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What happens to personal property in a house when the house is sold?

Hollywood, FL |

If the seller leaves personal property in the house, who owns that property? What if the seller made informal arrangements with the buyer to pick up the property at some later date after the sale? Is the buyer entitled to confiscate or throw the property away or give it away? What if the "seller" in this scenario was really not the seller, but was instead a fraudster who never owned the house in the first place.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. You have a lot of "what ifs" here. In order to get any guidance you need to describe the actual facts in some detail.

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******

  2. Disputes over personal property in connection with sales of real estate depend on the facts of each specific case. Frequently real estate contracts contain provisions indicating which personal property is included and which is not. If the seller turns the real property over to the buyer at the time of the sale with no mention of personal property, the buyer can reasonably assume that personal property left by the seller has been abandoned and can be disposed of in any manner the buyer sees fit. If you have questions about a specific case, you should consult an experienced real estate lawyer in your area.

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.

  3. I am going to go to the end right away, since that is the most important issue raised; what if the Seller does not own the home he sold? The answer to that depends on a number of things, but the deed to the subsequent Buyer is most likely void. To whom is the home recorded? Did the Seller forge the legitimate homeowner's signature on the deed to Buyer (if so, deed is void)? Was the Seller a squatter on someone else's property? Did the Buyer have notice that the house was not recorded in the name of the Seller (public records search)? Was a title search done? I would not worry about personal trinkets of the Seller, if the entire conveyance may be void. Seek the advice of a competent real estate attorney in your area to help you sort out your rights to the property.

    Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate, Special Needs: Information provided here is anecdotal and should not be relied upon or considered legal advice. Every matter is different and answers given here are general in nature and may not reflect current Florida law at the time you are reading this posting. Please contact me if you feel you need additional assistance with your matter.

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