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Who is responsible for damaged caused by buyer prior to closing?

5 months ago

To make a very long story shorter, the buyer went in weeks before closing, without my knowledge or permission, and made a lot of changes. He was only supposed to go in with his realtor to do some VA required repairs. Turns out he had been going in for weeks prior to closing doing things NOT required such as painting, removing wallpaper, putting in a new ceiling, moldings, carpet and security system. None of that would have bothered me, but he decided to put my stuff into the storage sheds in the backyard. When we moved earlier in the year, there wasnt enough space in the uhaul, so we had to leave stuff behind. We wanted those things to remain in the office room and bedroom closets until we could come back for them.

The problem is the buyer broke a lot of stuff. He was very careless. Shockingly so. In addition, a lot of stuff is missing. When I asked about the missing items, he and his friend exchanged ”uh oh” looks looks before shrugging. I would go so far as to say if I had known how much was missing or destroyed, we wouldn’t have bothered to go back for it. I estimate, between broken and missing items, we’re out about $15,000. That’s not counting sentimental items like photo albums and a quilt my mother made.

Any suggestions? I truly have no idea where to go from here.

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