WHY are we seeing more Homes left in poor condition at the walkthrough

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Godzyk Real Estate Services NH License 033394

An increasing issue is finding things left in a home when the seller moves out. Just as well the home being left dirty and or a mountain of trash. It is WHY a Final walk through is a MUST for a home buyer. I have given some thought to why this is occurring. 


Take the picture on this blog. This was a divorce sale. The husband long gone agreed to let the ex wife, who still lived there, hire a discount agent. They did not want to pay a commission and thought they could handle the sale on their own. Driving by and seeing a mess a few days before closing, i asked if we could come through the home. The seller said she was out. She said the buyer could have everything left behind. Showing her a copy of the contract, she did not realize it had to be broom clean or what that meant. The next day she decided to burn everything out back. The picture shows half burnt bureaus, a bed frame and unknown trash.


In the end, we got an estimate to clean the house. Replace the new carpeting she trashed. Replace all the light fixtures and appliances she took. Replace the central AC unit, the generator and the pellet stove she took. Then pay to remove the burnt mess. The sellers had to pay near $10,000 for the needless damage. I was surprised the buyer still wanted the home, but they did. The buyer was also very happy I insisted on the final walk through. 


Looking back on some sales this year where we found something out of order at the final walk through. Nearly all the sellers had a limited service or discount listing agents. Another was a FSBO. I am not blaming them for trying to save some money. But in each case it cost the seller money by not doing it right the first time. What is that suppose to mean? Well, in every sales contract I wrote, it states the home to be left in broom clean condition, free of debris and personal belongings. Every seller said they did not understand the contract their agent had them sign. Every seller said they did not get any instructions. Every seller said they did not know what to expect during the selling process. They were left all alone without any guidance because that is what they signed up for. 


IN SUMMARY, a seller can save stress and money by simply doing it right the first time. There are no short cuts or skimping when selling a home. The commission for full service can be slightly more, but a higher sales price, a higher amount in your pocket and less stress are all worth it. 


The MOST IMPORTANT thing in real estate for me, is to provide great service. To stand out from the crowd by being there through each step of the buying or selling process. My message that I want to share in Real Estate, is that my philosophy is simple, to provide more personal and professional service to guide clients through each step of the buying or selling process. All Agents are not created equal and every buyer or seller should take the time to hire the BEST not just the biggest.


To CONTACT Scott Godzyk please call 603.661.2121 or EMAIL: Sctprop@aol.com .


About the Author: Scott Godzyk is the Owner/Broker of the Godzyk Real Estate Services in Manchester NH. Proud to be locally owned and operated with 32 years of experience, Scott is a leading Agent for Listing and Selling Homes in this area.We are Full Time Agents ready to serve all of your Real Estate needs. Servicing Hillsborough, Rockingham, Merrimack and Belknap counties. 







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Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Scott Godzyk 

Some sellers just don't care. Another factor could be their agent. Thankfully most sellers are responsible

Oct 09, 2018 06:39 AM #1
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

I like to think it is the listing agents duty to let the seller know what to expect and how the home needs to be left for walk through and closing Doug Dawes . All the sellers i had issues with said he"they did not know or were not told".  It could be some did not listen, but i know when i list a home, i make sure the seller knows and understands. 

Oct 09, 2018 07:10 AM #2
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Scott Godzyk your buyers are fortunate they hired YOU rather than some others who would not have had a final walk through and/or bids for the work to be done....

Oct 09, 2018 07:21 AM #3
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Final Walk Throughs are a critical part of the home buying experience.  My experience has been that there is often some indication that a home will be left in poor condition at some point during a transaction.  I try to address it early on.  

Oct 09, 2018 09:43 AM #4
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

This all falls under "Penny wise and dollar foolish", doesn't it Scott?

Oct 09, 2018 10:27 AM #5
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

That was one bitter woman, to take furniture out and burn it. Must have belonged to her ex-husband.

Your buyers were indeed fortunate to have you looking out for them.

Oct 09, 2018 11:59 AM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Scott- it's such a shame that these sellers think they're saving money by going with a discount broker or none at all but in the end it could cost them more or even the sale of their house .

Oct 09, 2018 01:29 PM #7
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

I have run across similar situations you write about and find that some Sellers just don't care however I also think it is the listing agent responsibility to make sure to tell sellers to broom sweep and move trash etc. Sometimes a seller should not hire a discount agent to list their home. 

Oct 09, 2018 02:07 PM #8
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Scott Godzyk although you did not mention the sales price, $10,000 goes a long way to covering lots of commission expense.

Oct 09, 2018 10:20 PM #9
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Never had that happen....lots of divorce emotion there that was not properly dealt with on a number of levels.

Oct 10, 2018 12:58 AM #10
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Scott.

I just don't understand why someone would take the chance on losing money in the long run.  Why not hire a professional, and do it right the first time...

Oct 10, 2018 01:04 AM #11
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Thank you for the comment Barbara Todaro. Consumers love service and those who chose short cuts are finding the lack of service can be costly

Oct 10, 2018 04:43 AM #12
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Scott, I hear you! One thing to understand in Maryland, though, is that as-is homes, with an as-is addendum, can be left with everything unwanted in it. The addendum states that the condition/broom clean paragraph is deleted from the contract! It can be a surprise to buyers who don't understand that they will most likely need an extra dumpster or two!

Nov 08, 2018 03:45 AM #13
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Marney Kirk makes a great point about As is here in Maryland - we are quirky too

Nov 08, 2018 12:47 PM #14
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