June 14th, 2012
Interesting blog post by Brendon Desimone regards the things that are and aren’t included with a home purchase.
In “5 Things Not Necessarily Included in Your Home Purchase,” Desimone offers an antidotal account of one buyer who fell in love with the large, unique mirror in the foyer of the home she was purchasing. When she came to move in, the mirror was gone, and all that was left were a few holes and missing wallpaper.
Unfortunately, things like this happen all the time. It’s important to know, and include in your purchase agreement, what is and isn’t part of the buy.
Appliances. This one is tricky, and something you should definitely discuss and spell out in the contract. Make sure to ask about individual appliances that you may assume come with the home, such as a built-in dishwasher.
If the seller tells you certain items are included, include them in the contract, and be specific. Desimone refers to a buyer who found that the previous owner, who said all appliances were includes, had replaced the stainless steel appliances with low-end models before moving out.
And if you don’t want the appliances, be clear about that as well. Disposing of large appliances can cost you, so if you want the buyer to remove something prior to departure, put it in writing.
Window coverings. Another tricky one. There are shades, and there are curtains and drapes. In most cases, the shades stay and the decorations don’t. But make sure that’s the case beforehand. After a long day of moving, you’re going to want to sleep in. And without shades, that will be tough.
Personal property. Always assume that the previous owners will take all of their property. They’re expected to.
But if there’s something in the house that seems meant to be there or impossible to move, ask about it, and offer to purchase it from them if they don’t seem too attached. They may be more than willing to part with whatever the item may be.
If this is your first home, and you’re lacking furnishings, you could ask if there is anything in general they would like to sell.
Depending on your relationship with the seller, you can either ask yourself, or have the real estate agent ask for you. But if the seller has been difficult to work with, don’t bother. It will just make the buy more complicated.
Flat screen TV/ mounting material. Again, always assume they will be taking these things along.
Kitchen or bath hardware. Desimone spells it out clearly, stating:
“Hardware — in the form of doorknobs, kitchen cabinet pulls, bed and bath fixtures, and so on — should always transfer to the new owner. This is just common sense. These items are permanently attached to and therefore should stay with the property.”
But, he also makes clear that foreclosures are a completely different story, so buyer beware.