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When a house is sold, it’s generally expected that the seller will take all of their personal belongings along with them. This includes furniture, pictures, cleaning supplies, and appliances that weren’t included on the deal. This is all in the expectation that the buyer will have a clean property to move into.
If a seller does leave personal property behind, what are the rights of the buyer? Buyers may wonder if they can move in and actually take possession of the home if belongings have been left behind. There are a few reasons that buyers may leave property behind including:
- The item is actually a fixture and not considered personal property
- The item could belong to a tenant (or former tenant)
In these circumstances, each state determines different rights and procedures that must happen in order for the property to be secured without hassle by the buying party.
What If There’s So Much Stuff It Impedes On Moving In?
In the case that a seller has left so many things that a buyer cannot even comfortably move into the property, the contract may be refused. If there’s an inordinate amount of furniture, trash, and personal belongings, you certainly have a good argument to not sign the final contract for the property. Your rights as a buyer do, however, depend on what exactly was written into the purchase contract for the home you’re buying.
If an item has been deemed hidden or buried, the buyers have a different circumstance on their hands. Many times, a buyer is obligated to hang onto these items for the seller. The items were not technically abandoned by the seller to the buyer. The buyer becomes what is called a “bailor,” or a keeper of the property, who needs to be an agent in the change of possession of the items.
If the ownership of an item is unknown, the terms of the contract are held up. Standard contracts generally state that any items left behind by the seller have been forfeited to the buyer. If the contract says nothing about personal property, the buyer generally takes on the role of “bailor” again in this instance.
If The Property Owner Has Died Or The Property Has Been Abandoned
If a property has been abandoned due to foreclosure or bankruptcy, or the property owner has died, any personal property that is left behind is a bit more of a risk for both parties. These circumstances generally state that a buyer will be taking on a property “as is” and essentially anything left is the buyer’s problem.
If a property owner has died, the executors generally take on the responsibility of removing items from the property to be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries. Occasionally, this process doesn’t work out due to family quarrels. In this case, personal property of the seller goes into the category of forfeiture.
Personal property is just one reason why you need to understand your legal rights when you’re buying a home.
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Adding your residence to the housing market can be tricky. And for those who are unprepared for the potential pitfalls of the real estate market, it may be difficult to get the best results from the home selling journey.
Fortunately, we're here to teach you about the housing market so you can understand what it takes to optimize the value of your home.
To better understand the ins and outs of the real estate market, let's take a look at three common misconceptions that are frequently associated with selling a house.
1. Your home has increased in value since you initially purchased it.
What you paid for your house a few years ago is unlikely to match what it is worth today. As such, it is important for a home seller to understand the current state of the real estate so he or she can price a residence accordingly.
A home seller should look at the prices of comparable residences before adding his or her home to the housing market. By doing so, this home seller can see how his or her residence stacks up against the competition and price it based on the current housing market's conditions.
Also, a home seller should complete a property appraisal. This evaluation allows a home seller to receive expert insights into a house's pros and cons. Plus, a home appraisal ensures a property seller can prioritize myriad home improvement projects to help boost a house's value.
2. You should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in your house.
Although a home seller enjoys his or her residence, there is no guarantee that homebuyers will feel the same way. Therefore, a home seller should allocate the necessary time and resources to enhance a property's appearance both inside and out.
Completing simple home exterior improvement projects like mowing the front lawn and clearing dirt and debris from the walkways can make a world of difference in homebuyers' eyes. These home exterior improvements will help you bolster your house's curb appeal and boosts your residence's chances of making a positive first impression on homebuyers.
In addition, don't forget to declutter your residence's interior as much as possible. This will make it easy for homebuyers to imagine what life may be like if they purchase your home.
3. You don't need support from a real estate agent.
When it comes to selling your residence, it is always better to err on the side of caution. With a real estate agent at your side, you may be able to accelerate the home selling process and improve your chances of maximizing the value of your house.
A real estate agent will help you manage challenges throughout the home selling process. He or she will show you how to list your residence and promote it to the right groups of homebuyers, along with provide comprehensive responses to your home selling questions.
Employ a real estate agent to guide you along the home selling process – you'll be happy you did. A real estate agent will do everything possible to ensure you can sell your residence quickly and effortlessly.