We do not recommend early occupancy. It opens a can of worms and a lot of problems can come up.
The closing is not guaranteed until all the money is in escrow, and escrow has reported everything to the City and County. This is normally 2 days prior to the actual closing date. So if you are allowing early occupancy 2 days prior to closing you are probably OK. We can check with escrow to verify they can’t pull the recording before you allow the buyers to move in.
However, prior to that, it is very easy for the buyers to decide they don’t want to close, or for the lender to pull the closing because something came up at the last minute such as a job change or job loss. We have seen escrows fall out due to job loss, especially when COVID-19 started and many buyers lost their jobs. We have also seen buyers just change their minds and cancel the escrow.
If anything happens and you do not close, now you have a tenant who hopefully will leave sooner rather than later. They hopefully caused no damage while there, and they hopefully pay you for their time spent in your home. There is a lot of “hoping” things will go right, but plenty of chances things won’t go right and now you have to wait for them to get out until you can relist your property and sell to another buyer.
Other issues could come up once the buyer occupies your property. Maybe the buyer finds the noise level is not acceptable to them, or the commute is longer than they expected. Maybe for some reason, they are just not in love anymore with your property the way they were when they made their offer. That is all it takes for them to cancel the escrow.
In summary, you take all the risks when allowing early occupancy, so it is not something we recommend.