Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC)

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Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Why was the transaction allowed to close with the trash still in the garage if your contract called for it to be left free of debris?

This is a problem that never should have become one.

How long after closing was this discovered? Quickly enough that disbursements haven't been made yet? Perhaps you can get an invoice for a clean up person into escrow and have them hold back money if the contract provides for it.

As for the listing agent, yeah, there are a lot of assholes in our business. There's another one.

I don't know what reporting them will do on a matter that's between the parties.

But I will tell you that once you are on my radar as an idiot, I will begin shrinking you in my mind and you will begin feeling like your clothes are too big real freaking quick.

May 07, 2018 05:32 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

That is what a walk-thru prior to closing is for...

Buyer gets compensation from the seller for whatever the problem is.  I don't negotiate with the LA...

A good buyer agent always does a walk thru and resolves any outstanding issues...without digging in their own pocket.   




May 07, 2018 02:45 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Transfer it from the property to the Listing Agents property!! 

May 07, 2018 04:47 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

We would have seen it at the walkthrough and probably would have had the attorney(s) put $ in escrow to pay for someone to clean it up. As for the listing agent, argh. I might have told him, "No, I won't sue you, but I'm going to write a post about your lack of excellent service."

May 07, 2018 02:27 AM
Dan Tabit
Keller Williams Bellevue - Sammamish, WA

What I did the last time is cleaned out the garage for my client, paid over $100 in dumping fees and put that broker on a list.  I don't forget when I'm treated a certain way, good or bad.  

May 06, 2018 11:54 PM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

You can't let the seller or their agent dump on you. Here in CT, we are an attorney-state so you could tell the attorney which will result in them telling the buyer's attorney that we either need to see the trash gone or need $XXX in escrow in order to close. 

May 07, 2018 04:35 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

After Closing? We do a final walk-through prior to Closing. If trash is there, it may very well just need to be rolled out to the curb on the upcoming trash day. If the garage is full of garbage though, the buyer doesn't Close until the Contract is fulfilled by the Sellers.

IF they choose to Close anyway, you may want to get a clean-out quote, give it to the attorney and have him make arrangements to write a check to the clean-out company in that amount from the seller proceeds.

Some sellers just get overwhelmed with a move but, as a listing agent, he needed to be on top of how his sellers were faring in the process. I always do a walk-through when I'm representing the sellers a day or two prior to Closing to make sure they're on-target for getting everything removed from the property.

Good luck, Paul!

May 07, 2018 07:02 AM
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC

I have been that listing agent, with a seller who is not coping well and lets me down at the last minute.  I've been that buyer's agent too, and all he cares about is getting closed.  Either alone or with the other agent's help, I find a solution that will satisfy the buyer.  Sometimes it takes a little money, sometimes I make a trip to the hazmat transfer station.  I guess if the garage were crammed full we'd have a serious problem, but thankfully I've never had it rise to that level.  A piano was left behind once, but the Veterans came and took it.

May 07, 2018 06:20 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

I would document any conversation/correspondence with the listing agent and then take appropriate action. 

May 07, 2018 05:29 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

Well in my area we charge for haul off of that garbage unless the closing day is the garbage day.

May 07, 2018 05:13 AM
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

We would've found it at final walk through and come up w/ a solution/compensation to make all happy at the closing table. 

May 07, 2018 04:46 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

This is why it's in Agreements !

May 07, 2018 03:54 AM
Peter Mohylsky
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL

Take care of it personally , but it should of be addressed earlier.  

May 07, 2018 03:46 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Depends on how much, would probably just clean it up.

May 06, 2018 11:30 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Another reason for a final walk-through.

May 07, 2018 05:32 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

This is why we always have a walk through just before closing where the buyers most pwerful option is not to sign unless it is removed. Other options are for the seller to pony up some cash and i arrange a contractor to come get it and bring to the dump

May 07, 2018 05:18 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Some agents have an attitude

May 07, 2018 04:23 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

If he owns a pickup, be helpful and put the six bags or more in the back to make it easy for him to hit the transfer station. Always be helpful. I am sure they just forgot.  Painted shut empty paint cans, hope they left those behind. They are always most appreciated by the new buyer.

May 07, 2018 03:27 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Another good reason for a walk through before the closing. 

May 07, 2018 06:32 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

The closing agent can withhold the funds that are required to do a removal and cleaning.

May 07, 2018 06:25 AM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

I think Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers have the best solution here. I think Peter Testa & Mike & Eve Alexander have great answers to your question. 

May 07, 2018 06:21 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

  How much garbage?  Is there residential trash service by the city/county?  Can't it just be rolled to the curb?  Or is it in the house / on the property?

  Our form says, "Broom clean", but if you don't catch it during the final walk-through the the buyer side agent has to deal with it.

May 07, 2018 06:02 AM
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

It should have been addressed on the Buyers Final and not allowed to close until it was done.  In some cases, I know there may have been a verbal understanding, but can you trust the agent to make sure it is done.  

In this case,  NOT.  So now who is responsible for removing it.  Unfortunately you may have to remove it to keep your buyer happy.

