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Can Sellers Leave Their Stuff In The Home After Closing

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: We are buying a house and the sellers asked if they can leave some things they don’t want to bring to their new place? Can they do that? Kelly, Lake Hiawatha, NJ

A: It is generally expected that a home be left “broom swept clean” on the day of closing when title is transferred to the new owner. If the seller wants to leave items in the house after they sell, that should have been spelled out in the purchase contract you signed. However, most things are negotiable, so if the seller wants to leave certain items in the home that you now have to move or throw out it’s not unreasonable for you to expect to be compensated in some way for taking on the burden. I strongly suggest that you formalize the agreement to keep some of the seller’s home items in writing. The written agreement should specify exactly which items you will allow to be left in the home. Depending on how much stuff the seller wants to leave you should agree to a specific dollar amount or for a credit from the seller on the purchase price of the home. In all cases, you should do a final walk through of the home on the morning of the closing to make certain that the sellers complied with your written agreement. Thanks for your question, Kelly.

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