Staying out of trouble with property access

by | Dec 29, 2023 | Attorney Resources, Client Resources

This information is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

Image of a two story house interior of the living room

When a home is ordered by the court or agreed to be sold in a divorce proceeding, there are some common issues that divorcing homeowners should be aware of to stay out of trouble, and for attorneys to be aware of when drafting agreements or requesting orders, to ensure a smooth transaction. This is especially important if either spouse is resisting or fears the sale, or feels motivated to delay or hinder the transaction.

In every real estate transaction, there are generally two contracts the owners enter into:

1) a Listing Agreement with the brokerage, and

2) a Purchase Agreement with the buyers.

Each contract comes with its own terms and timelines.

Showings

Divorcing couples might have concerns about privacy and protecting personal belongings. They may also have conflicting financial or strategic interests when selling the property. Creating a plan for property access, including agreed-upon showing schedules, guidelines for maintaining privacy, and methods for resolving conflicts can help facilitate the sale process. 

Inspections / Appraisals

A Seller has a contractual duty to make the house available for inspections, including appraisals. Per contract, buyers have a right to inspect the property, and a loan usually requires an appraisal. If one Seller does not allow access (inadvertently or purposely) to the property within the contractual timeframe, this could put them both in breach of the contract. 

Occupancy

There is a clear date and time that possession is turned over to the buyer. Sellers may not simply notify the buyers that they’ll “need more time,” without buyer agreement. Delayed occupancy is not a unilateral decision; and this could put sellers in breach as well.

Part of my role as a CDRE®️ is to anticipate these potential obstacles before they occur, using a proven listing method/strategy to protect everyone’s interests and equity, and avoid unnecessary conflict. Please feel free to reach out and schedule a call with me today!

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