How to avoid seller's belongings being left behind in the property?

I'd appreciate some input on this: having a seller's belongings left in a property after closing is a common issue in a short sale. Contracturally, a buyer doesn't too many options outside of arbitration or small claims court suit if they discover the belongings being left after closing. Of course, it frustrates all parties involved and it steals the "thunder" of the most gratifying part of the escrow.

Many of us had to shell out a portion of our already-reduced commission for disposal fees. How do we avoid this?

Here are a few things I've done in the past on the buyer's side:
1. Added term to contract: " Property to be completely vacated of all seller's belongings ____days prior to closing.
2. Anticipate items and their disposal fee (usually $500 per small container) and subtract from price willing to pay or ask for the equivalent in closing costs.

I have some on the seller's side as well, but wanted to hear from you first. :-)

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Umm...I have a rider that simply states the property is sold as is and the buyer is responsible for any items left behind and cleanup.

I have never had an issue since.

Haven't had an issue with this so far, as the only things left behind has been misc clean-up, and the buyers have expected that, but both OP and reply have raised good possible riders.



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