There aren't stages of closing. Before your scheduled closing date, usually a day or two, you should be doing a walk through with your realtor. If items are missing your realtor is supposed to contact the seller to find out when are they replacing the items. You should be contacting your lawyer about the problem.
It all depends on the wording in the contract. Most contracts state that the house is being sold as-is, meaning it should be in the same condition as is was when the buyer viewed the house. A normal contract of sale usually would also guarantee and represent that the electrical system, heating system and plumbing system be in working order and free of leaks. In addition, usually the roof is guaranteed to be free of leaks. This is only up until the closing. Once the closing is finished, any problems are now the new buyers headache. A typical contract does not make any warranties after the closing. Because of this, the buyers do a "final walk-through" the day of or before the closing to make sure that the house is in the same condition as it was when they last saw it.
If the condition had been changed, as would be the case in your example, the seller would have to fix or give financial consideration to the buyers if the contract was worded on the "normal" fashion (here in Brooklyn at least). If your contract was not worded in the "normal fashion, you may have no recourse. As an example, when someone purchases a foreclosure property, most of the time the property is being sold strictly as-is, meaning that you have to take it in whatever condition it is in at the time of the closing and you do not get any warrrantees or guarantees at all. The other extreme is when you are dealing with new construction... with new construction, the seller must give the buyers a full one year warrantee on virtually everything in the house!
So in order to answer your question, you need to know how your contract is worded. Your lawyer should be helping you with all of this.
One more thing, often times it is very hard to prove that the condition has changed, if you do not have concrete evidence to support that, you will not win in a court of law. Please bear in mind that I am not an attorney and I cannot give legal advice, this answer is just my humble opinion after being in the real estate business since 1993. You must speak to your attorney.
Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
Notify the Broker of the property first. Tell him to notify the prior owners to
replace everything immediately - you are contacting your attorney and the
bank. According to contracts we use, the seller is responsible to maintain
the property in the same condition as when you purchased.
Contact your attorney. You should not close until the items are properly replaced.
the intent of this clause is to safeguard against vandalism, regardless of how/who does it!
Hope this helps!
You need to notify your attorney about this situation right away! Your contract specifies what agreed upon items the owner can take from the home, and I'm pretty sure the boiler is not one of them. As I said, speak with your attorney who will advise you how to proceed.
Real Estate Salesperson
Fillmore Real Estate
Office: 718-858-4700/Cell: 917-544-2662
They created a program "Cash for Keys" whereby the occupant gets $1000 to $3000 to move quickly and without any damage.
It is funny that they would jeopardize that money for a little revenge and frustration.
You should have your Realtor notify the Bank; the Bank has to return the property to the condition at the time you signed the Contract. The Bank will not be happy.
Good luck and may God bless
Read your contract. It should state that the seller will leave the property in the same condition as it was in on the date you made your offer. See if the contract states recourse you can take if it's not (i.e. cancel contract, small claims courts, etc.). Contact a local Real Estate Attorney to see how you should proceed.
SR Realty http://www.RealtyBySR.com