Jeffery Barr's Blog
When a house is sold, it’s generally expected that the seller will take all of their personal belongings along with them. This includes furniture, pictures, cleaning supplies, and appliances that weren’t included on the deal. This is all in the expectation that the buyer will have a clean property to move into.
If a seller does leave personal property behind, what are the rights of the buyer? Buyers may wonder if they can move in and actually take possession of the home if belongings have been left behind. There are a few reasons that buyers may leave property behind including:
- The item is actually a fixture and not considered personal property
- The item could belong to a tenant (or former tenant)
In these circumstances, each state determines different rights and procedures that must happen in order for the property to be secured without hassle by the buying party.
What If There’s So Much Stuff It Impedes On Moving In?
In the case that a seller has left so many things that a buyer cannot even comfortably move into the property, the contract may be refused. If there’s an inordinate amount of furniture, trash, and personal belongings, you certainly have a good argument to not sign the final contract for the property. Your rights as a buyer do, however, depend on what exactly was written into the purchase contract for the home you’re buying.
If an item has been deemed hidden or buried, the buyers have a different circumstance on their hands. Many times, a buyer is obligated to hang onto these items for the seller. The items were not technically abandoned by the seller to the buyer. The buyer becomes what is called a “bailor,” or a keeper of the property, who needs to be an agent in the change of possession of the items.
If the ownership of an item is unknown, the terms of the contract are held up. Standard contracts generally state that any items left behind by the seller have been forfeited to the buyer. If the contract says nothing about personal property, the buyer generally takes on the role of “bailor” again in this instance.
If The Property Owner Has Died Or The Property Has Been Abandoned
If a property has been abandoned due to foreclosure or bankruptcy, or the property owner has died, any personal property that is left behind is a bit more of a risk for both parties. These circumstances generally state that a buyer will be taking on a property “as is” and essentially anything left is the buyer’s problem.
If a property owner has died, the executors generally take on the responsibility of removing items from the property to be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries. Occasionally, this process doesn’t work out due to family quarrels. In this case, personal property of the seller goes into the category of forfeiture.
Personal property is just one reason why you need to understand your legal rights when you’re buying a home.
Let's face it – clutter is an eyesore that all home sellers can live without. However, removing clutter before you list your house may prove to be difficult, particularly for those with limited time and resources at their disposal.
Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline the decluttering process. That way, you can speed up the process of improving your house's appearance and get your residence show-ready.
To better understand how to effectively declutter your home, let's take a look at three best practices for decluttering:
1. Organize Your Belongings
Old electronics, broken exercise equipment and other items can take up lots of space in your home. If you take a look at all of your belongings, you can differentiate clutter from items that you'd like to keep.
If you haven't used an item in several years or an item simply takes up space in your house, this item likely is clutter. As such, you should eliminate this item from your premises as soon as possible.
On the other hand, items that you use regularly or items that have sentimental value may prove to be keepers. With these items, you should store and maintain them properly to reduce the risk of deterioration.
2. Get Rid of Items That You No Longer Need
There may be a wide range of clutter scattered throughout your house. Although your first instinct might tell you to throw out excess items, it is important to consider whether these items could be sold or donated.
Even though a particular item no longer serves your needs, you may be able to sell this item to the highest bidder. Thus, if you post an item online or host a garage sell, you could earn extra cash by selling your clutter.
In addition, many charities will accept items that you no longer need. If you have excess items that are working properly, reach out to local charities, and these organizations may be able to pick them up at your convenience.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you plan to list your home in the next few weeks, consulting with a real estate agent is ideal. This housing market professional can offer expert decluttering recommendations and help you get your house ready for the real estate market.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, evaluate your house and learn about your home selling goals. He or she also will explain the home selling process and ensure you know what to expect before you list your residence.
In most instances, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, notify you about offers on your house and provide various home selling recommendations and suggestions. Plus, if you ever have questions about decluttering your home or other home selling topics, a real estate agent can provide immediate answers.
Simplify the process of decluttering your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can remove clutter from your residence in no time at all.
In a competitive selling market, it’s vital to make sure you take advantage of any way to give your home an edge over the competition.
Many sellers make expensive home improvements in the hopes of attracting buyers. But, even if you’re on a budget, there are ways to boost curb appeal and increase the value of your home to make your home competitive in today’s seller’s market.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover eight low-cost upgrades you can make to your home today. We tried to keep all of the upgrades under $100 so that you can stick to your budget while still making a big difference in your home.
1. Paint the front door ($30)
One of the first things a potential buyer will notice about your home is the front door. Putting on a fresh coat of paint, especially one that pops and contrasts with the color of your home, will help to make it stand out on the block.
2. Paint your interior trim and baseboards ($75 - $100)
Baseboards often get dirty or scuffed up over the years. Putting a fresh coat of paint will make the entire room look like new. Stick with white for most rooms--it will brighten them up and make them feel clean.
3. Replace your outlet and light switch plates ($20)
They get dirty, they crack, and they get covered in messy paint every time you repaint your walls. Outlet and switch plates see a lot of wear and tear, and a dirty one can be off-putting for potential buyers.
For just a few dollars each or less, replace them all to give the rooms of your home a facelift.
