Am I inconveniencing sellers too much??

sun2007February 14, 2013

We close escrow next week on a new home purchase.
There is major remodeling work to be done so we've been asking the sellers to come into the house (they currently still live in it), with contractors, designers, architects, etc.

I'd like to hit the ground running as much as possible so just trying to get as much prep work, hiring of people, etc done now.

But my agent has been making me feel like I'm asking too much to be going in about once a week.

Am I being unreasonable? What are you supposed to do in this situation?

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Personally, I would wait until escrow closed. As a seller, I would have too much to do and really do not want people popping in and out, not knowing anything about them. I would be packing, and things could be in a mess. I probably would not allow it.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:34PM
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I would not allow it either.

It is not your house, yet....

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:27PM
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You close in a week, I would wait. I think it would be rude to have people coming in and discussing "improvements" to someone else's house. For the next week you can surely keep busy picking out appliances, materials, colors, etc.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:34PM
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Sorry everyone, wasn't clear with all the details.

We close next week and then they are renting back for 30 days. So they haven't started packing yet.

I've been interviewing architects and kitchen designers and interior designers, and they all want to see the house. Once I've hired the right people, plans will be drawn up and then I need to get contractors in there to get bids. I haven't hired anyone yet, no plans have been drawn yet.

I am hoping to get the needed people hired and contractor walk throughs done now before it gets closer to their move out date, when they will be busy packing etc. Plus I'd like to get everything as finalized as possible during this time so we can spend those last weeks not bothering them and I can pick out finishes, etc then.

These are just my thoughts, all this advice is greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:52PM
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I would wait until I have the house keys in my hand. Then it becomes your house. You are asking to much of the sellers at this time. That and the fact if you wanted to start right away, way did you agree to a rent back for the sellers? NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:30PM
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Once the house is yours, I think you can arrange for all those people to see it. Until it is yours, I think you need to limit how many times/how long you visit it. Yes, you are in a hurry to get things started, but the house is not yet yours.

After you have closed on the house, you should follow landlord/tenant law in your area, which usually means that you have to give at least 24 hours notice before you or your representatives enter the house.

And I'd ask the tenants what would be a good time, or give them the choice between two times/days. They are still living there, their belongings are still there, they may want to be there when strangers are in their home, or may want to leave when you are there, or may have plans, such as a birthday party, farewell dinner for friends, etc. As much as possible, you should try to accommodate their requests for the timing of your visits.

And I think you should keep the visits to a minimum. There's no good reason to irritate the sellers, so don't visit every day. Try to group the designers and such together as much as possible. Or stagger their visits on the same day. But more than one visit a week, or 4 total for the month that they are renting, would be, IMO, intrusive.

Yes, you will be the owners of the house at that point. But tenants have rights too, and one of them is usually that the owner of the property can't bother them by constantly entering the property.

Bottom line, the house isn't yours yet. You can ask to visit it, but shouldn't push too hard.

Other bottom line: By renting it back for 30 days, you have limited your access to the house for those 30 days. Yes, you own it. But you will have to balance your wish to get in there and get started on changes with the tenants' rights to privacy in their home--because as long as they are renting it, it is still their home. Your house, their home.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:34PM
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Why is it even a question?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:14PM
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Until they move out, stop this crazy nonsense. Before I moved out of my apartment (I know, different situation), management insisted on entering for an extensive preventive maintenance check. It involved instructions to remove everything out from under the sinks, unrestricting access to several areas of the space, and of course locking up/removing pets, and on top of it all, they just gave me the day, not the time. I was in the process of moving, with boxes everywhere, and the last thing I wanted to do was take the time to move everything to their specifications.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:53PM
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Since you asked: From what you've described, yes!

Bad karma to be so over-involved in your stuff to exclusion of what this transition may mean to the sellers, in both practical and psychic terms.

For different reasons during the pre-escrow and then during the rent-back period, it isn't functionally your house.

