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February 27, 2018 • Stay Connected!

QUESTION:  If seller retains possession after closing, what is seller's obligation with respect to giving buyer a key at closing and condition of the property?

ANSWER:  Form 21 controls both of these questions. First, when the parties sign Form 21 and agree to possession on a date other than closing, the parties also agree that they will sign either Form 65A, for buyer's early possession or Form 65B, for seller's delayed possession. Form 65 A and B, however, do not address these issues.
Rather, Form 21 controls both of the questions asked. Form 21 requires seller to give buyer keys to the property at the time of closing. If seller retains possession after closing, then at closing, buyer becomes seller's landlord. A landlord is entitled to have keys and access to the property landlord owns. Buyer's/landlord's right of access to the property is controlled and limited by the Landlord/Tenant Act but buyer is unquestionably seller's landlord and as such, is entitled to possession of keys to the property.
Form 21 also says that seller agrees to maintain the condition of the property from the date of mutual acceptance through the date of buyer's POSSESSION. Seller is not just liable for the condition of the property through closing. Seller is liable for the condition of the property through the date of possession. If damage is done to the property between closing and buyer's possession, seller is responsible.
If the parties need assistance understanding the terms of the PSA, broker should advise her client to seek legal counsel.  


The Legal Hotline Lawyer does not represent Washington REALTORS or its members. To browse through our database of past Q & A's, visit Attorney Annie Fitzsimmons writes the Legal Hotline Question and Answer of the Week. Please submit questions to . Please tell us your NRDS number when you e-mail the Hotline with your question.


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(updated every Thursday)  Source:  Freddie Mac
 February 22, 2018  30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.40%  3.85%  3.65%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.75

 February 15, 2018  30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.38%  3.84%  3.63%
 Fees & Points  0.6
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.75

 February 8, 2018  30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.32%  3.77%  3.57%
 Fees & Points  0.6
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.75

 February 1, 2018  30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  4.22%  3.68%  3.53%
 Fees & Points  0.5
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.75

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