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The Personal Property Dilemma in Divorce Cases

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Dividing personal property can present its own set of difficulties. Let's discuss some of the challenges to avoid delays and potential breaches of contract. When you are selling your house, all personal belongings must be cleared out by close of escrow. Although this seems straightforward, it's often overlooked until the last minute, leading to contract breaches and potentially paying damages to the buyer.

Here's the situation: Once the property is under contract, the countdown begins, and in the current market, this can happen pretty quickly after your home goes on the market. All personal belongings must be removed from the house by the close of escrow, typically within 21-30 days. This is not just a recommendation but a contractual requirement, and those 21-30 days pass quickly.

To safeguard you against anything that could obstruct the sale, including contract breaches, I recommend deciding on the division and removal of personal property before listing the house. This is particularly crucial in high-conflict cases. Of course it also helps with staging, less is more.

Since all items need to be moved eventually, addressing this before listing is usually more effective. Some recommendations I typically make include:

  • Using separate PODS for each party, allowing them to store their items independently and later move them to their new location.
  • In cases where no agreement is made, one POD or storage unit can hold all unclaimed items until further decisions or orders are issued.
  • Hiring hauler and/or donating to non-profit organizations can be a solution for disposing of remaining items.

Every case is unique, and while my focus is on the real estate aspect, I'm always ready to offer advice on managing personal property in challenging situations. If you have any questions, I'm here to assist.

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Dani Wolter

Cell 408-355-4222
[email protected]


Affiliated real estate agents are independent contractor sales associates, not employees.

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