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Homeowning quandary: The Bad Beginning

A few days ago we signed closing papers for a house. Yesterday our escrow people confirmed everything was complete and the place was ours. Last night we drove over there, hoping to get a hold of our realtor and get the keys and walk into Our New House, just to look around and start dreaming of paint colors.

Imagine our confusion to find the lights were still on, the doors were open, an old truck was backed into the driveway, and one of the previous owners was directing some guys carrying stuff out of the house. Yes: They were still moving out. They were nowhere near done. It looked, in fact, as if they had just gotten started. We made some small talk and introductions with the woman, who was cheerful and seemingly oblivious as to their obligation to actually be out of the house by this time.

Being nice and non-confrontational people, we excused ourselves and wandered aside and called our realtor, who was not amused with the other team. He told us to get a key from the old owners, and figure out what was going on; and meanwhile he would leave a seriously unpleasant message for their realtor (who apparently neglected to make his clients understand that they actually had to, you know, vacate the premises by Friday). We got a key from Mrs. Oblivious, and decided, what the hell; we weren't going to get much done Friday night anyway, so we would come back Saturday morning. They swore they'd have the house cleared out by then, and would just have the outbuilding to clean out--which they would do over the weekend. Okay, fine, if you must. The house is the important part anyway.

So this morning we drive back over there. No one is around this time (they said they had to work Saturday), but:
a) The key Mrs. Oblivious gave us does not work, and
b) A look into the windows, and around the yard, indicates pretty clearly that they are not done clearing out. In fact, their stuff is still everywhere.

Today, we are not so inclined to be nice. This isn't just "kind of" our house. We aren't in a legal twilight period where it's "partially" ours and partially theirs. No. This is completely, legally, totally our house now--and we can't get into it and their stuff is all over the place. Our realtor has been unreachable today, but I'm sure he will have some choice words for them and their team, which I can't wait to hear. In the meantime I ask you...

Poll #388622 Homeowning quandary: The Bad Beginning

What should we do?

Get all the locks changed, without informing the previous owners
Have someone move all their stuff out and take it to their new place, and send them the bill
Charge them rent for the days they still have stuff in the house
Hack their realtor's website so it displays porn with his face on it
Obtain mob connections and apply some real "pressure"
Shrug it off, wait it out, and go do something fun - what's one weekend, right?

Other suggestions welcome in the comments. There's actually even more to the unprofessionalism and tackiness of these previous owners, but I'm too polite and disgusted to go into right now.



Nov. 21st, 2004 02:28 am (UTC)
wow, whee, le sigh.
i'm about to be in similar peril. my mate and i are pre-approved and are currenly house shopping. i *love* the ones that are already vacant. our realtor says "ah, lock box," when i'm talking over a listing with him on the phone and i internally breathe a HUGE sigh of relief.

our former landlord/best friend since high school bought a house in this area (northern california) and we moved up (from so cal) with them to take a room for a couple months and help with initial mortgage expenses. one crisis i saw her go through was that the house had been occupied (vacated just in time though) with a sublet of the in-law space. when she went to put the utilities into her name she was confronted with ENORMOUS outstanding bills. so they'd had all the lights on for days when showing the place, probably left them on to show to best advantage and all that. it was a huge hassle for her, and took repeated calls to both realtors and utility co's and everything else to settle.

*please* take contact information for the former owners, and their realtor, and check on the utilities ASAP so you don't get stung like this!

i send you random good vibes and good luck!
{really random, i stumbled on your entry via the BPAL/friends page}
Nov. 21st, 2004 02:52 am (UTC)
Re: wow, whee, le sigh.
Hee - hello to another BPAL enthusiast!

Yes, now we're wondering about the dang utilities. They were supposedly switched over to our name on closing day--but if they're still going in and out and leaving stuff on, then are we responsible for that? Better freakin' not be. Will repeat all that to our realtor when we dump it in his lap to take care of it. Poor fellow...not really his fault. :)

Thanks for the vibes!