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Take Care of Your Property, Even When Moving Out

August 12, 2015

A peculiar situation arose a few weeks ago which greatly jeopardized one of our closings.  I won’t tell you whether we represented the Seller or the Purchaser; from the point of view of this entry it doesn’t matter.  Firstly, I would say there are two types of Sellers, those that take very good care of the property and maintain everything in great condition until they finally move out.  The second type cut back on the landscaping and repairs, and do the minimal clean-up needed when they move out.  Most Sellers fall in the middle of these two extremes.

However, in this case, the Sellers preformed next to no maintenance after accepting the Buyer’s offer.  The Buyers might have ignored this except that as part of the Contract they had agreed to let the Sellers remain in the property for one day after closing so that the Sellers could clean their new home and move in at their convenience on the next day.  Due to the poor maintenance of the property, the Buyers suspected that the Sellers would be less than careful when they moved out on the following day.  The Buyers were also very disappointed in the appearance of the property when they inspected it the day before the closing.  They seriously considered canceling the purchase.

The transaction closed, but not without much strife and the exchange of a considerable amount of money.  Whether you are buying or selling, you should treat the other party with respect and empathy.  Especially in today’s world, one party or both may need a favor, and in today’s litigious environment attorneys often encourage their clients to say “no.”  If you were reasonable in the contract negotiations, if you’ve been friendly and kept the home in the condition you would like it to be when you moved in, and if, for example, you suddenly need the Buyer to close sooner than planned, (perhaps because the person selling you their property needs to close sooner), I’ll bet the Buyer would be inclined to say “yes.”