in Missouri, is possession transferred at closing?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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in Missouri, is possession transferred at closing?

All the paperwork was signed and keys were handed to me. When I went
to the house with my belongings I found the previous owner and all her
property still in the house.

The selling realtor, on her own, decided to give the former owner seven
more hours in the house without consulting either myself or my agent. I
spoke with the selling broker, who laughed and said, ‘It’s not our problem

The former owner also left stuff in the house and yard which has taken
several hours to clean out and dump. What can I charge the previous
owner for?

Asked on August 7, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In theory, you could sue the former owner for your actual out-of-pocket costs (e.g. for a dumpster; for carting; for a professional cleaning service, if such was required, etc.). In theory, you might also sue for 7 hours worth of occupancy of your home: e.g. if your monthly carrying costs (mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities) are $3,000 per month or $100 per day, could sue for around 1/3 of that, or another $30, for the third of a day they occupied the home (i.e. for the value of the use and occupancy). You cannot recover for your own time, effort or inconvenience: the law does not provide compensation for those things. That is why we write "in theory": it is not likely worth your time or the cost to sue over what you can sue for.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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