Marcy, a first-time homebuyer, was over-the-moon excited about finally moving into her new home.
The day arrived, the movers were actually on time and, for the first time since the final walk-through, she opened the door to her home.
Since she had a case of water bottles with her, she headed
straight for the refrigerator to ensure they were kept cool for her
But there was no refrigerator – just an empty space where it stood just weeks earlier during the walk-through. Marcy panicked. The stove was there and the built-in microwave above
it. The dishwasher was there.
She then ran to the laundry room, only to find empty spaces
where that gorgeous washer and dryer once stood. Marcy grabbed her phone to call her real estate agent who told her that those appliances weren’t included in the sale.
“If you wanted them, you should have said something and we could’ve negotiated with the seller.”
Marcy was, again, a first-time homebuyer. She had no idea that appliances were something that needed to be “negotiated.” When her parents sold their home in the UK, they were included in the home they sold. She hadn’t realized they were included during the negotiation phase.
The tragic fact is that Marcy, like many new homeowners, spent most of her savings on the deposit and settlement costs with little left to pay for appliances.
It’s the agent’s job to educate his or her clients about a process they may find completely foreign. To have neglected to do so, and then blame Marcy for her shortcomings, is more than unfair.
Why aren’t appliances included in the
Seldom they are. Most times, they are not, and here’s why: if they aren’t built-in, they are considered “personal property.”
When you buy a home, you are buying “real property,” which is the land, the home and anything else permanently affixed to both.
A rose bush planted in the backyard is considered a “fixture,” because it is affixed to the land.
A rose bush planted in a pot on the patio, on the other hand, isn’t a fixture, it is personal property and may or may not be included in the sale of the home.
Other examples of fixtures include:
- Chandeliers that are attached to the ceiling
- An outbuilding, such as a shed
- Wall-to-wall carpeting (but not the Persian throw
rug that isn’t affixed to the floor)
- Garage door opener
If the item is glued, nailed, bolted or otherwise attached to the home, it is typically considered a fixture and must be included in the sale of the home. But, there’s a “but.”
The seller can exclude items from the sale by mentioning it in the listing agreement or the purchase agreement. It turns out that the washer, dryer and refrigerator in Marcy’s new home, were excluded as a standard clause in the purchase agreement.
Marcy isn’t a lawyer and was depending on her real estate agent to decipher what she was reading before she signed it.
Yes, you can ask that personal
property be included in the sale
Many a real estate agent get-together includes conversations about the crazy things some homebuyers have asked sellers to leave behind.
From wanting the seller’s family dog to requesting that the entire contents of a home (even soap and toilet paper) be included in the sale, everything is negotiable.
The sellers are under no obligation to include any personal property and, depending on the type of market and how motivated they are, they may hold firm during negotiations. But, there’s no harm in asking, right?
Keep this in mind if you’re thinking of selling your home. If you want to hang on to your great-grandmother’s chandelier (or anything affixed to the home), remove it and replace it with something else before the home goes on the market, you do not want any difficulty to arise for no reason.
Here’s what they mean
CHATTELS – Moveable personal property or furniture. Items such as machinery, implements, tools, furnishings, fittings, which may be associated with land use, but which are not fixed to the land or premises or, if fixed, may be removed without causing structural damage to a building.
EXCLUSIONS – Any item that is specifically not included in the sale. e.g. An above ground pool, garden shed, etc.
INCLUSIONS – Usually fixtures such as lights, curtains, blinds, ceiling fans, air-conditioning units, flyscreens, TV antenna, dishwasher, range hood, stove, fixed cupboards, clothes hoist or any other removable item that the vendor has agreed will be included in the sale.
Other Meanings can be found here.
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