seller move out
Should home sellers leave garbage cans full? Well, the contract specifically states the seller shall remove all debris. If we really think about it the seller stops paying the garbage bill when we close escrow. The buyer is responsible for the ongoing garbage bill. I doubt any buyer is happy to push the garbage cans to the curb full of someone else’s garbage.
Another consideration is when buyers move in, they are going to produce packing paper galore and their own garbage from moving in. They really need the garbage cans empty, so they can throw away their own stuff. This is one of the seller’s last steps to close escrow.
I wish there was some sort of handbook, filled with mistakes that rookie agents make, so we could buy this book and gift it to them, but life seems to do a pretty darned good job of preparing them for mistakes through the gift of consequences. It’s a good way for people to remember mistakes and not make them again. Although it can be painful.
Things are not always as logical as one might assume. For example, for some reason, a buyer’s agent thought a home would be vacant for the final walkthrough. The agent believed it would be completely void of personal belongings, including said person. This information was conveyed to the buyer as a matter of fact when it was actually a matter of a big mistake. I suppose when it’s your first deal, you don’t necessarily think through every step or you believe things will happen a certain way, even when they happen a different way.
In times of confusion like this, it’s always a good idea to read the Residential Purchase Contact. Buyer possession is handled on page 4, in paragraph 9 under “Closing and Possession.” By default, the contract gives possession of the home to the buyer on the day of closing at 6 PM. It used to be 5 PM in the old contract but they changed it to 6 PM in the new version released last November. This means the seller retains possession of the property and can keep his or her personal items in the property up until 6 PM on the date it closes.
So. if you’re planning to do a final walkthrough that morning, guess what? The seller may still be living in the home and still in the process of moving out. If that is unacceptable to the buyer, the time to address this is prior to closing, say around the time the contract is presented for acceptance or any time after that, prior to the date of closing. One does not wait until the day it is supposed to close escrow and then decide to ask the seller to vacate the premises earlier. That’s poor planning and likely to backfire.
But that’s why buyers want to hire an experienced agent to help. Buyers deserve an agent who understands buyer possession and can arrange for possession to be delivered in the manner the buyer desires.