When you’re searching for a home here in Brantfordit’s natural to assume that anything attached to the house is part of the house and will stay. Unfortunately not all home sellers share that assumption.
Countless lawsuits and failed transactions have come as the result of a home seller removing something that the buyers assumed would come with the house. The list includes items such as chandeliers, medicine cabinets, drapery hardware, and even custom-made drapes. (No, drapes aren’t attached to a house, but since they were made for those windows, some buyers might assume they would stay.)
Most agents advise sellers to remove and replace anything that won’t stay before the photo shoot – and definitely before the first buyer tours the house.
Some sellers don’t follow that advice. They want to continue living with the things they love while the house is on the market.
Some inform their agents that they’ll be taking the chandelier or some other item that’s attached. Then the agent makes note of the fact in the MLS notes.
Unfortunately, not all buyer’s agents read those notes and convey the information to their buyers. Other sellers don’t tell their agents. They just remove things as they vacate the house.
So what should you do to avoid this kind of situation?
If you’re the seller – do remove and/or replace anything that won’t be staying with the house before the first buyer arrives. That includes fixtures, appliances, drapery, attached shelving, and any unusual item, such as a porch swing.
If you’re the buyer – First, ask your agent to check the MLS notes to see if anything is excluded. Then include anything questionable in your offer to purchase. It may sound silly to include light fixtures, but if there’s something exceptional that you really like, there’s a chance that the seller doesn’t intend to leave it.
Custom drapery should also be included in the purchase agreement. While the hardware is attached to the house and “should” stay, the drapes themselves are not.
What about appliances? Customs are different in different parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean the seller will follow local custom. Ask about the refrigerator, the range, the dishwasher, and the washer and dryer. If you want some or all to stay, include them in your offer, and specify that they will be the same appliances you saw when you toured the home.
Being specific in your offer may feel like you’re going overboard, but it’s far better than facing the unpleasantness that comes with poor communication.
When you’re ready to buy or sell here in Brantford, work with a reliable realtor. We’ll make sure there is no mis-communication over what does or does not stay with the house.