From our many years as realtors, those of us at Your Realty Group agree that the main source of frustration when closing day comes around is the condition the home and property are left in. Quite often the buyer takes issue with something about how the seller has left the place.
It’s actually an interesting topic from a legal perspective. If you’d like to know more about the legalities involved, check out the article here. It goes into a fair bit of detail, but the upshot is that unless something specific was written into the sales contract about how the property was to be left or specific things that were supposed to be done, there’s very little a buyer can do. Various remedies have been proposed, but none seem to work especially well.
We (and every other realtor out there, I’m sure) could tell you stories that would make you shake your head.
One of the worst we’ve ever seen was a case where the buyers had written into the contract that the sale was to include the freezer in the basement. The seller had agreed to the condition of course, but when the time came they suddenly decided they couldn’t live without that freezer. So they took it with them and replaced it with another freezer—one they must have found at the dump. I’m sure you know the kind I mean. It smelled terrible, had a frayed electrical cord, and was covered in dents and scratches. It wasn’t even the same colour as the freezer they were supposed to leave behind. To make matters worse, the sellers also took all the blinds and window coverings with them—even though the buyers had written those items into the contract as goods to be included in the sale. Needless to say there was a lot of work that day for the one of us who was representing both the buyer and the seller in the deal. (See note at article’s conclusion*.)
Collectively those of us at Your Realty Group have bought and sold several of our own homes over the years. Since we see what sometimes transpires (and because we’re firm believers in karma), we go over the top to leave our properties in the best possible shape for the new owners. Okay, okay, we don’t leave flowers and $4,000 in cash on the kitchen island so the new folks can buy furniture and get the place repainted, but we make sure all of our personal belongings are gone and the house is professionally cleaned.
Of course we encourage the same behaviour from all of the sellers we represent. More often than not they heed our advice and the closing goes smoothly. Which is likely part of the reason why the bad ones stand out.
If you’d like to discuss this topic further or if you have a crazy closing story of your own, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call and perhaps we’ll compile some the best tales—or worst, as the case may be—in a future blog.
(*It was Dave who was involved in the most stressful closing ever—and yes, he ended up buying the new homeowners a brand new freezer.)