George Clements ~ Greenville, SC Real Estate
Paragraph 9 of the Contract For Sale deals with possession and looks something like this:
9. POSSESSION: Possession of said Property will be given to Purchaser ____at the time of closing, provided any net proceeds of the sale have been dispersed or ______________________________________________. Seller agrees to deliver the Property free of debris and in a clean condition. The Property, including but not limited to landscaping and/or lawn, will be maintained in the same condition from the Effective Date until possession is delivered, ordinary wear and tear excepted.
The first sentence of number 9 is basically just telling when the purchaser will take possession of the property over from the seller. The purchaser takes possession at the time of closing in almost every transaction. If this is the case, the first blank would be checked. If there were some special situation, then the second blank would be filled out.
The last part of the paragraph says that the seller cannot leave a bunch of junk at the house and needs to keep the lawn and yard in good shape. If you went under contract sometime in April and didn't end up closing until May, the seller couldn't just leave the property and let it go until it closed. This prevents knee high grass, angry neighbors, and a mess for the purchaser to clean up after closing.
Ordinary wear and tear means things like a scuff on the wall or stain on the carpet. A purchaser should not be surprised by ordinary wear and tear especially if the seller is still living there right up until the closing.