[CALIFORNIA] Seller of home took items in home clearly specificed as part of sale (Value ~$1500)


My parents have been looking for an investment condo to purchase in the town I live in, they live in another state. They figured they would allow me to live in the home for rent, until I purchased something of my own. They are realtors in their home state, I am a mortgage lender licensed in both their and my state.

The tasked me with the search since they live in other state. I found a condo that we liked, they used the listing agent to put in an offer, I took on the role of the lender. After contract was accepted things got difficult. The realtor (Pat) and his collegue(Bob), respectively, represented my parents (Buyer) and Natalie(Seller). They were terrible, constantly missing paperwork, failing to perform even basic tasks (they skipped the inspection, left me alone with Natalie and the inspector). Because my parents are realtors they were able to get everything squared away legally because they knew what to do. There were many arguments about who was in charge of repairs and the items in the house, my parents and I simply said, we'd be sticking to the contract. Ultimately we said screw it on the repairs, we'll do them.


Closing was scheduled for 45 days putting it on July 15th. Since that was Saturday, we suggested 14th or 17th. The seller asked for additional time to stay in the house. We said no, because the contract stated 45 days and we wanted to stick to it.

All day today I asked the Buyer's agent, Pat, to provide me with keys and meet me at property to ensure everything was in order. Pat said no problem, asked me questions about when recording and funding would occur (I am the loan officer for the lender). At 4:45 pm I told him recording and funding had occurred. He immediately sent me a message saying that the keys were in the shed but that Natalie was mad because she couldn't stay longer so she took the washer, dryer, and AC. I informed him that those items were in the contract and part of the sale. I told him I'd be filing a police report for theft, he said no problem, good luck. I also told him I'd be filing a complaint with the BRE for fraud and deceptive practices for allowing closing to occur when he knew that Natalie was in breach of contract. He perked up at this point, and realized he might be a little boned, claimed it's no big deal, it was all old stuff anyway.

The buyers contacted escrow and placed a hold on the money for breach of contract so it hasn't been dispersed yet. I'm hoping everything will resolve itself tomorrow, and the seller will realize their stupidity and return the items. But if they don't I am not sure what will happen, as I don't think escrow can unilaterally hold funds (they need permission from both parties), which puts ownership of the condo in a gray area.

Thoughts on how to proceed?

More real estate tips at Program Realty Wix site


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