What I'm Seeing Now

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"Broom Clean"

Around here, when people move out of a house for sale it should be left "broom clean."

I'm not sure I know what broom clean means, but it probably meant something entirely different to my grandmother than it does to me.

But still, what does it mean?

For instance, I have never seen a toilet or a carpeted room broom clean.

So, when I went into a recent flipped house, it was really clean.

More than broom clean.

It was REALLY clean.

And it should be - the lipstick was everywhere!

New this and new that.

So, where, oh where, had the older stuff gone?  Oh, where, oh where, could it be?

Found it!

It was out back.

Well, what's a shed for if not storage?

Cute stuff!

My recommendation:  if the house is supposed to be broom clean, that should go for the property to!  Trash should not be left for the buyer.  Junk should not be left for the buyer.  Anything left for the buyer should be previously agreed to.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 31 commentsJay Markanich • October 18 2014 03:00AM

Comments

That broom must have swept thru the legal community..our contracts use the term "broom swept"...and sometimes...not sooo much !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 4 years ago

Oh yeah, not cool at all.  They should have sprung for a dumpster.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 4 years ago

They cleaned the house with that broom but just swept it somewhere else.  Not a good thing to looks at when showing property. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 4 years ago

Yet another undefinable wrinkle, S&D!

Debbie - shouldacouldawoulda.  Long word.

James - at minimum it is impolite to leave such junk for the buyer.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jay.  It's not just "broom clean".  The phrase is "broom clean and free of debris".

Meaning, no trash left behind.  That includes trash in trash cans, unless the cans were purchased new with trash. 

It means give the floors a sweeping.  It does not mean you have to vacumm the carpets although most sellers do.

It means nothing left in the refrigerator.

It means no yard debris including old logs remaining on the property.  Firewood conveys as it was when the contract was accepted unless agreed to be removed.. 

It's not really complicated.  Simply put, "clean and free of debris" means leave the property in the condition you would want it if you were the purchaser.

Sounds like "The golden rule", doesn't it.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 4 years ago

It's interesting to see other peoples definition of "broom clean", I've seen a few similar to your photo that was supposedly broom clean.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) over 4 years ago

Good morning Jay,

That would be a site and most buyers first question: Who is going to clean up this mess!

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 4 years ago

Jay, I love your lipstick comment...I think part of the pig was left in the shed out back!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) over 4 years ago

Jay,

Our contracts call for "Broom clean and free of trash and debris."  So now the arguement begins - what exactly is trash?  What is debris?  Hmmm.  This could turn into a really interesting conversation around the settlement table!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Leaving old toilets and appliances in the shed for the buyer to take care of is not cool (and not "free of debris"!)

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 4 years ago

Patricia Kennedy has it right...I think, sadly, the language needs to be cleaned up because so many boneheads think an extra refrigerator or vacuum is "not debris."   Unless otherwise agreed by both parties, that includes extra paint cans,  lawn chemicals, etc -- all those "helpful" things sellers often do not want to fool with getting rid of because it can be a pain.  Too bad!  It needs to go.  Have run into this too many times!

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 4 years ago

Thanks for posting this great information. Have a terrific day ahead and a fine weekend.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 4 years ago

It is sad we have to define broom clean and debris free, but I have actually had to explain this to sellers and buyers alike.  I guess you are right one person's "broom clean and debris free" is not necessarily anothers. I have learned to "over specify" in writing. 

Posted by Cat Zwicker, CRS, Down to Earth Service; Out of this World Results! (Desert Sky Real Estate, LLC) over 4 years ago

Yep, that's considered junk & has to be removed before closing but not at the inspection in my area.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 4 years ago

I am glad that the Tallahassee Board Contract reads, "SELLER will have removed all personal items and trash and cleaned the Property".   It used to say "broom clean".

Posted by Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Usually, I'd consider a stove & a toilet to be a fixture, right?  Of course, when I think of those, I usually also think of them as being affixed properly to the home, not in the back shed.

I much prefer the other type of sellers, the ones who leave a bottle of champagne and a thank you note in the fridge.

Posted by Claude Labbe, Realty for Your Busy Life (Real Living | At Home) over 4 years ago

Broom clean means no debris to me.  That certainly qualifies as debris.  

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 4 years ago

Aloha Jay,

"Broom Cleaned" under the rug or in this case into the shed. I think a steam fog of hydrogen peroxide for 12 hours would make a house "clean", with carpets incinerated and replaced. Otherwise "clean" is subjective opinion, when it comes to homes.

peace,

Posted by Kimo Stowell, REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i (HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 ) over 4 years ago

Lenn - you know what it means, I know what it means, a kid in kindergarten knows what it means.  Flipper does not know what it means.

Bob - I see debris and trash left behind all the time.  I also see some stuff the people who are buying the house are happy getting!

Raymond - the buyers had not seen this until I opened the shed door!

Tom - would that make it the "pig sty?"  Badda boom!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Pat - I see "trash" a lot and the buyers are happy to get it!  It's the treasure/trash thing!

Kat - at best it is incredibly impolite.  Flippers are so caring though, as you know.

Susan - for sure.  I see it all, some good and some bad.  And sometimes what I think is bad the buyer thinks is good!

Thank you David.  Stop by again!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Cat - that's probably the only way to settle an argument before it creeps up.

Lyn - so you say!  What, you don't have Flippers there?    ; >)

Fred - that can also be interpreted many ways.  Does it mean to hire a professional cleaning company, for example?

Claude - aren't those fixtures in the shed attached to the floor?  And I like your gift idea.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Chris Ann - but what if it was all Redskin colors?  Hmmmmm?

Kimo - so much can be subjective!  To your point - what's "clean?"

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Debris is what is left on the race track after a crash...that is junk!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Hey, Jay!  This post is included in today's Last Week's Favorites.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Many contracts use the term "boom clean" and I it not clear at all what this means.  I always tell the buyer that the house most likely will be conveyed as we see it... If they are lucky the seller may do more.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 4 years ago

Jay, there is an old saying"you can't fix stupid"! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 4 years ago

That's a good definition Gary!

Thanks Pat.  That's always a fun mention for me!

Joan - I'm surely not sure what it means!  As I said, it is probably different for everybody.

Wayne - surely that is true!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

I never skip the final walk-though as that's an excellent time to see if all personal belongings have been removed prior to closing the sale.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 4 years ago

That is a good practice Norma.  This was the inspection, so I assume that gives lots of time for them to get rid of the trash!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jay Markanich - very well said - and I don't understand why people leave stuff they don't want! (And they can't 'broom clean' so leave it for buyers! Interesting!!)

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 4 years ago

At best, this is incredibly impolite and uncaring Praful.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

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