In the sale of a home, what are the buyer’s rights to having access to the home they are purchasing prior to closing?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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In the sale of a home, what are the buyer’s rights to having access to the home they are purchasing prior to closing?

I have been made a cash offer on my home and the buyer has asked certain things. First, prior to inspection to enter the home without myself being present with a contractor. I replied No, however, I gave her access with a contractor during the inspection. Second, now she is asking to enter the home without myself being present so she can come in with a decorator for measuring purposes. She is asking this after being on my property outside without asking permission and brought someone with her. They were in my side yard and perhaps my backyard. I am in the throes of packing and the whole house is torn apart and not clean as it was kept for showings and open houses. I feel like this is an invasion of my privacy and an intrusion on my time. Do I have a right to refuse? She is threatening to withdraw if I refuse.

Asked on June 4, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The buyer has NO rights to be in the home prior to closing unless 1) the contract for the home (or an addenda to it) gives them the right to enter for certain purposes or at certain times, or 2) the owner voluntarily agrees to let them in some times. Otherwise, it's not yet their home--it's still the seller's home until closing--and so they have no entry rights.

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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