May 07, 2018 06:02 AM
Lesley Wilson-VanGoethem
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Winter Springs, FL
Residential Real Estate Broker Associate

It depends.. have had buyers look the other way as well as ask that the sellers or their handyperson return and remove.
this is discussed at final walk thru..  
always refer back to seller and not agent, as the agent is not party to the contract

May 07, 2018 05:58 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I've never actually encountered such an egregious situation. Because we have rules about when trash bins can be rolled out, sometimes an agent calls in advance and lets us know the new buyer should roll out the garbage bin on a specific day. Most buyers cooperate. If you're taling about just junk all over the garage... well... we do a walk-through shortly before closing and if it's there we say we'll delay closing or call a junk pick-up service and put the invoice on the seller's settlement statement.

May 07, 2018 04:39 AM
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

This is in no way the listing agents fault or problem. They can not make the seller clean up. This is the buyers fault/problem because they closed on a house with a garage full of garbage. How did you and the buyers miss it at the walkthrough?

May 07, 2018 04:28 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Why yes, yes I am going to use you

May 07, 2018 04:01 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

 I'd discuss with my principal. 

May 07, 2018 12:23 AM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Rarely happens, however I recently had a closing with a FSBO and the owner refused to remove the garbage.  So I chose to get rid of the stuff myself as my buyers expected it gone and I was not going to let them get stuck with it. 

May 07, 2018 08:59 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Hire a junk company to remove it and charge the seller the money for it.

May 07, 2018 08:54 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

There is nothing in our contracts that addresses that but I think it is very inconsiderate of the seller to leave garbage for the new buyer!

May 07, 2018 07:54 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

have a holdback for the fee that will be charged by a garbage removal company....get a written bid emailed to you to present at closing.... 

May 07, 2018 07:32 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

That response sounds like an invitation .... and you accepted. 

It would depend on how much is in the garage ... is it just trash in the cans or is the garage filled with, you know, crap. 

That would all be taken care of before we closed.  

May 07, 2018 07:24 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

How much garbage? Can it be put out for the next garbage pick up or would need a hauler? 

May 07, 2018 06:57 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The truth of the matter? What can you do then? The time to act has passed

May 07, 2018 06:44 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

I'll close when you perform per the contract! Until then, it is still yours!

May 07, 2018 06:43 AM
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

garbage as in trash to set out for collection day or a garage full of "stuff"? first scenario, set it out on collection day, no worries. second scenario, my response would be that would not be my preference, and it is up to the Buyer and not up to me but I will be happy to refer an attorney to the Buyer if the Sellers don't get it out within a couple of days and ask to make sure they spell their and name and Company correctly on social media and review sites.

May 07, 2018 10:06 AM
Jon K. Judd
Keller Williams Realty - Central Delaware - Dover, DE
GRI, e-PRO, SFR, Delaware Homes

Not certain why the garbage is still there "after" closing... I would think the buyer and the buyers agent did a walkthru prior to closing... to make sure everything is ok.  Contract here requires the "property" to be broomed sweept...   If during the walkthru the garage the garbage was still there, would depend whether you are talking about a garbage can full or a garage full.  A full can, I'd just put out for pickup.... a full garage, I'd get a quote and present it to the closing attorney and ask for funds to be held to cover the cost of removal.

As for the LA, I suspect "word" will get out... however, should the deal not close because of the issue, he'd be more likely to have to worry about being sued by the seller, and perhaps the buyer... as well as a possibility of appearing infront of the Board.

May 07, 2018 09:37 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


So many answers here!   It has not happened to us.  A

May 07, 2018 07:42 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I had a listing it took 12 truck loads to remove from premise. Two were abandoned vehicles(shells).....

May 07, 2018 07:33 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

I try not to make out profession look bad,  I would call the agent then his broker and then I would go have it removed.


May 13, 2018 09:28 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

I do my best not to create problems where there don't need to be.  Hopefully the buyer can handle it, if not then I'll call the agent and at a last resort I'll take care of it.

May 11, 2018 12:47 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

That is what the walk through is for, to see these type things.

May 09, 2018 03:27 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I once had a listing which had a fireplace and the seller thoughtfully left quite a bit of firewood behind. After closing, the buyer’s agent called to complain about the garbage that the sellers left. He said that his buyers do not use the fireplace! I hired a neighbor kid, rented a pickup truck and we took the wood to the dump. When we were throwing off the wood, another guy who was dumping trash asked if I would mind if he took the firewood! We offloaded it into a separate pile and he loaded it up. Free firewood for him was a good deal.

May 08, 2018 09:57 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS, if the listing agent does not care for your requests, you just do it!

Now you are an inch taller in front of your buyers. (And may get few more referrals!)

May 07, 2018 09:42 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

If I was the agent on either end I'd just get it out.

May 07, 2018 08:45 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I would know about that at closing as we do a final walk through before closing

May 07, 2018 08:06 PM
Evelyn M Epperson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Johns Creek, GA
A Tradition Of [Excellence, Trust & Service]

Unfortunately, nothing, unless the contract states this clause, survives the closing.

May 07, 2018 06:11 PM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

My answer to the listing agent.

Yes, it's a thought.... A Hole.

Thank you for making the suggestion.

May 07, 2018 04:56 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Been awhile but I have hired people to clean. 

May 07, 2018 01:26 PM
Denise Copeland
Home Sales Palm Beach - Jupiter, FL
Jupiter Abacoa Sales & Beach Front Luxury Homes

I would hope that there would have been a walk-through prior to closing and that title would have withheld a reasonable amount of the proceeds from the sale in order to clean the mess. 

May 07, 2018 10:47 AM