Seller has left personal property in garage. What rghts do I have to it once the deed is recorded in my name?

Asked by Larry, Napa, CA Mon May 2, 2011

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John Souerbry, Agent, Fairfield, CA
Mon May 2, 2011
The stuff that was left does not belong to you unless it was specifically listed in the purchase agreement. Although it was poor form for the seller to leave it, you could be putting yourself at risk if you throw it away. As unlikely as it seems, the stuff could have been left by mistake.
To protect yourself, take pictures and write down an inventory of everything that was left. Email the pictures and inventory to the seller, including notice that they need to remove the items or they will be thrown away. If you don't have the seller's contact info, go through the agents. Request a specific response to your notice from the seller (NOT the seller's agent). If the seller doesn't respond via email, get their mailing address and send a printed copy of the pictures/inventory/notice via Certified Mail.
2 votes
Rudi Hofmann, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, El Segundo, CA
Tue May 3, 2011
Put yourself in the seller's shoes. How would you like this to be handled?

Happy funding, Rudi
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue May 3, 2011

Consult the listing agent, asking him/her to notify the sellers that the material will be disposed of if it is not moved ASAP. Be sure to assign a reasonable time frame so they have a chance to respond.

Do whatever is necessary to get the owner to move the stuff and avoid the hassle and fallout of having to dispose of it yourself. If you closed with an attorney's services, it may be helpful to be in touch with them to see what the would recommend.

0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon May 2, 2011
There's another thread with this question being answered in better detail; the short of it is this - your contract is between you and the Seller, if it is indeed the Seller's property, and your contract gives you ownership of it, then, it's yours. If it's not the Seller's property, then it doesn't matter what's in the contract, because the actual owner of the property isn't a party to the contract.

All the best,
0 votes
Trevor Hunti…, Agent, Port Townsend, WA
Mon May 2, 2011
Larry - Check your purchase and sale and see if yours has a clause that pertains to items left at closing by the seller. An addendum I use with each purchase and sale specifaclly states that all items left at closing will become the buyers. Check with you agent and see if you have a similar clause.
0 votes
Mark Fleysher, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Mon May 2, 2011
Hi Larry,

Best option: check with your listing agent.

My advise, if it's already recorded in your name, give the seller the opportunity to come get it (in writing)... perhaps 1 week, and if they don't get it, do what you please with it, since it's no longer their property and they had plenty of time and are responsible to remove their personal belongings, before the transfer of title, unless otherwise agreed upon.

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