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Final Walk Through - short sale

I will be making a final walk through on a Short Sale Purchase in White Lake, MI. What can I request at this time? Can I request the grass be cut since the owner has not been cutting it and it's quite over grown. Also the owner wants to keep the ceiling fans in all the rooms and the garage door opener. If the owner takes the fans does he have to replace them with something? And what if the owner damages the ceiling when taking them down? Is there anyway I can make the garage door opener stay. My buyers agent asked the listing agent and she said the owner says he's taking it, but it doesn't say that he is in the purchase agreement, it does say that it should stay. Thanks.

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July 30 2012 - White Lake
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Answers (7)

Unfortunately when working with a short sale you often run into angry sellers who feel they are entitled to take things. The bottom line is on short sales you are usually buying them "as is". You can request whatever you want, does that mean you will get it? No. I bought a short sale and they took the garage opener. I bought one for $25 at Home Depot. The cieling fans is another issue and shouldn't be removed unless it was in the contract as they are attached. You have little recourse with someone who has no money and is going to closing and not getting any money. Have your agent request the items stay. You can threaten to not settle claiming they breached the agreement in which case you will need to consult an attorney. So in the end you need to figure out how much an attorney will cost vs. how much a cieling fan and garage door will cost. Bottom line is the cost to you. Is it fair or right that the owner does this? No, but life isn't fair. Good Luck
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August 28 2013
I am glad that you are working with a buyer agent and hopefully she can assist you with the terms of the contract and the state regulations on what should stay in the house.  You may need legal advice to reinforce the law, so you may not want to wait until the walkthrough.  If the sellers are saying that they want to remove the ceiling fans and take the garage door opener and you have that information through the listing agent in writing, and all these items were part of the offer, you need to act quickly.  The mowing of the lawn, is another story, few contracts address that, check yours out.
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July 31 2012
In new york its law that if the owner takes a fixture they must replace it with something - you cant have wires just exposed.  As far as cutting the grass - i wouldnt bother asking them to do that.
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July 31 2012
As others have said, the contract should clearly define what stays and what does not. All fixtures would be included in the sale other than those specifically excluded and ceiling fands and garage door openers are certainly fixtures.
This highlights the problems that can arise with short sales. The seller is walking away with no money. Not surprising that he wants anything he can get.

I think the lawn may be the least of your problems. If the seller moves out and takes the afore-mentioned fixtures, you can't just cancel the sale. Clearly the seller will be in breach of contract and the contract should specify what redress you have. In practice, a small claims court action may be necessary, but even then it may be difficult to enforce a judgement.

My advice is to make sure that your agent spells out to the listing agent, exactly what your expectations are. The listing agent may be able to bring presure to bear to ensure that the seller keeps to the terms of the contract..
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July 30 2012
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Spend time with your buyer's agent discussing what is the standard of practice in MI.  In most areas, things that are fixed to the house (such as fans and garage door openers) convey with the house.   If the state standard of practice is this way (for things not mentioned in the contract), then you may suggest payment for repair and replacement of the missing fixtures.

Requesting the lawn be mowed may be a bit tricky, theoretically the home should be in the same condition as when you saw it to make an offer.  I'd focus on the fixtures and recognize you're going to have to mow the lawn within a week anyway.

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July 30 2012
The answer to your question lies within what the contract says.  Profound, yes, but that is what will dictate it.  Some are very specific about how a property is to be maintained ... others simply protect against major damage.  The purchase agreement should also be VERY clear about what sstays, and what does not.  Short sale closings are often emotional and stressful for a seller, so it is delicate.  Right is still right, and wrong is still wrong, though.  Your agent needs to guide you through this.
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July 30 2012
I would start with your Realtor and ask the same questions. The seller needs to abide by the sales contract.
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July 30 2012
 
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