Under these circumstances, the buyer and the seller, through their attorneys, will typically reach an agreement that will either allow the seller to stay in the house past closing, or the buyer to move into the house before closing, as the case may be. Since the circumstances of each situation are quite different, the terms of such an agreement will vary from case to case. In any event, any such agreement should be in writing, signed by both parties and structured in such a way as neither party is required to assume any cost or responsibility which should properly be the obligation of the other party. For example, if the seller remains in the house after closing, the seller is typically required to reimburse the buyer for any mortgage, insurance and tax obligation of the buyer during the seller’s extended occupancy. Similarly, if the buyer takes possession early, the buyer would typically offset the seller’s mortgage, tax and insurance expenses. Various other issues, such as utilities, liability, damages and the like, should also be addressed in an occupancy agreement. Therefore, it is important that your attorney handle the preparation of this agreement. However, this is not always possible and it may be necessary to make alternate arrangements for temporary housing or temporary financing, pending the second closing.