If this were a Bank owned property (REO) it would also be an "as is" sale. If you viewed the house in the condition you described then you should assume it will close escrow in the same condition. When you write your offer ask for the house to be free of all personal property. You can always ask and they can always say no but then you know from the day you open escrow what to expect and this tends to make the situation easier. The unexpected and undisclosed are where real estate transactions get nasty. Best of luck in your transaction and congratulations on being able to purchase in this market!
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Even if you have it written in the contract that these items will stay, it will be very difficult to enforce it with a distressed seller.
You need to assure you are getting a bargain on a short sale so you can compensate for these potential costly problems.
Phyllis Crosby, Realtor
If it's currently as bad as you have described, then I think you can count on doing all the cleaning yourselves.
If it ends up as a foreclosure, most lenders do address the property somewhat upon gaining possession.
To be on the safe side, include your intentions in the negotiations process and do so in writing. Most short sales are "AS IS" transactions but it wouldn't be expecting the sellers to clean up after themselves....BUT, be sure to spell it out!
Also, remember, the owner/seller has no money. If they did, they would not be in default (you indicated that the home "may be a foreclosure now") and they would not be selling their home. So, in addition to what you can see, there might be other problems that are not visible - caused by deferred maintenance due to their financial condition.
I highly recommend that you get a physical inspection - and I would do it sooner rather than later. If they home is this messy, what might you possibly find in the attic, crawlspace, plumbing and electrical. Make sure that your offered price takes any repairs and deferred maintenance into consideration. Then make sure that your agent communciates the costs of repairs to the listing agent, in writing (contractor repair bids are always nice) so they can forward this information to the short sale lender. Be careful that you only include repairs, not upgrades. The bank does not care if the toilet is old, just that it is functional.
Good luck. Proceed with caution and full information. Sounds like this might be a great home for you and your family, once it is cleaned up and repaired. Dare to Dream.
Shel-lee Davis, QSCÂ®
Certified Distressed Property Expert â€“ CDPEÂ®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource â€“ SFRÂ®
Certified HAFA Specialist â€“ CHSÂ®
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
You and your agent can try to be proactive about this through communication with seller and their agent to try and get them to do "the right thing," but the bottom line is most likely it is going to be delivered to you the way it is now. The seller's financial world is cratering in, and there is no incentive for them to clean up the place as they no longer have any financial interest in. Steve is correct, the only way to insure it is to make it a contingency of the deal through a separate contract addendum that allows you to back out of the deal if it is not cleaned up properly. But you will have to be very specific about what you want done, although I think the chance of getting a bank to accept such a contingency is unlikely.
This question has been asked a number of times in this forum, and the best advice I can give you is make your offer price based upon the condition it's in. Any cleaning/junk removal after that will be a bonus.
Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
Most of these properties are listed purchase As - Is you can have your buyers agent in special provisions request for these concerns be addressed.
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
With the Short Sale expect "what you see is what you get" and you won't be disappointed. You will most likely end up get something between "Cleaned Out" and "Cleaned Up". The same is true of the REO depending on the bank and the Agent handling the listing.
Also, the ""verification of condition" X number of days prior to close of escrow" (Para 16 of RPA) topic that CJ brings up is NOT a contingency of the contract (unless the buyer is successful in making it so via an addendum). In fact, the standard CAR purchase contract defaults to the property being sold in its "PRESENT physical ("as-is") condition at the date of acceptance" (see Para 9) ---> So, put any agreement as to the agreed turnover condition in writing between buyer/seller. However, understand that if we are talking about an REO, the property will most likely be sold "AS IS WHEREIS WITH ALL FAULTS".
If it is vacant, most bank owners will complete a "trash out" before close of escrow. This isn't a thorough cleaning by far, but simply a haul away of furniture and trash in the yard.
However, if it is occupied or is a short sale, any clean up is between the seller and you. That is why it is very advisable to make part of your purchase contract a "verification of condition" X number of days prior to close of escrow.
This is a challenging situation for most short sales and one of the risk involved in purchasing a short sale. You may ended up literally taking it - AS IS.