I’ve been at this for nearly 15 years. Never had an issue with either of the things below. Until recently. Both were so bad that I am just not going to ever do them again.
1. A Post Closing Occupancy Agreement. I don’t like these at all. Never have, but in some situations they can help you get the house in multiple offers. There is always risk though. I’ve had dozens go okay. They usually do. But not this time.
I had a buyer for a townhouse. We had agreed to possession with deed, meaning the seller is out by the closing. About a week before closing, the listing agent tells me that the seller doesn’t have the cash to move. This seller has equity and will be able to pay movers after the closing. As much as I didn’t liked being boxed into a situation, if the seller didn’t have the money, they don’t have the money. We agreed to let the seller stay for 2 days.
The seller was supposed to have been out. They moved out on time. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that they left about 20% of their stuff at the house. NEVER AGAIN!
2. A contingency to sell contract. I have never liked these either, but sometimes, especially in a slow market or with a house that is tough to sell, you’ve gotta entertain them. The problem is that most are written in a way that assumes once the buyer’s house sells, it will remain sold.
I just had a situation where we had a buyer who wanted one of my listings but needed to sell their old house in order to buy. The buyer’s house sold. We thought we were in good shape. Then it fell apart. Even after involving a really good real estate attorney, it was unclear what needed to happen next. Did we still have a contract? Did we not? Nobody knew. What made it worse was that the buyer still reaaaaaaally wanted the house and was trying to hold it hostage as they grasped at straws to find a way to get it.
If I ever have to take one of these again, I think I will add some verbiage that says something like if the buyer’s sale falls apart prior to closing, the seller has the option of voiding the contract immediately.