What happens if a seller doesn’t move out by the possession date?

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2023 | Real Estate

Buying residential real estate in Mississippi is a relatively slow process. First, hopeful buyers have to find the right property. Then they need to make an offer tempting enough to catch the eye of the seller. Then, there will be appraisals, inspections and sometimes even surveys that need to happen before the closing.

Even after closing, there will often be weeks before a buyer get to take possession of the property. They will likely plan to move in as soon as possible and start making their new house a home. Unfortunately, sometimes, buyers show up to collect their keys or with a rental truck loaded with their possessions, only to find that the seller is still living in the home.

What happens when someone who sells a piece of real estate in Mississippi does not exit the property by the possession date?

Buyers may need to enforce post-closing occupancy agreements

Many real estate offers include specific terms for this exact scenario. Their real estate agent will include details in the offer they submit outlining the financial obligations of the seller if they remain in the property past the possession date. Often, the daily rental amount will need to exceed what it costs to rent a hotel or motel room in the area to motivate someone to vacate the property as soon as possible.

Ideally, the buyers can then have a lawyer send a written notice to the seller warning them that they are incurring daily costs and must vacate the property as soon as possible. The buyers can then demand payment for those post-closing occupancy fees as a means of compensating them for the inconvenience of the seller remaining at the property.

They may need to evict the seller

The worst-case scenario when a seller does not leave the property to allow the buyer to take possession may lead to a formal eviction. The buyers may need to go to court and secure legal assistance in their efforts to remove the seller from the premises.

When successful, an eviction will result in a set date, after which the new owners can remove the seller’s possessions from the property and change the locks. No one purchasing real estate in Mississippi wants to experience that kind of headache when buying a new home.

Drafting a very thorough offer, possibly with the support of an attorney rather than just an agent, and learning more about real estate laws, may benefit those facing unanticipated struggles when purchasing real property in Mississippi.

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