Wait til it is. It's hard enough to coordinate interviews and visits with potential architects, tradesman and designers when you have full access to the space. Give everybody a break and wait.

You can use this time by visiting the clients/work sites of those you may want to work with. That's very useful info to have and often gets lost in the push to hire and get going.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 12:24AM
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When engaging in any sort of business deal (renting, purchasing a property) it's best to keep boundaries very clear and stick to them. Be very scrupulous about doing that and you won't have unintended consequences down the line (or not as many lets say). You don't want the other person to get the idea that boundaries are murky or open to interpretation or don't matter.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 8:50AM
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YUP! come in to measure furniture - sure.

Set up a bunch of contractors etc. Please - think about this from their perspective - it's bad enough to have to have contractors come over when it's you're own work - when it's someone else's. . .ugh.

Do them a favor and own the home first. After you rent it try not to be an over burdensome landlord.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:35AM
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I have to agree. I think one time to measure is fine to ask for, not lots of visits. I'm surprised that they just haven't told you so.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 7:15PM
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If I were the sellers, I would have put a stop to it after the 1st request for the simple reason it is not your house - yet. It seems very selfish on your part to impose on these people like that. Maybe they've agreed because they are afraid to say "no" in case you get mad and walk, but it's still asking a lot. Are you inconveniencing the sellers too much? Yes.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:24PM
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Yes. It is unreasonable to inconvenience them now for the simple reason you don't want to be inconvenienced later. Wait until they move out to do anything else and send them flowers or a gift cert to thank them for their accommodating your earlier requests.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:44AM
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As someone who sold a house within the past year? I'd have been happy to help you in any way I could. Our buyers did come to the house a few times that weren't really part of the selling process.

In this case, you surely have a way to contact the sellers directly, don't you? Why don't you ASK THEM how they feel. Everyone's different. We and our sellers communicated a lot directly, skipping the agents. I suspect, the person you're reallin inconveniencing is the AGENT who is getting tired of setting up your visits.

Me? as I said, I'd have been delighted to help you get YOUR new house to the point where YOU will love it as much as I did when it was mine.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:27AM
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You know what? Nobody you've been talking to, included on these forums, have an opinion that matters one whit. I'd say to not ask OUR advice on the matter, nor the agents involved, but rather go ask the SELLERS their opinion.

Some sellers may be totally THRILLED that you are buying their house and will bend over backwards to ensure you get through the transaction happy and totally satisfied. Others may have an opinion that you should stay away until the papers are signed and the ink has dried. Yet others may be OK with it on some level, but have certain boundaries they'd like you to observe (not after hours, only come in during weekday AM's, etc.).

Ultimately, its between you and the sellers to work out any and all arrangements you wish. I once sold a home during December to a young family and they really wanted to be in it by Christmas. Some financing snags occurred and we didn't close until December 27th. We had already moved out most of our furniture prior to the holiday, so I invited the father to come over, set up his tree and decorations in the house and he and his family came over Christmas morning and opened their presents in their "new" (mostly empty) home. The wife and I even cooked Christmas dinner for them.

27 years later, we are still very close friends and often vacation together.

Selling a home is so much more than a transaction. Keep that in mind when you are asking for favors of are entering their home, not yours (yet), and its their opinion and rules that matter most.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 2:18PM
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I think it is an incovenience and found it so when we were selling our home. I allowed it twice but stopped it when contractors were climbing in the attic, crawl space, roof. We had gone through inspection and these contractors came across some issues we didn't know were there, nor were they found during inspection.

It created problems between us and the sale actually fell through.

We were inconvenienced for hours at a time. It is unfair on many levels.

Buy the house and then do your work.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:15PM
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We close next week and then they are renting back for 30 days.

In that case, they are your tenants and the usual state laws on landlord notification of entry and the tenant's expectation of privacy and peaceful enjoyment of the premises apply.

Unless you put access for contractors in the rental agreement, you really have no legal right to be in there for your convenience.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 9:25PM
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