Does a Person Have to be Out of the Home at the Time of Closing?


In general, a seller should be out of the home at the time of the closing. There have been instances where a seller has not been able to accomplish that. If that has gone on for any period of time, there may be a requirement to have a lease back to the purchaser for the time that they were unable to use the property.

Sellers sometimes come to me and ask if they have to be out of the home on the date of closing. Closing represents a transfer of ownership of the property; therefore the seller no longer has a right to be in the property. However, the buyer and seller may negotiate different terms. In the event that the seller is permitted to stay in the property, the buyer and seller should sign a use and occupancy agreement to provide for a certain rent that the seller would pay to the buyer. A more general agreement of sale provides for the vacancy terms, typically that the property needs to be vacated on the date of closing in a broom clean state. A broom clean state need not be spotless; however it needs to be clean enough so the buyer can assess any damage that may have occurred during the seller’s move.

On the date of closing, the buyer is permitted to do a final walk-through in the property so as to inspect and assure that the property is being transferred in the same condition as the time that they agreed upon. It’s helpful to have an attorney with you during the final walk-through because oftentimes buyers run into a problem that the seller leaves behind larger items that are difficult to remove. The attorney will be helpful in assisting with the removal of the property in a fair and equitable way.

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced real estate attorneys throughout the state of New Jersey. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered.