Home Buying in 49106>Question Details

Brandon Laso…, Home Buyer in Union Pier, MI

Closed on home through Relocation company. Movers for old owners forgot items and now want back after closing. Our stuff??

Asked by Brandon Lasota, Union Pier, MI Wed Jun 26, 2013

My wife and I closed on a house today. The company we were buying the home from is a relocation company. The relocation company hired movers for the home sellers and did not finish in time. There were miscellaneous items left like a couple lawn mowers, headboards, and a few other expensive items. The listing agent contacted us saying that the movers would be at the house tomorrow to pick up the rest of the items. Since we closed today, are those items legally ours? There is some stuff we'd like to keep, and a lot of the other stuff is junk. Can we legally pick and choose what we'd like to keep? The relo company has been nothing but pain for us for this purchase. We feel that it's kinda like karma for them for all the crap we've dealt with. So what is legal for us to do? I've changed all the locks and garage door openers so I have to be there when the movers get there. Do we have to give everything back that was the sellers? Can we pick and choose what we would like to keep?

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[The following is not legal advise. For legal advise you must consult an attorney]
'We feel like it's kinda lke karma for them for all the crap we've dealt with."
You're a smart guy Brandon.
You know if you have, in good faith, attempted to resolve this issue.
Karma would dictate you DO NOT BENEFIT from this situation.
Karma does not dictate you must accept harm.
A mediator would suggest allowing a predetermined time for orginal owner to regain possession. After that time, action can be taken regarding the items that does not benefit you.
Be aware, right or wrong. whoever has easy access to an attorney will make life ugly for the other party. You really don't want to go there.
Karma, when you mess with her, things go whacky.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 19, 2013
Do the right thing and let them pick up their items - and go on with your life. You just purchased a new home, and probably have a lot more important priorities on your plate - so this situation seems to be turning into a major time waster for you.

I don't know what the "legal" answer is in this case, or if you are "legally entitled" to keep anything - you'd have to hire an attorney to get the answers you are looking for.

Personally, I would save myself the hassle - give the items back to their rightful owners - and put the money you would have spent on a lawyer towards a new snowblower and vacuum.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 19, 2013
So a new issue has risen in this case. I allowed them to come get their stuff, but a couple things were left behind and they're now saying I need to ship it or pay for the items. Facts below:

Sellers – Old owners of the home
SIRVA – Relocation company sellers company hired to sell home
Movers – Moving company to pack up and move all home items
Realtor – The buyers agent, my agent.
Listing Agent – The sellers agent

The home had the sellers living there when we looked at house. Sellers were to close on June 26th at their new home and our closing of the home was the same day. They had moved to their new town on the 25th and left their belongings with the movers to take care of getting to Virginia.
- We came to an agreement to purchase a home. The only item in the contract listed as staying with the house was the bar other than the items on the full disclosure(stove, dishwasher, fridge, etc.)
- In the possession section of the agreement, it’s written as “complete possession” as of June 26th at noon.
- On the morning of June 26th at 9am, we had a walkthrough of the house prior to going to the title company.
- When arriving at the house, the garage was full of items(bed posts, snowblower, mowers, engine blocks, etc). People had already moved to Virginia the day before.
- Listing agent arrived and said the movers had a no-show day. Our realtor told listing agent that if stuff isn’t removed by signing at 11am, the stuff will be ours. Listing agent agreed.
- Listing agent also verbally and via email told us that SIRVA wanted to reimburse us for a professional cleaning since the house was never cleaned prior to them moving due to the delay from the movers.
- After signing, we returned to house to still find all the items. Changed locks, and locked up back shed.
- Listing agent called evening of June 26th and said movers would be there 10am on the 27th to get the remaining items.
- Movers and listing agent showed up at 10am on June 27th. Listing agent stated to movers “we’re only taking the nice stuff, leave the trash”.
- My mother-in-law told listing agent you take it all or leave it all. So the movers were instructed to grab everything by the listing agent.
- A snowblower was left behind along with a dyson vacuum. (Side Bar – during negotiations, the sellers proposed $2000 at closing and allowing us to keep the snowblower. This was never put in an addendum but there is an email trail, although it was never agreed to by us)
- I was contacted last week from the listing agent who said that the sellers left their snowblower and motor at the house. The listing agent said that this would be an issue that the movers would be responsible to handle. I shouldn’t have heard from her again.
- Last night I received an email from the listing agent that was forwarded from the seller. They claimed that the snowblower and a dyson motor were left. I’m assuming motor all along has been the vacuum. It said that they want $800 sent to them or for me to ship the items to them. If this isn’t completed by this afternoon, they’re going to file a police report.
- We have never received the cleaning.

I can’t find anything anywhere that says whether the snowblower and vacuum are legally ours. What do we do? Do we tell them, sorry, you abandoned the items and they’re ours? Do we tell them they need to hash this out with the movers? I think for sure that we’re not responsible to ship them the items that their moving company left. Can I say I want $500 for the agreed upon cleaning and $300 for rent of the snowblower and vacuum? Can I set it at the end of the road and say come and get it? I don’t want to do anything illegal but we also scratched the sellers and SIRVAS backs throughout this whole sale, so I’m also not about to do them any favors if the items are legally ours. If you have any advice, please let me know. Thank you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 19, 2013
Good Morning!

Other than being a moral issue it could well become a legal issue. You should talk to an attorney. I agree with Pam. You were notified that the stuff was going to be picked up. I'm sure your issue was with the Relocation company and not the homeowners they were representing. If it were me I'd let the pick up the stuff and call it a day.

Good Luck,

Karen Paytas, GRI, CMS
Real Living Kee Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
The relocation company probably used a broker to handle the sale of the home. How would you feel if it was your stuff. Asking this question on a public web site is the wrong thing to do. Ask yourself the question, you'll get the right answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 26, 2013
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