Throughout the years in this business, I have seen a lot of different scenarios; Sellers who couldn’t quite get their belongings out in time and Buyers who wanted to buy all the Sellers’ furniture. Each situation has been different and while they all ended successfully (well, okay, there was one where the husband thought he was scoring big by allowing the Seller to leave a lot of old furniture and extra appliances in the basement, only to find out from his wife he really wasn’t doing the right thing), this is an area that has to be negotiated to insure one side isn’t left holding the bag unintentionally.
While Sellers often think they have the perfect furniture for a room – and won’t be able to use it where they are going – Buyers don’t always agree and are quite unhappy when they show up for their final walk through, only to find the Seller has left them a “gift” of unwanted furniture. Or, old paint cans, yard equipment, lawn chemicals and about a hundred other things that come to mind. In addition, some items left behind require special handling when discarding, adding another level of unwanted extra work and expense for the Buyer.
Garages seem to be the source of many disagreements; if you have shelving, for example, that is not attached to the walls, be sure everyone is clear as to what is being disposed of or removed.
If you are an Alexandria home Seller, don’t assume the Buyers want anything you don’t want to take; the best course of action is ALWAYS to inquire first. Be specific about what you wish to leave behind and let them make the decision. The contract is clear on this point – the property is to be left broom clean. This means no debris, no trash and certainly nothing that needs to be hauled away.
Oftentimes, Buyers are thrilled to have furniture pieces you can no longer use or the garden equipment they were going to have to buy – just be sure everyone is on the same page about exactly what is staying and what is going and it will result in a much happier, calmer closing.