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Who pays when the seller damages the home while moving out?

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2023 | Real Estate Disputes |

The condition of the property that someone wants to buy has a major impact on how much they pay. Fixer-uppers often command more reasonable prices, while properties in pristine, turnkey condition may be far more expensive. The price negotiated for the property is therefore a reflection of its anticipated condition.

Not only does the seller need to disclose known issues with the property, but they need to let the buyer inspect the property, often with the help of a professional. There will even be a final walk-through right before the closing in many cases. What happens if the seller causes damage to the property while moving out, such as damaging hardwood floors or breaking a window, that the buyer spots right before closing?

Insurance may cover it

Some people who sell their home will pay for special moving insurance if they will be handling the major items by themselves or with non-professional support. Many others hire professionals to handle their property. Professional moving companies typically have professional liability coverage that will pay for the damage caused when someone moves in or out.

If there isn’t an insurance policy that applies, the seller may be directly responsible for any issues with the property that result from their move out that would cost money to address. In some cases, those damages may delay the closing and force a new round of negotiations. Buyers may want to make use of their final walk-through rights and hold sellers accountable if they damage a property before closing.

Understanding the options available will help those worried about property damage and other challenges right before a residential closing. This is just one more reason why legal guidance during the process can be valuable.


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