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Here’s What Happens to Abandoned Items Left After a Home Sale

Posted by Hanna Selman on May 9, 2022
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what happens to abandoned items left after a home sale

Have you ever wondered what happens to the random stuff some home buyers may find left behind in their new homes? We’re about to solve the mystery by sharing what happens to abandoned items left after a home sale.

Left behind

Generally, buyers expect to find their new homes relatively empty unless otherwise negotiated during the sale. However, buyers be warned. You may be surprised by what some sellers leave behind—and you may be left asking, “What now?”

Without further ado, here’s what happens to abandoned items left after a home sale. Those items become the property of the new homeowners as soon as the transaction is complete.

Therefore, the buyers can essentially do what they please with the items left behind. That means you can keep it, donate it, toss it or sell it.

How to avoid it

On the plus side, there are a couple of ways to avoid the hassle and frustration of dealing with items that have been abandoned by the previous owners.

First of all, get everything in writing ahead of time. Talk to your Realtor about adding a line in the contract that clearly states your removal expectations.

For example, if the refrigerator isn’t part of the deal, be clear ahead of time as to when it should be gone. The contract could read something like, “All personal items in and on the property not included in the sale must be removed by [a specific date.]”

Another way to avoid getting stuck with junk that may be too expensive to easily haul away is to do a thorough walk-through a few days before the final closing. This ensures large unwanted items aren’t left behind as well as smaller things left in a medicine cabinet, for instance.


Finally, a good way to make sure your home buying and move-in go as smoothly as possible is to work with a knowledgeable and experienced local Realtor. If you are thinking of a making a move to East Alabama, reach out to Ryan Roberts today. For more home tips and other real estate news, continue to browse our blogs!