The Marie Souza Team - Top Selling on Cape Cod
Cape Cod Real Estate Services
Generally, "broom clean" is the expectation. If it was a short sale or a bank owned property, could be a different set of expectations....
An important lesson to be learned here and I hope your able to resolve it to your satisfaction.
The seller's agent has not yet oficially refused to pay, but I am bracing for that. This has been going on since September 3rd, and we finally heard back from the seller on November 1st that he would not be reimbursing any of the money except for the cost of the locksmith to let us into the house. I have not and will not cash his check since I don't agree with anything he claims. The seller wrote a very sarcastic and borderline hostile letter to me and I have notified his agent that I do not wish to have direct communications with him which I don't believe is unreasonable.
In regard to the keys, it is your agent's job to make arrangements for key delivery. Sometimes keys are delivered at closing, sometimes a lok box is left on, keys under a rock, etc. The two agents should have discussed this and conveyed it to both the buyer and seller. Something in writing is best (or al least emails.) If the listing agent made it clear and the seller did not comply, then it is the seller's liability. It all boils down to proof to determine who is liable for that cost.
Your agent, nor the other agent are responsible for the junk left behind (or in that case, stuff removed - I had someone take the kitchen!!). Agents are not there for the move and cleaning. The only time would be if there were clues and no one wrote anything in. Most sellers leave the property in reasonable condition, so it is not an issue that has been incorporated into our contract as it has in some states. But some sellers are just nasty. At this point you need to contact a real estate attorney (not just a family attorney) for a consultation. I would say it is time to sue the little old lady owner and/or her representatve. It will boild down to proof to determine what went on. I hope you have the bills and pictures. It will probably be a small claims issue, since it does not appear to have anything to do with the contract per se.
Why did the seller's agents refuse to pay? They are just pushing you. I would encourage small claims ASAP.Sellers are either pigs or feel entitled to have others clean up behind them. Problem might be if it an estate, then yhou have to file against the estate before probate is finished. Unfortuantely, in that case, collecting might be tough.Good luck.
I feel like I should point out that the seller's agent had been sued in 1996 by a client for, among other things, making unauthorized decisions on the client's behalf without his/her consent. I feel like that alone would make him hesitant to make such promises ever again as he did with us by authorizing us to arrange the cleanup and lock-out services. He even implied that we would get our money and go after the seller later for the money if he had to. Now he has done neither.
As the last answer read, you can try a small claims court, but you have no evidence to show that they agreed to do this.
For this very reason, I ALWAYS insist that my buyers have a walk through just before the closing, so that these kinds of things can be addressed at the closing table, before signing on the dotted line.
Step one is read your contract. What condition was the seller supposed to leave the home in? Assuming it was to be left in "good" or "broom clean" condition you may have a better chance of holding the seller responsible. You have a contract and what sounds like a violation of the contract. Going after the selling agent with a verbal approval may be more difficult.
The amount you are seeking should be obtainable in small claims court. It's up to you if the additional time and energy to pursue this is worth it. Sorry you had to do this, I've experienced homes left a mess for my buyers too and it's no fun to clean up someone else's mess.