When purchasing a house, here in Florida, typically, on the day of closing, the buyer and the seller sign their closing documents. Sometimes the buyer and the seller sign their documents separately, at a different closing table, at different times, depending on scheduling and the complexities of the transaction. It takes the buyer longer to get through his documents, especially if he is getting a mortgage. (If the closing is a mailaway, the buyer and seller may sign a day or two ahead of time.)
Customarily, the buyer does a walk through on the property before heading to closing, to be sure that the house is in the same condition that it was when he last saw it. He should be sure that all the appliances, fixtures and any extra items written into the contract are left with the house. And, he should be sure all of the seller’s belongings have been removed from the property.
The walk through is also the time that the buyer should double check to be sure that all of the repairs that had been agreed to on the contract, have been completed.
By the time the buyer and seller sign their documents, the seller should have all of his belongings out of the property, with no expection of returning to the house. The seller must be prepared to hand the keys over to the new buyer once the documents are signed, as the buyer takes possession of the home on closing day.
But, what happens when a seller hasn’t gotten all of his belongings out of the property prior to signing? Well, it can turn into a bit of a precarious situation for both parties. Technically, when the buyer and seller sign the closing documents, the house becomes the property of the buyer. And, if items are left behind, they can also become the property of the new buyer.
I have heard that in some parts of the country the seller has time after settlement/closing day, when papers are signed, to get their belongings out of the house before turning over the house and the keys to the buyer. Is this true?