Getting the Mail!

Even after it’s all done…there’s one last thing that connects the buyer and seller – something that’s not always pleasant.

The mail!

Say you just bought a house….BUT the former owner still gets lots of mail, every single day!

Or if I sell a house….but I never get ANY of the mail addressed to my old place forwarded to me. Nothing!

OK, I know. In today’s digital world, some people never get any mail. But most of us do. Whether it’s a bank statement or a refund check or a magazine subscription. So when the house changes hands – what happens?


Well, for starters, as the seller you should go to your local post office, or go online, and fill out a change of address form. That is the best way to make sure you won’t miss any mail.

It’s quick, it’s easy, and it works really well.

But what if – you don’t?

Do the people who bought your house have a legal responsibility to forward each and every piece of mail that comes to the former owner?

Or – if the new owner never forwards any mail at all, and just throws it out….are they breaking the law?

It’s a great question – because fact is, that happens a lot. People just forget to do that ‘change of address’ form, and there you are in the new house when you realize you’re not getting a thing! No letters, no magazines, no flyers, nothing. Whose fault is it?

Well, we looked into that here on Real Estate Today. We called the United States Postal Service, and checked the rules and regulations. About your mail.
And guess what?

According to the Postal Service – it’s YOUR mail, and YOUR new address…so it’s YOUR responsibility to make sure it gets to YOU. So you really should fill out that change of address form. So – when it come to the new owners – they have options if they get mail addressed to you.

Assuming they know your new address, they could write it on every piece of mail, and put it back in the box – and it would eventually get to you, at your new address. OK? But again – that’s asking them to do all the re-addressing. And if you get a lot of mail, that’s a lot of work.

Other options: they could write ‘NSP’ on it – that means ‘no such person,’ or ‘RTS’ which is return to sender…and put it back in the mail box also. But of course if they did that you would never get it…it would either go into the dead letter bin, or back to the original sender…

But – OK, what if they just throw it away?

Well, if it’s bulk mail? That’s probably OK. Catalogues, Restaurant menus…that sort of thing. But if it’s first class mail? That, my friend IS a crime. You can’t destroy first class mail. But here’s the problem: how are you going to prove they’re throwing out your mail?

So anyway, back to the real solution here. Change your address. Yourself. Do it in person at the post office, or do it online. Don’t rely on the people who just bought your home.

Again – the postal service says it’s YOUR job to make sure YOUR mail gets to YOU…at your new house.

Do that? And just think. The next time anybody says ‘the check’s in the mail?’

You’ll get it!

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