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What happens when a seller won't leave the home?

You spent a lot of time looking for a new home, did your research, found the right place and made an offer. The seller accepted, and you were thrilled -- until moving day came and you realized that the seller still hadn't vacated the place.

What happens now?

Believe it or not, this happens quite often. Sometimes those holdover sellers just aren't finished moving, so instead of the home being in a "broom clean" state, the attic and basement are still packed. Other times, the seller's deal on their next home has fallen through.

Here's how experts recommend that you handle the situation:

1. Check your contract.

You need to be 100% sure that there's no miscommunication on your part. If the seller had a clause that allows them to stay until they close on their next home, you may have to wait things out. Your contract may also specify what happens if the seller isn't out by a certain time. Do they have to pay you rent? Are they charged a daily fee?

2. Try to negotiate.

With luck, the seller is just in a bad spot and will respond to reason. Maybe they need a few more days to finish moving because their movers never showed. If possible, it's usually better to see if you can work out a deal.

3. Take legal action.

If all else fails, you're probably going to have to bring an unlawful detainer lawsuit against the former owner and evict them.

As upsetting as this situation may be, don't try to take any kind of rash action (like throwing out the former seller's stuff on your own and changing the locks). Talk to an attorney about your legal options and how to proceed.

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