Seller Leaves Belongings Behind. You’ve been patiently waiting to move into your new home. The day has finally arrived! You turn the key to open your new home only to find the seller’s belongings left behind. And I don’t mean a cool lampshade or a piece of art you could work into your decore’. I mean three queen size mattress, old cleaning products under the sink, and a broken desk. What does a buyer to do? The home is technically yours now but the seller’s Realtor has promised to remove the items his client left behind.
Has this happened to you? What’s your recourse? In the Purchase and Sale Agreement in residential sales, the Optional Clauses states that any personal property, fixtures, or other items remaining on the property when property is transferred shall become the property of the buyer. However, seller agrees to clean the interiors of any structures, and remove all trash, debris, and rubbish on the property before buyer takes possession.
Even conducting a walk through of the property before closing unfortunately cannot prepare you for what could happen: three queen size mattresses in the garage that were promised to be removed. Bottom line: what’s in the house when the buyer takes possession is the new home owner’s responsibility. And although it’s an extra trip to the dump for you, getting the crawl space dug out or the electrical panel to code at the expense of the seller is far more important than that broken desk discretly discarded in the driveway of your new home.
Top 5 Selling Improvements On A Budget: You should know putting a new roof or stainless steel appliances in the kitchen won’t necessarily sell your home faster and you definitely won’t recoup the cost.
So what does help improve our home when it’s up for sale that won’t cost an arm and a leg?
Number 1: CLEAN UP. I mean take your home to the next level. Hire a pro and give it a deep cleaning. Remember how great it looks and smells afterwards? Keep that up with a weekly clean (either you or a pro) and it will really pay off with first impressions. Also make small repairs, ie: broken outlets, door latches, flaws that the buyer views as signs of deeper problems.
Number 2: STORE YOUR CLUTTER. $100 a month for a storage unit (or a good friend or relative’s use of their garage) to store those holiday decorations, extra kitchen pots and pans, arts and crafts, and extra clothes in the closets. It will make your house look bigger, brighter, and more valuable.
Number 3: TIDY THE YARD. Again, first impressions and curb appeal. It’s not necessary to uproot the junipers and jack hammer the cement pathway. Simple put color spots or planters in empty places, rip out any weeds and mow any grass.
Number 4: PAINT. Interior and exterior. It’s likely to cost less for you to do it before selling. You’ll recoup more in the long run.
Number 5: REPLACE HARDWARE: Instead of remodeling that kitchen, just paint cupboards and pick out new hardware.
For most, the value added is a mere fraction of the cost. So it’s in your best interest to do these small steps above by honing in on attention to detail for a greater return.