I was reading through some real estate blog posts today to see what’s going on in the lives of other Realtors and came across a post that reminded me why the final walk through when you purchase a home is so important. Closing week is often hectic for Wilmington home buyers. There are movers to organize, utilities and services to finalize, family members to manage, and general preparations for closing day. Buyers may feel compelled to skip the final walk through in lieu of getting some other things done, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to do a walk through, no matter how smooth the closing process has been.
There’s the obvious…You want to make sure that all repairs have been made, especially those last minute ones. You also want to make sure the home is clean, nothing has been taken that should remain with the home, and nothing is left behind that should go.
Then, there’s the least obvious, which really shouldn’t even have to be mentioned, because it’s really quite silly…You want to make sure the sellers have MOVED OUT. In North Carolina, unless an agreement has been made prior to closing, buyer possession shall occur when the deed has been recorded. This is usually the same day as closing. According to the North Carolina Offer to Purchase, “Seller shall remove, by the date possession is made available to Buyer, all personal property which is not part of the purchase and all garbage and debris from the property.” Seems pretty clear-cut, right?
You’d be surprised how many times a buyer will show up at their new home to find that the sellers are still there. Other Realtors shared their own experiences in the comments on the blog post that inspired this one. One buyer showed up at his home to move in to find the sellers still there and refusing to move out. He was an electrician, so he cut the electricity and didn’t turn it back on until they were all moved out. Another buyer showed up at their new home to find all the seller’s furniture gone, but him camping out in the living room with his internet still hooked up. He didn’t want to leave, but unhooking the internet seemed to do the trick.
Situations like these shouldn’t happen and it’s often the fault of the selling agent not properly educating their sellers. If a seller needs more time after closing to move out and it works for the buyers, a lease agreement can be drawn up for those few days. Otherwise, as soon as that deed is recorded, the sellers become trespassers and law enforcement can be called.
While it’s not the norm for home sellers to not move out, it happens and it’s just another reason to have a final walk through before closing. If you walk through the home and find that they aren’t moving, feel lucky you found out before closing. Closing may be delayed, but you have the opportunity to fix the situation before it gets even more difficult after papers are signed.
If you have any questions about walk throughs or the closing process, feel free to give us a call at 910.202.2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.