“Last time I sold my home, I moved out the day we were supposed to close and got burned. The buyer had loan problems and the closing was delayed for 3 weeks. I got stuck making payments on an empty condo. Now I’m planning to sell my house and want to protect myself so it doesn’t happen again. What do you suggest?”
#1- TIME IN AFTER CLOSING
Try to negotiate extra time in the home after closing. This is in case there’s a delay, so you’re not packed and moving out before you know for sure if you’ll close. I routinely advise my clients to ask for 72 hours in the home after closing for precisely the reason you stated.
Or you could request to rent back the home for a week or so, usually paying the buyer the greater of fair market rent or the buyer’s payment.
For various reasons, not all homebuyers will agree. But many will.
#2- EXPERIENCED AGENT
Use an experienced agent with a sharp team who together manage your sale closely. Rarely are sales suddenly delayed on the scheduled closing date without warning. Odds are that your agent should have seen warning signs and told you of a possible delay so you didn’t move out. To be fair, agents can’t guarantee an on-time closing, nor do they always know of delays before they happen.