Real Estate Walkthroughs and “Broom Clean” Condition

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Most residential purchase and sale agreements contain a provision which states,

The SELLER agrees that the premises will be delivered to the BUYER in “broom clean” condition. The BUYER shall have the right to inspect the premises for compliance with this paragraph prior to delivery of the Deed upon reasonable notice to the Broker.

This means that prior to the time of closing, the seller most remove all of his or her possessions from the property and, at the very least, sweep the house clean.

Occasionally a seller may wish to leave behind customized items that would be helpful to the new owner.  For instance, when I purchased my home the prior owners left behind a few antique door knobs that matched the other door knobs in the house.  They also left a can of paint that matched the paint in our living room.

Before leaving such items behind, however, the seller or the seller’s agent should check with the buyer for approval.

Buyers will have an opportunity to examine the house before the closing to ensure it has been cleaned out.  This examination, known as the “walk through”, usually happens on the same day of the closing.  Seller’s frequently fail to clean the house out entirely.  Unfortunately, many buyers will close regardless of any mess left behind simply because they do not want to incur the expenses caused by postponing the transaction.  

Need legal help? Email justin@jrmccarthy.com

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