Homebuying FAQs:What if the Seller Damages the House While Moving Out?

Real Estate Agent with Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster 100026886

When I am working with Home Buyers, they always have questions about the process.  Usually, the questions will be regarding terms they are unfamiliar with, such as Under ContractPossession and Closing DateContingenciesConcessions or Earnest Money.

But there are always questions about more practical matters, too.

This spring, I was working with some buyers who found themselves a great 4 bedroom home for their family.  One of the features of the home that really stood out was the large unfinished basement.  They were excited about the idea of finishing the basement as a huge entertainment area and home theater for the large family get togethers they were planning to host.

The Seller had many pieces of workout equipment in the unfinished basement area, including a pretty extensive set of barbells.  Eyeballing the equipment and the width of the staircase going into the basement, my buyers nervously asked:

What if the Seller Damages the House While Moving Out?  They had nightmare images of moving into their new home and seeing gouges out of the drywall going into the basement....


The Colorado Contract to Buy and Sell is very comprehensive when it comes to damages on a property.  There is an entire section devoted to just this question:

You will note that it states "ordinary wear and tear".  This does not mean holes in the walls caused during moving!


This section further defines what the Buyer's remedies will be should there be damages including terminating the contract, delaying the Closing Date until the Seller repairs the items, or having the Seller assign Insurance Proceeds to the Buyer.


How Can a Home Buyer Know Whether Damage has Occurred?  Great question!  You should always do a Final Walk-Through of a property you are purchasing, preferably on the morning of Closing.  Again, the Colorado Contract addresses this specifically:


There are 4 sub-paragraphs in this section addressing types of damage, including fire, malfunction of systems, even condemnation of the property!  Rest assured, the Colorado Contract will have you covered.

Questions about the Colorado Contract to Buy and Sell and the Home Buying Process?  Call me today!  720-341-5235


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Comments 22 New Comment

Eagle Ridge Realty
"Our Performance Will Move You!"
Eagle Ridge Realty

Oh man, this is the worst thing that can happen to an agent...  I had a transaction once, representing the buyer, and the seller wanted to save a few dollars by having her 3 sons move the furniture.  All went well until the last item--the piano.  They rolled it across a hardwood floor and left wheel mark grooves on the flooring.  The seller was kind enough to offer to pay for a new floor sanding and refinishing-- at a cost of $2,000.  Two things come to mind in a transaction...  1) Play nice,as we did, and she was glad my client bought the house, and 2) there are just some areas of moving that are not worth cost cutting on.  Moving is one of them...  Always use a reputable, INSURED moving company.

June 08, 2012 09:00 PM
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty

Jennifer - This is a valid question and shows why it's important to have a walk through.

June 08, 2012 10:09 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results
BuyersAgentPortland.com | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time

A walk thru prior to closing isn't going to show the condition of the property AFTER the sellers move out, would it?!?   The best clause is the where the condition of the property is what was existing during the contract.  If the "damage" wasn't showing up in the home inspection and documented then it's on the former owners, IMHO.

June 08, 2012 10:25 PM
Joni Staples
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties

The only time I really worry about this when they seller moves out of the house AFTER closing. Final walk throughs solve the problem when the seller moves out prior to closing. But when they lease back to the seller a few days to allow them time to move out.... I always worry if they will leave it clean, remove all of their things, etc. So far, thankfully, I have not had and major issues with this.

June 09, 2012 08:00 AM
Bob Crane
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9663
Woodland Management Service

Thanks Jennifer, always a valid question and its good that you have a good answer ready for your clients.

June 10, 2012 11:42 PM

Jennifer Prestwich

Your Castle RE Colorado
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