Can I sell my house before evicting a squatter?

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Can I sell my house before evicting a squatter?

Kids inherited dad’s house, There a squatter there. Can they sell the house

if he doesn’t leave?

Asked on June 4, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can: there is no law saying that a house must be sold empty. A house can be sold with an occupant, in which case the buyer takes on the responsibiity of removing him. However, you can't make someone buy a house with a squatter: you have to make it worth his/her while, so you'd typically have to give a substantial price reduction to attract a buyer and make him or her agree to undertake this--it's likely to be well worth it to remove the squater yourself. The process to do so is slightly "technical" in that a procedural error can force you to start over, but is otherwise straightforward: hire a landlord-tenant attorney to help you. 
Note that if you enter into a contract to sell the house which states that it will be sold empty, then you'd have to remove the squatter or else be in breach of contract and subject to being sued--or having the sale terminated for the breach.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can: there is no law saying that a house must be sold empty. A house can be sold with an occupant, in which case the buyer takes on the responsibiity of removing him. However, you can't make someone buy a house with a squatter: you have to make it worth his/her while, so you'd typically have to give a substantial price reduction to attract a buyer and make him or her agree to undertake this--it's likely to be well worth it to remove the squater yourself. The process to do so is slightly "technical" in that a procedural error can force you to start over, but is otherwise straightforward: hire a landlord-tenant attorney to help you. 
Note that if you enter into a contract to sell the house which states that it will be sold empty, then you'd have to remove the squatter or else be in breach of contract and subject to being sued--or having the sale terminated for the breach.


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