On Real Estate

Jim Valentine: What’s included in the sale?

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

Jim Valentine on Real Estate

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Real estate is the business of selling real property. Quite often, however, personal property gets in the mix, and it can lead to misunderstandings. It is important that you put in writing what your expectations are, or, as a seller, what it is you are including or withholding.

Sometimes personal items look like they are part of the property, but that is merely a tribute to how well they fit in, not the reality of their being included in the sale. Some of the easy stuff is inside.

Many sellers leave the refrigerator and washer/dryer rather than move them. If you get involved in that scenario, whether by their offering or your requesting, make sure you identify which refrigerator it is.

We’ve heard about people swapping the garage fridge for the kitchen fridge. That can be a $3,500 fridge for a $100 fridge. Often both are left so be sure to write it out. If you’ve a family chandelier in your dining room be sure to exclude it in the listing paperwork.

It is usually best that you remove it prior to entering the market so buyers don’t get attached to it. If you are offering some furniture to go with, or be available for purchase, remove that which you won’t be selling.

It will save any potential hard feelings when the negotiations start. The garage can cause some confusion if you’ve cabinets, work benches, etc. Sometimes they stay, sometimes they don’t. They may look like they are attached, thus fixtures, but aren’t.

Again, specify in the offer if you’ve the expectation of receiving them. They may be identified as staying in the MLS entry, but if you don’t have it in your offer, you will find yourself without them. Things can get interesting on the outside.

When you drive up and see the property it is often expected that it will look like that when you drive up as the owner after the close of escrow. Again, if you don’t write it in you may find yourself without. Lawn art looks fixed and a part of the overall picture.

If, however, the vintage wagon featured in the landscaping is a family heirloom, they may be taking it with them. Don’t assume that the 150 rabbit figurines in the backyard are staying. If it is a collection, it might be going with the collector.

The Ring-type doorbell is another area of confusion. The prices have dropped, but many people paid premium prices when they first appeared on the market. They can be easily removed, and the original equipment reinstalled. If you want it, write it.

The same for the security system. Find out if it is leased or owned. Will it stay? Is there a lease contract that you will be assuming? What are the terms? Same for the TV Dish. Propane tanks can be owned or leased. Which is yours? If leased, you will be buying from the company that owns it.

Are they price competitive? Is the shed staying? Sheds, even big ones, can be moved and may not be included unless you specify that they stay. Horse set ups come in all shapes and sizes, and many are not staying.

Panels are easily removed, and shelters can be quickly disassembled. If you want it, write it. It is amazing how often real estate negotiations get down to personal property items. Most agents will work to have it occur outside of escrow, but sometimes something is a natural fit and it should be negotiated contemporaneously with the real property efforts.

All will be fine if everyone knows up front what is expected of them, to give and to receive. Remember, too, that any value given to the personal property separate from the house cannot be included in your loan. Most items are included at no value in the offer.

Ideally, you could shake hands and have an understanding, but these days you are better off shaking, and confirming by putting it in the offer paperwork.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your Real Estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Gold Carson Valley, License BS.03481 775-781-3704. dpwtigers@hotmail.com.


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