Sellers’ concurrent deal hits an escrow snag — what should their next move be?


Q: We are buying a new home contingent upon selling our existing residence. The new-home salespeople led us to believe purchasing one of the model homes in move-in condition allows for a short escrow period. We sold our current residence in the Bay Area 14 days later with a 21-day escrow. Now we are getting the runaround as to when we can close escrow on the new home. Additionally, the internet, phone and utility companies do not yet have this new house listed on their computers to order services.

Interim housing with our belongings in storage has been a foregone conclusion. My spouse and I work from home and require heavy internet use. My wife started a new job. We will not be able to work from a typical extended-stay hotel or temporary rental. A few days away from work would be acceptable; being unable to work from home for a week or two will not go unnoticed by our employers.

What negotiating power do people like us have during concurrent sales?

A: The Bay Area agents involved in selling your existing home can discuss a short-term rent-back agreement. Meaning, you become a seller in possession of the house after the close of escrow. This process allows the sellers to obtain the cash proceeds from the sale of their home before they start packing their belongings. Sellers who wish to stay in their home after the close of escrow should use the California Association of Realtors form Seller License To Remain In Possession Addendum (C.A.R. Form SIP).

The buyer of your existing home might also agree to delay closing the escrow for a week or two. However, that’s seven to 14 additional days when a home sale could fall apart for many reasons. If that happens your property is stigmatized, the purchase of your new home is firmly in jeopardy and selling at or over list price becomes highly unlikely.

Buying and selling homes simultaneously over four decades is one of my specialties. I’ve learned what’s paramount is getting the down payment out of my clients’ existing home. Everything else pales in comparison. Employers know this, too. I’ve never heard of an employer who was not accommodating to employees buying or selling a house, especially if they are doing both.

Questions? Realtor Pat Kapowich is a Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager and career-long consumer protection advocate. Contact Pat at 408-245-7700, [email protected] DRE# 00979413




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