One issue that keeps presenting itself lately is the condition of the property at the closing. In the majority of residential transactions, the subject property is supposed to be left in broom clean condition, subject to reasonable wear and tear at the time of closing. There are times of-course where the property is being left in “as is” condition, but such situations are much more the exception to the rule.
With that said, what exactly does broom clean condition mean? Does it mean that the floors need to be waxed or the walls washed? Generally not. For the most part broom clean means that (i) everything in the house (unless specifically noted in the contract) must be removed, (ii) holes and dents in the walls, floors, ceilings, etc (excluding those there at the time of inspection and/or picture holes) need to be remediated, and (iii) the floors swept are reasonably dirt and dust free.
What about items that a buyer may want (e.g., paint)? A good rule of thumb is for the parties to discuss this prior to the closing. Otherwise, we generally recommend that the seller lawfully dispose of such items prior to the closing. The reason being is while the seller might think they are doing the buyer a favor, the buyer may have plans to specifically renovate the property and may not have a need for such items; and thus does not want the responsibility for disposing them. This can cause a problem, because the buyer may (rightfully) insists that the items be removed, and if the seller cannot do so that day it may require either escrowing money until such work is done, crediting buyer for the same, or postponing the closing. As such, it is better to take the time to ask prior to closing about leaving any item, than having to deal with the issue at closing.
For more information regarding this issue you should speak to a real estate attorney.
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