Friday, December 1, 2017

What needs to be removed from a home before the close of escrow?

Sometimes sellers, in their haste to move out, decide to "gift" to the buyers some of their personal property. And when I say "gift" what I really mean is - they can't fit all of their stuff into the U-Haul, or are too lazy to remove the junk from the garage and make that final dump run, or they think because the house wasn't fully cleared out when they bought it as a bank repo they can just leave it in a sub-par state for the new owners. WRONG. Sellers are contractually obligated to remove all debris and personal property prior to closing.

A seller's "gift" is often a buyer's unwanted crap that they then have to remove, donate or dispose of. I recently had a seller client who left all kinds of stuff in the property despite our conversations that they would remove everything and have the home cleaned and ready to go...escrow closed, buyer got the keys and was really upset. And rightfully so.

The buyer's agent called me to make me aware of the situation. Of course I was horrified. I had to have a pretty blunt conversation with my seller (which candidly, I never want to have to do) to emphasize that what they did was not ok and they needed to take responsibility to correct this situation. Needless to say, they paid someone to come and remove the junk-- and probably paid a lot more to have that done on short notice after the fact than they would have if they had proactively done it before they moved out.

A little planning is the key to an less stressful move-out. And I have a lot of go-to people who can help off-haul junk, clean, or whatever. Ask me for help! It is a hectic time for sure. However, a seller's poor planning is absolutely NOT the buyer's fault. And no matter which side of the transaction I am on, I will do my very best to ensure that the property is turned over to the buyers in the condition it should be.

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