You’ve waited months for the perfect home, and finally, the closing date arrives. There are a few final details to take care of, and then you’ll have the keys in hand. But when you walk into your new home, you realize the previous owner left quite a mess. Now what?
Don’t worry, you’re not stuck cleaning up someone else’s mess. Here are a few tips for dealing with a messy previous owner so you can start enjoying your new home as soon as possible.
The first thing you should do is document the condition of the property. This will be important if you need to pursue legal action against the seller or if you have to file an insurance claim. Be sure to take wide shots that show the overall condition of the property as well as close-ups of any particularly bad areas.
If you’re working with a real estate agent, they may be able to help you resolve the issue without going through legal channels. Your agent likely has a good relationship with the seller’s agent and may be able to negotiate on your behalf to have the sellers clean up before you move in or offer a credit at closing that you can use to hire a cleaning service.
If speaking with your agent doesn’t get results, your next step is to send the seller a demand letter outlining what needs to be done and giving them a deadline by which it must be completed. Be sure to include copies of the pictures you took so there’s no mistaking what needs to be cleaned. You may want to have to your lawyer assist with the drafting and to send it on your behalf. If the sellers still don’t comply with your request, you may consider pursuing legal action.
No one wants to move into a new home only to find that it’s still full of the previous owner’s stuff. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic! There are steps you can take to get the place cleaned up so you can start enjoying your new home as soon as possible. First, take pictures of the mess so you have documentation should you need it later on. Next, talk to your real estate agent about the situation – they may be able to help resolve things without involving lawyers or going through legal channels. If not, your next step is to send the seller a demand letter detailing what needs to be done and giving them a deadline by which it must be completed. Hopefully, following these steps will leave you with a clean house that’s ready for move-in day!