Here is the latest installment of Russ Ravary’s home selling tips on the explanation of what broom clean means. Once you sign a purchase contract and get through the home inspection it should be smooth sailing. As a realtor one of my duties is to help you get your home to closing and get it closed. Sometimes real estate transactions can become contentious due to the sale price negotiations and home inspection negotiations. You the seller may be disgruntled and unhappy with the buyer. You may not want to do anything more than you have to. However you do want to get the home deal closed and move on with your life.
The buyer usually always does a walk thru prior to closing. It is in the purchase agreement that the buyer has the right to a walk through the house prior to closing. Also in the purchase agreement it states that the seller must keep the home in the same condition it was in when the buyer signed the purchase agreement. The purchase agreement also states that the home must be in broom condition when the seller turns it over.
What does broom clean mean? Does it mean that your home has to be in excellent shape? Does your home have to be sparkling clean? Broom clean is a real-estate term used to describe the condition in which a seller must leave a home. Although the term is open to interpretation, broom-clean homes are at a minimum free of any excess stuff, like personal items and debris, and have been swept or vacuumed. While “broom clean” has no exact legal definition (and certainly does not mean you must use an actual broom), the term does come with certain expectations
Buyers do expect, however, that you’ll take all your stuff with you. Contractual obligations aside, it might be tempting to leave things you no longer want or need, such as pieces of scrape wood in the garage, old paint cans in the baement, junk in the yard. YOU CANNOT LEAVE ANY OF THIS. If you think the buyers might want this stuff, go ahead and ask, but when in doubt, take it out. This is something that the buyer will look for during the final walk-through, so you don’t want to derail your sale.
Over the years I have seen too many last minute arguments over stuff left in homes and in the yard. 95% of the time the seller has to pay to have it removed, or has to remove prior to the buyer signing. I have seen buyers demand that all the junk be removed and that a deposit be held until the sellers do so. Home sellers sometimes put off moving out until the last minute before closing. Then they run out of time to remove all the junk and leave the house in broom clean condition. Sometimes home sellers do not think it is any big deal for the buyers to get rid of the stuff. Sometimes it was left there from when the seller bought the house so they do not think anything of it. There may be excess shingles, paint that matches the walls, excess wood flooring or left over tile. It is best to ask the buyers first if they want it. Do not assume that the buyers want it or will need it.
You do not want to blow up the home closing because the house is not in ‘broom clean” condition. The house does not have to be sparling clean. A quick vacuum and removal of all your junk is what needs to happen. Just because you do not want it does not mean you can leave it behind for the buyers to take care of. You cannot leave an old patio table because you no longer need it. You can’t leave the pile of junk behind the garage. It is your responsiblity to remove and get rid of all of this stuff. It does not matter if it is good stuff. The buyer may have no need for it. You cannot just leave it because it is good. Only if you ask them if they want it and they agree they want it can you leave it.
Meaning Of Broom Clean Condition For Home Sellers
At the bare minimum, broom clean means carpets are vacuumed, floors swept, counters and surfaces wiped and free of any dirt and debris. Broom clean does not mean a deep clean. You do not need to have it professionally cleaned. Take you possessions and junk with you. Even if you assume the buyer can use the stuff. If you do not ask the buyers if they want it you can not leave it.
I hope this explanation of broom clean helps you know what to do and you have a stress free closing. As your real estate agent I just want you to have a smooth closing and not have issues at the closing table. That’s my job to inform you what you have to do prior to closing per the contract.
Call me if you want a great real estate agent in your corner. I have helped hundreds of home sellers get the best price possible. Call 248-310-6239 to save thousands of dollars when selling your home.
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