What do you do if you move into your home and find that all your appliances are missing? I have never had missing appliances before. I have had sellers take light switches, light bulbs, toilet seat covers, curtains, drapes, blinds, door knobs, trees, shrubs and flowers but never appliances.
No matter what item goes missing it is still upsetting for the buyers who were/are expecting those item(s) to be there. They are excited, they are tired and they can't wait to move in. But wait........ now what?
Yes we always do a final walk-thru inspection. In our state you conduct the walk-thru, go to the title company and then sign your closing documents. After your settlement (signing of documents) the process of funding and then recording the home purchase can take hours to days. Even after the home is recorded you now have a negotiated possession period that was already agreed upon in the Real Estate Purchase Contract. A lot can happen during this time frame.
When I have the buyer in this situation I am in constant contact with them to make sure once they are moving in that everything is there that they were expecting to be there. 99% of the time I am the one letting them into the home with the keys so I am there during their first time walking in as the owner. In this case I was not there due to another appointment.
A few hours after moving in I checked in with them and found out the appliances are/were missing. Luckily I have been dealing with an amazing agent on the seller/listing side. She was able to remind her sellers that the items were suppose to stay and they promptly delivered them all back. In this scenario it was a great ending. Other times things did not work out as easily or as smoothly. Each and every time the situation varies. It doesn't happen often but when it does the thing I have found key is to remain calm and keep communication open.
As a listing/sellers agent. I make sure they are reminded during the contract and especially right before they start packing and again during packing that they leave the items they have agreed upon leaving. I also have them sign a paper stating items like trees, shrubs and flowers are to be left behind unless agreed upon in the contract. For additional items a Bill of Sale is often filled out and signed. This is also another great way to remind everyone what was agreed upon.
No transaction is perfect but with communication and double, triple checking on items like this we can help prove we have done everything we can to make sure items stay and also help it stay top of mind for people who might be tempted to pack it away with them.
The reverse is true for homes that you fear will "leave stuff behind" I've had that too and that is a whole different story.