Jim Valentine: What is included in the sale?

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

In a real estate transaction there is a lot of communication that occurs, much of it being representation. From the buyer telling the agent that they have great credit and are preapproved, to the seller saying they can be out of the house quickly for the right offer; people are making statements in an effort to have an effect on the other party. Unfortunately, not all such statements are reliable.

Let’s start with how the home is represented in the Multiple Listing Service. Sometimes personal property is included, i.e.- refrigerator in kitchen and/or garage, lawn art, washer/dryer. The buyer may or may not want them, but the home is offered that way so such items are generally figured to be part of the package that will be received at the close of escrow.

What do you do when the seller starts removing things from the property? It can get dicey when that happens.

If it is listed in the MLS you should be able to rely on the detail printout, but don’t. Things change. A seller may not want to move the washer/dryer across the country when they move, but didn’t know their neighbor’s friend would want them until they chatted at a party about the home being for sale. The seller wants to appease a long-time friend and gives the items away. Not uncommon, but now you have a change in what is being offered. You can’t give what you don’t have. Such changes aren’t always posted in a timely manner.

If you want something extra like that, even if it is being offered in the MLS, be sure to write it in your offer. Even then, surprises happen despite it being written into the contract. We recently had an agent say the washer/dryer wasn’t included when we wrote it in. We sent him a copy of his MLS printout where it stated that it was included to which he responded, “I’ll go out and buy the cheapest I can find then.” That’s not keeping in the spirit of getting what you bargained for. Good thing the buyer didn’t really want it, but the agent didn’t know that when making that silly statement.

If you want something to be included make sure it is written in the contract in plain sight in understandable language. Sometimes things get added that are not being offered, i.e.- the riding lawn mower, portable corrals, etc. While such things are typically included at no value, there may be value to one or both parties. How important is it to you really? Do you have to have it to make the transaction work, or are you simply trying to get some added value. Sometimes it’s the convenience of having something there without having to take the time to shop for one yourself, or it is easier to let you have it than to move it. One never knows without asking.

It is important to understand that when you adjust the offering with periphery items you could lose your real estate sale for non-real estate or non-essential items. How bad do you want it? Things can get dicey in these situations over something that is superfluous to the offering. Even though the competition between offers isn’t what it was a month or more ago, you might just tip the scale to your competitor by including such extra items in your offer.

If you write an offer including something that isn’t included in the listing offering make sure the item is actually for sale. Sometimes people like things on a property that have a lot of meaning to the other party. If the wagon lawn art once belonged to the Seller’s grandfather you might create a lot of unnecessary stress by asking for it, regardless of value offered. Sometimes things look casual but were expensive when purchased. We often have Buyers and Sellers discuss the personal property between themselves after the transaction is put together. It usually works out well with that timing.

Don’t assume anything is included in your sale unless you write it in and even then confirm that it is there when you close.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your Real Estate needs… Experience is Priceless!  Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704 or dpwtigers@hotmail.com 

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