Home Buyers want to buy clean houses
When you find a buyer for your house and make it through the home inspection and other contingencies-it's time to celebrate! After all, you are out the door and already decorating your new place. But wait a second, before you leave your old house behind-make sure it's clean.
It's not only the nice thing to do it's the legal thing to do as well. According to the GCAAR contract, used in the Greater Washington DC area-
"Except as otherwise specified herein, Seller will deliver the Property free and clear of trash and debris, broom clean and in substantially the same physical condition to be determined as of Contract Date OR Date of home inspection..."
Most Sellers take pride in their home. As Exclusive Buyer Agents with Buyer's Edge, we have a pretty good track record on this subject. Sellers will clean their home prior to moving and sometimes hire professional cleaners to do the work. Our transactions are usually smooth. We have excellent communication with our preferred lenders and settlement attorneys.
Recently however, we've had a few weird experiences & walk throughs-
Story # 1 A few months ago, we went to a house for walk through and found the home owners knee deep in boxes and trash bags. Several closets were full of coats and shoes and the house was a mess! We ended that day by hiring a guy to move two truck loads of trash from the house and yard. We emptied closets, hauled huge plants out of the house and carried loads of stuff to the pick up truck. It was exhausting.
Story #2 Shorter story. This time a listing agent tells us she has called for special trash pick up for the "debris" out front. Since we were burned so badly before, we tell her the trash has to be gone or we will delay settlement. She was miffed but hired some guys to haul the trash away. As it turns out, the paint cans, tires and a few other trash items could not be picked up by the county. Her hired hands had to take these items to the recycling center in Montgomery county for disposal.
With the new TRID Closing Rules, we have no room for last minute mistakes or issues. Sellers & Buyers need excellent communication with their Realtors and lenders. It serves no one if the deal falls apart just because the Seller didn't get rid of their trash. That's just silly!
Procrastination is never your friend. If you are a listing agent and value your reputation, it makes sense to check in on your Sellers progress. If it looks like they are falling behind and won't make the walk through deadline, step up and hire a cleaning crew.
Unless a Buyer is purchasing a distressed property, the home should be "free and clear of trash and debris, broom clean". It's not just the right thing to do, it's written into the contract.
Washington DC's Premier Exclusive Buyer Brokerage
4849 Rugby Avenue Bethesda MD 20814 office 301.657.1475 cell 301.922.1677