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What happens if the seller won’t leave after you get your keys?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2022 | Real Estate Law

It can be weeks, sometimes well over a month, between when the seller of a piece of real estate accepts your offer and when you get the keys to the property. You may look forward to your possession date for weeks, only to discover a major hurdle between you and your new home.

Sometimes, the seller doesn’t leave before the possession date, making it impossible for the buyers to move in and start living at the property. How can you protect yourself from a seller who doesn’t leave after you purchase real property in Illinois?

Address the issue in your offer

Most purchase agreements or written offers include provisions about the seller’s move-out date. For example, the seller may want to retain possession for a certain number of weeks after closing to give them time to pack and move. Sometimes, they even need to locate a new place to live.

Unfortunately, sometimes issues arise between when a seller signs the closing paperwork and the buyers entitled to start moving into the new home. If the seller can’t find a new place to live or has issues moving into their new property, there should be terms in the original agreement to purchase the property about what happens next.

Typically, the seller will have to pay a certain amount of money for each day that they remain in the property beyond the date when the buyer should take possession. The higher that daily amount, the stronger the incentive for them to get out quickly. If they damage the property while staying there, they may face financial claims from the buyers in civil court.

Civil proceedings may also be necessary to claim the money owed for staying past the possession date. In extreme cases where the seller will not move at all, the new buyer may need to pursue eviction proceedings to remove them from the property.

Protect yourself at every step when buying real estate

You don’t just need legal support when an issue arises during a real estate transaction. You need to recognize and protect yourself from various risks at every stage in the process, including when you first make an offer. Making sure that you protect yourself with the right contingencies and terms when attempting to buy a property will make it easier for you to settle disputes with the seller later.

Getting the right support will make a real estate transaction in Illinois less risky for you and will make addressing a breach of contract easier.