4. Replace fixtures ($50 - $100)
Whether it’s the knobs of your kitchen cabinets or faucet fixtures, there are a number of small items in the kitchen and bathrooms that can be upgraded.
Stainless steel is now out of style, with homeowners choosing brushed nickel and bronze over the traditional stainless.
5. Choose a new shower head ($30 - $50)
Installing a shower head is a lot easier than it looks. Plus, luxurious looking shower heads can be purchased for less than $50 on Amazon, making them a great choice to add a touch of indulgence to the shower.
6. Add new bright, energy efficient lighting ($30 - $50)
Bright LEDs can make a room feel more spacious and modern, and it can save you a few dollars on the electric bill. Installing new lights throughout the home is a good way to show off what lies within.
7. Paint or replace your mailbox ($20 - $80)
Mailboxes can easily get dirty and dented over the years and most of us pay little mind to them. But prospective buyers likely will be on the lookout for any signs of neglect when they view your home. Having a freshly painted mailbox will leave a good first impression.
8. Rent a pressure washer for a day ($50 - $100)
Pressure washing the exterior of your home can make a huge difference when it comes to upgrading curb appeal. Vinyl siding gets dirty quickly and isn’t all that easy to clean.
You can rent a pressure washer from The Home Depot or your local hardware store for typically less than $100 a day.
Believe it or not, upgrading your residence's curb appeal won't necessarily force you to break your budget. Now, let's take a look at three cost-effective ways to improve your house's curb appeal.
1. Mow the Lawn
Tall grass and weeds are unlikely to do you any favors, particularly if you want to reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home sale. Fortunately, if you spend some time mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges, you may be able to boost your house's curb appeal.
It generally won't take long to perform lawn maintenance tasks. Then, once you complete these tasks for the first time, you can set up a schedule to complete them every week or every other week until your residence sells. That way, your lawn will continue to look great in the eyes of potential buyers.
2. Clear the Walkways
Dirt, dust and debris may make your home's exterior walkways look messy. Perhaps worst of all, these problems may drive prospective buyers away from your house.
On the other hand, neat, tidy walkways could help your residence stand out to potential buyers. If you devote time and resources to sweep and clean your house's exterior walkways, you can increase the likelihood that your residence will make a positive first impression on buyers.
3. Remove Decorations
Although plastic flamingoes, lawn gnomes and other home exterior decorations have helped you distinguish your house from others in your neighborhood, now may be a good time to put these decorations into storage. Because if you keep decorations on your lawn, it may be difficult for a buyer to envision what life may be like as the owner of your house.
Remember, your goal as a home seller is to make your residence as appealing as possible to prospective buyers. By removing home exterior decorations, you can show off your residence's full potential. As such, you can make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your residence as soon as they see it for the first time.
As you search for ways to upgrade your house's curb appeal without breaking your budget, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional is happy to provide home selling recommendations and can help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab.
Typically, a real estate agent will provide expert guidance at each stage of the house selling journey. He or she first will help you craft a home selling strategy and promote your residence to dozens of prospective buyers. Plus, once you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent can help you analyze this proposal. And if you accept an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you quickly finalize your home sale.
Ready to list your residence? Upgrade your house's curb appeal today, and you can move one step closer to achieving the best-possible results during the property selling journey.
Selling your home is a major decision, and as such, you likely will need to allocate significant time and resources to determine whether now is the right time to add your residence to the real estate market.
Ultimately, there are many signs that may prove now is the ideal time to list your home, including:
1. Your house feels too big or too small.
Does your home feel cramped? Or, do you feel like you have too much space at your disposal? In either scenario, listing your home may enable you to relocate to a house that better suits your lifestyle than your current residence.
Working with a real estate agent will enable you to determine the right price for your home and generate plenty of interest in your residence. Plus, your real estate agent will help you narrow your search for a new home, ensuring that you can discover a new residence that suits you perfectly.
2. Your financial situation has changed.
Land a high-paying new job? Or, are you looking to cut expenses to save for a baby who is on the way? If your financial situation has changed dramatically, you may want to consider selling your home.
Furthermore, collaborating with a real estate agent may enable you to maximize the value of your residence in any housing market, at any time. Your real estate agent will set up home showings, provide tips and recommendations to help you bolster your house's curb appeal and much more. By doing so, your real estate agent will make it easy for you to drive interest in your home.
Let's not forget about the personalized support that a real estate agent can provide, either. Your real estate agent will be able to respond to any of your home selling concerns and queries. Thus, your real estate agent can play an important role in your ability to sell your home and optimize its value.
3. You're ready for a change.
Tired of dealing with New England winters? Or, do you want to enjoy the warm, sunny California weather day after day? If you're ready for a change in your life, you may want to sell your house sooner rather than later.
After you sell your home, you can relocate to any location you choose. Meanwhile, selling your home may open up new opportunities for you, as you'll be able to establish a new life in a new location at your convenience.
If you're ready for a change, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This real estate professional will help you add your home to the real estate market and offer plenty of housing market data to ensure that you can price your house competitively. In addition, your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you get the best home selling results.
Don't wait to make a change in your life. Instead, meet with a real estate agent, and you can explore your home selling options today.