, not the buyers. Now you have no house to sell them.


Pre-Occupancy: But, what if they just want to store some items there? 

Eh. We still don’t think it’s a great idea. If something gets damaged, or they get injured moving their items in – it’s still on you. As your New Orleans real estate agent, I will draft a hold harmless addendum for you – this way they buyers are saying you are not responsible for their items you let them stay there before closing. We can also draft an addendum that states if the sale doesn’t go through, they have 24 hours to remove said items.


Have you had anything go wrong with these situations? 


Example 1: Homebuyer grants the seller permission to stay 2 extra days to remove their belongings. Seller, not only, takes the dryer they should have left behind (as per the contract) – BUT the seller also broke a gas line when removing the dryer. The buyer now has no dryer and the gas meter was pulled from the property until a plumber came to fix it.

How it was resolved: The seller had no finished removing all of their belongings. The buyer refused to let them take anything else until they paid for a plumber to fix the broken gas line and the dryer was returned. It was a tense few days, but we got it worked out.


Example 2: Home seller allows the buyers to move in a week early as they had to be out of their apartment. Three days before closing the buyer loses their job and can no longer get qualified to purchase the house. Seller now has a tenant living in the house they want to sell – not rent.

How it was resolved: Luckily, your top New Orleans real estate agents coordinated with a title attorney on how to word the agreement for this pre-occupancy agreement. It stated that if the buyer’s financing fell thru for any reason, they had 48 hours to vacate the property. The buyer left and the seller had to put the house back on the market.


What if this is the only way to make the deal work? 

Yeah. We get that. This isn’t a cut and dry situation since every single real estate deal is different. If we find the only way to make it work is by letting the seller stay longer or letting a buyer in early, we will work it out. Pre-occupancy and post-occupancy are tricky. The most important component is working with a good real estate agent who will draft paperwork that will help resolve any additional issues that can occur.



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