Valued Contributor
Posts: 751
Registered: ‎06-01-2010

After nearly 7 months of searching, we finally found our “forever” home. DH and I are now in our early 60s, and decided we really need to downsize. We’re so excited to finally find a place that we hope will be perfect for us. It is all on one level, which is very important as we age. Our excitement was cut short when we went to closing and received the keys to our new home. We cannot believe the mess the prior owners left. I’m not talking just debris left laying around, but the toilets were disgusting; one of them even had urine all around the base of it on the floor.  The oven was filthy. It’s a self-cleaning oven for goodness sake, why couldn’t they take the time to turn it on? The microwave was also filthy. This house was not in this condition when we viewed it just a month ago.  We have moved many times over the years and have never, not once, encountered this before. We hate to be jerks, but our contract did read that the home would be left clean, and in move-in ready condition. Before contacting our realtor, I’m wondering if any of you have ever experienced this, and how you handled it?

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-27-2017

That stinks. We have always gone to the house right before closing or if we were unable to our realtor would go, just to make sure the house was in the same condition when we had it inspected. I would definitely contact your realtor and at a minimum have the previous owners pay for a professional cleaner. Good luck!

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,931
Registered: ‎02-22-2015

If the home was spotless one month ago, I'd call a cleaning company and have them clean it immediately. Not sure there is anything you are able to do, but if you want to pursue it you will have a receipt for having the mess cleaned up.


Personally, I would not make an issue of it. I'd move in, get to know the neighbors and find out what the problem was. Perhaps the previous owners weren't happy with the price? In which case, they are small-minded people. Don't stoop to their level. KARMA will get them. Forget it. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,557
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

You should ALWAYS view the home right before closing.  That way if there are unresolved issues, they can be brought up at closing.  You could have asked for money for a cleaning service,  which probably would have been granted. 

When we went to closing, we brought up the fact that there was still an issue with the faucet in the kitchen.  The homeowner was being a jerk and didn't want to fix or replace it, even though it was agreed upon initially.  Even his lawyer thought he was wrong, and cut us a check for the amount needed to make things right.

Your real estate agent should have brought you back to do a re inspection prior to closing so all of this could have been resolved. 

Shame on the people who sold you the house, and shame on your realtor.


Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,946
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Didn't you have a walk-thru right before closing?  I used to be a Realtor, and it was standard procedure to take the buyers to the home to walk through it and make sure it was in the same condition as it was when they signed the contract.  This was done the same day as the closing.


I would definitely contact your Realtor, but I'm not sure you can do anything after the closing.

My little dog, a heartbeat at my feet. —Edith Wharton
Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.--Colette

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,144
Registered: ‎03-09-2010


I know how upsetting and disheartening that is!

Especially when you know you leave a place clean and then have to do it all over again at your new place.

I have encountered it over and over. When it was a rental place, either for me or my daughter in college, if the agreement said it would be cleaned, I called them and said they had to come and clean it like they said.

Even if nothing was said, I would still try to get the owner/realtor whoever to be accountable and have someone clean it up!

You should not have to clean other's mess they made for years. The price did not include you being their cleaning lady! 


If your contract said left in clean and move in condition, I would definitely call them and have them get a cleaner in there.

It still might not be up to how you want it cleaned, but at least it will be a start and help a little!

I'm so sorry you had to have that happen.

I hope when it is clean like you want and you start to enjoy your new home, it will help you forget about this or at least that disappointment will fade.


"If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew. Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains? can you paint with all the colors of the wind?"
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,295
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I would contact your realtor. At this point she should pay to have the house cleaned out of her commission money. It was her responsibility schedule a walk through the day of closing. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 22,439
Registered: ‎05-10-2010

I never heard of such a thing, I'm that would never happen where I live.  Was the house a foreclosure?  If the prior owners lost the house and had to move out quickly, perhaps that's why it was in such a state.  The realtor does a walk through right before the closing to make sure every thing is right and every single buyer I know is visits the house before closing and after closing.  Not because they expect filth like that but to ensure that the agreed upon repairs have been completed.  It's hard to believe that all that could happen to house in just a month.  Yes, call the realtor.  Or call a professional house cleaning company.

Super Contributor
Posts: 483
Registered: ‎04-08-2010

As others have stated, I am shocked that your realtor did not schedule a walk through right before closing. Contact him immediately. I have a feeling he might have known the condition of the house and that is why you did not have a walk through. He sounds very unprofessional. Perhaps you can take the matter up with his boss.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,467
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: New Home A Mess

[ Edited ]

I have always done a walk through immediately prior to closing or within 24 hours of same. A house in that filthy condition would certainly have delayed closing, regardless of the inconvenience. How disrespectful of the sellers! House is expected to be in "broom clean" condition, which probably would not have included the oven. Don't bother with the agent. Nothing to be done after the fact. Good news is that you hopefully will not have to do this again. Time to move forward, not look back.


I am also in my early 60's and just downsized over Labor Day. The house was an estate sale, sold by the late person's brother, who was a nut job and a slob. Just in it for the $. Not as bad as your experience, but the place was filthy. First two people through the door after closing: housekeeper for a thorough cleaning of the kitchen and bathrooms and someone to (successfully) clean the white tile and grout in the filthy master bath and powder room.


As of this weekend I will finally, after three months, be finished with all of the dozens of projects that had to be done to make this place my home,


Just one project remains: the kitchen. Cosmetic update on a budget over the winter.