Paula's Adventures In Real Estate

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When In Doubt, Don’t Leave It Out November 6, 2009

So, yesterday we had our monthly sales meeting at Re/Max Town Centre. After going over the stats and sales data for the past couple of months, we got on to a couple of thought-provoking questions. One of which was in regards to chattels (for a definition click here http://duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/C/Chattel.aspx) included in an agreement of purchase and sale. I’ll use one of my own experiences as an example…

Not that long ago, I listed a house where the sellers had planned to include all of their appliances in the sale. I specifically listed each appliance in the MLS as inclusions. A few days later, we received an offer from a buyer represented by another agent. The offer listed all the appliances as “chattels included” except for the refrigerator. When I presented the offer to my clients, we noticed that the fridge was not listed but we just thought that the buyer had a fridge already and didn’t need or want theirs. After some negotiations on price and the closing date, we had an accepted offer.

FridgeSome weeks later, the deal closes and out of the blue, I get a frantic call from the buyer’s agent wondering where the fridge is. I explained that the fridge was not mentioned or included in the agreement of purchase and sale and therefore the sellers thought the buyer didn’t want it. She said that she thought it should have been automatically included because it was listed in the MLS and that the buyer is expecting to get that fridge. So…who was right?

The answer is….the sellers. Here’s why. It must specifically state in the agreement of purchase and sale what chattels are to be included. If not, the buyers do not have any recourse should the items be missing. Even though it was mentioned in the MLS listing information, essentially all this means is that the seller is willing to include it if the buyer wants it. If it does not form a part of the contract, it cannot automatically be assumed that it would be included.

The moral of this story is to always put it in writing and be as specific as possible. If you are putting in an offer onContract a house and you’re asking for the high-end stainless steel appliances to be included, have your real estate agent specifically state the make and model of said appliances so that the seller cannot make any last-minute substitutions, if you know what I mean. Better to nip it in the bud at the time of the offer rather than face disappointment and possible lawsuits down the road.

‘Till next time,

Paula

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One More Reason To “Love Thy Neighbour” October 16, 2009

Buying a house can be a daunting endeavour. For most people, it is the biggest investment they’ll ever make in their lifetime. No one wants to buy a property with deficiencies but can you always count on the seller to be forthcoming with that type of information, especially if it’s serious enough to potentially kill the sale or warrant a significant reduction in price?

 

One tip I’ve recently picked up is to encourage buyers to talk to the neighbours. Knock on their door or get their phone number (your agent should be able to find out this information for you). A lot of the time, if there is somethingEye on you wrong with the house you’re considering purchasing, the neighbours will be aware of it. Sometimes, it’s because they too are having similar problems (as can be the case with water potability or flooding) or they’ve actually seen evidence of a potential problem (i.e. a well driller’s truck parked in the driveway of a home with a dug well could indicate a lack of adequate water supply). This will also give you the opportunity to break the ice with your prospective neighbours, to find out what kind of people they are and decide if you can picture living beside them in harmony.

 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still do your own due diligence by having a home inspection but it does provide one other avenue to gain valuable information about the property before you sign on the dotted line.

 

‘Till next time,

Paula