Q. We just put in a offer on a home in South San Jose and it is a short sale home but our agent thinks it may be a forclosure now, not sure yet. The house is trashed with stuff (garbage, furniture, toys, junk .etc) oh, and a bunch of mouse droppings. Will we have to clean up all the mess if it is a short sale? what about if it is a foreclosure?
If the home is a vacant foreclosure, most bank owners will complete a “trash out” before close of escrow. This isn’t a thorough cleaning by far, but simply a haul away of furniture and trash in the yard.
However, if it is occupied or is a short sale, any clean up is between the seller and you. It is very advisable to make part of your purchase contract a “verification of condition” X number of days prior to close of escrow.
This is a challenging situation for most short sales and one of the risks involved in purchasing a short sale. You may ended up literally taking it – AS IS.
By the way, verification of condition is not a way to “back out” or cancel the contract unless specifically written and agreed to by both parties. However, if the seller indicates (bank or private) that they plan to have all cleaned up by a certain date, verification of that prior to close is better than finding out the day of closing. I reiterate that cleaning up the mess is one of the potential risk with any purchase.