Buyer moving in pre closing

I have a contract on a rehab house. The Buyer needs to move in before the closing. The Buyer is using her own lender and from what I understand she has qualified (my realtor has talked to the lender). I don’t normally let someone move in before closing but its sounds like this lady needs some help. I will have her sign a lease. Should I require a deposit? Any other suggestions on how to protect myself would be appreciated.

Howdy G-manpoke:

Get a huge deposit. What is the down payment she is making to buy the house? Have all the inspections been done? We had a deal recently fall apart because the first time home buyer was scared to death of the inspection report.

The buyer recently went through a divorce. Apparently the former husband was sexually assulting the oldest child from a previous marriage. The buyer gets $15K in cash but has to give up the house ($15K will be the down payment sales price is $68K so over 20%down). She has to move out by Aug 20. She want to move into my house starting Aug 6. To my knowledge she has not done a home inspection. The contract calls for the buyer to complete a home inspection within 7 business days of the contact (that time has past). Termite inspection will occur this next week (dont anticipate any problems). Appraisal will be complete the following week. I don’t anticipate any problem with the appraisal either, sales price is basically at the tax accessed value. The closing should occur before Aug 20 but after Aug 6 (the day she wants to start moving in). Should I have her move the utilities to her name?

Howdy G-manpoke:

Yes get her to pay for the utilities. Yes family violence is horrible. I know you want to help but do not get hurt yourself in the process. I just recently helped a down and out guy get back on his feet and he ended up stealing about $3000 in rent and all my tools and some appliances as well. I trusted him way too much. Hope this helps some

The main reason not to rent before closing is that the buyer sees all of ‘warts’ that a property has…

If all of the contigencies have been removed and she has a large down-payment already in escrow, I would go ahead but with a separate lease/deposit. If there are still contigencies and she discovers something she doesn’t like, she could use the contigency to weasel out of the sale.

ALL of the utilities should be in her name within a day or so (state that in the lease)…


Thanks Ted and Keith. My gut says make her wait till closing to move in. My heart say let her move in before closing. I guess I’ll listen to my gut and be an A-hole.