Can a realtor give the buyer a key before the seller closes?

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Can a realtor give the buyer a key before the seller closes?

It stated in the contract that I was to give possession to the buyer by 5pm
8/12/16. they were given a key, and had moved their things in before I signed the
closing papers. I had a few last minute things to do before my closing time, and
was shocked to see them already in there.

Asked on August 13, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally no--not without the seller's consent or agreement. It is your house until closing: that means you, not the realtor, decide on access, posssession, etc. That said, if you did not suffer any loss from this (e.g. they didn't break or steal belongings of yours still left in the house), there is no compenation to which you'd be entitled. And you can't undo the sale for a non-material (essentially unimportant, since it did not harm you) breach. The most you can likely do is to complain about the realtor to his parent company/home office (if any) and/or to your state's realtor licensing board.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally no--not without the seller's consent or agreement. It is your house until closing: that means you, not the realtor, decide on access, posssession, etc. That said, if you did not suffer any loss from this (e.g. they didn't break or steal belongings of yours still left in the house), there is no compenation to which you'd be entitled. And you can't undo the sale for a non-material (essentially unimportant, since it did not harm you) breach. The most you can likely do is to complain about the realtor to his parent company/home office (if any) and/or to your state's realtor licensing board.


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