who's home owners insurance covers this?

9 Replies

Okay, here's my terrible transaction story: My husband and I listed our house for sale in early March. We immediately found a home we loved and wanted to purchase, so we made an offer, contingent upon the sale of our home. A few days later, we received an offer, 2k below asking...we accepted. Full steam ahead. The appraisal for our house came back 20k under our sales price...which was crazy. Our house was priced very well. The buyers said they would only offer the appraised value, so our deal fell apart. A few days went by....they contacted our agent again to say that they still wanted the house, but only for appraised value. Thank you, no. Another week passes and they decide to offer 5k below our original accepted sales price. Under the gun to keep our new house....we accept. Our agents drew a new contract....and neglected to mark the box saying we'd need 3-5 days after close of escrow to vacate.(our original contract had it, so we assumed the new one did too. Never assume) So.....The buyer is furious the day of closing. They demanded keys that day. ...but we, obviously had too much work to be able to vacate that day. On top of that....Our new home hadn't closed yet! So, we recorded the next morning, I got the keys, and started bringing stuff over. About midday, I get a call from my agent saying the buyer had found a way into the house and was planning on packing up the rest of our things himself!! My husband and I rush home to find him there, with the locks changed., throwing our belongings into boxes. We had both our daughters with us, and didn't want to frighten them so, we calmly asked when we could pick up our things and be gone. As we started to look around....we noticed that several of our big ticket electronics were missing.  He claimed that the door was open when he arrived,  and boxed everything that was in the house.  We played along...but I had serious doubts about his story. We immediately filed a police report...and are now preparing to file a home owners ins claim. This story is a tangled one...what path do we pursue? 

It seems to me your home owners policy should cover it . I hope you did NOT cancel it on your day of selling your old house . I never cancel any policy UNTIL I have no reason to go back to it .

Licensed p/c agent. 

A homeowners policy provides coverage when you have an INSURABLE INTEREST in the property. Assuming you didn't leave the property vacant (as defined by your policy) and the policy didn't cancel the day of (highly unlikely unless you requested it), you MIGHT have coverage

Theproblem here...  mysterious disappearance.  Unless you can prove to your company that there was a theft (visible signs of forced entry), you MIGHT not have coverage.

 The reason I can't give you a definitive answer, is because I don't know your policy.  But if I were you, I'd eat the cost.  After your deductible and increase on the policy for 3+ years for filing a claim, I'd just mark it up in the "lessons I learned the hard way" column.  Wouldn't be worth it to me.

But, I don't know you, or your current financial situation, so take what I say with a grain of salt.  However, I'll be happy to review your policy for you if you have it in PDF and let you know my thoughts based on that. 

thank you @Daniel Preston and @Bob Baldwin. I think we'll end up eating the cost and not filing a claim. I think I was hoping for an option that included some sort of recourse with the new owners since I feel like they completely violated the laws Of human decency. An expensive lesson learned in scrutinizing contracts and trusting agents for sure! Thank you for the advice gentleman.

Kristen : It is somewhat amazing when you are dealing with the public . Mybe the Political Correct pundits can chase him down for " VIOLATING THE LAWS " of Human Decency 

It seems to me that this is more of a criminal issue, rather than a civil case.  At least here in Colorado a person needs to be evicted from a house before they can be forcibly removed, provided that they have established residency at that location. 

Clearly you have a rather unique situation here as you were in the process of transferring occupancy from one person to another due to a sale.  But, that doesn't give the new homeowner the right to discard, keep, or sell your valuables under this type of circumstance.  I'm inclined to look at this as a theft rather than an insurance claim.  

Surely there are some real estate attorneys and other real estate experts on this site with more knowledge of civil law than I am.  My personal area of expertise is in the investigation of crimes, and I think a criminal action is potentially applicable here, depending on the laws of your state.

At the very least, this purchaser is claiming that your stuff was gone when he got there. That is clearly a burglary in that instance.  Reporting it to the police was definitely the right course of action.

Wow that person seems like a jerk. I can understand them not being happy with the situation, but there are reasonable and unreasonable ways to handle a situation and they definitely crossed the line. 

At the end of the day things are just things, money is just money - it's how we treat people that really attest to who we are, how happy we are, and how we are remembered.

Don't forget- lesson learned read the contract....  (they make them so long though).   If you filed a police report  I am not sure but perhaps this could be a loss you can claim on your taxes even if you don't claim with your insurance. 

thank you all so much for the advice, and validation. @Kevin H., unfortunately, as we've begun the process of unpacking...we've discovered even more items missing :(. This has been far and away the oddest re transaction I've been a part of. We're  ding what we can to quickly follow up with the situation...even if we have no expectation of reclaiming our losses.

@Lisa Ryan....I Couldn't agree more. If I hadn't been so taken aback...and holding my infant in my arms...staring at all my belongings thrown into boxes....He surely would've heard my opinion on the matter! I lost a little faith in humanity that afternoon...I need a positive experience to counteract it ;)

Thank you @Coleen F., that's a helpful tip!


You filed a police report, what have the police done?

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.