What’s included in purchase price of home?
Mar 2011 05

When you buy a home, basically you’re buying the land, the structure, and anything bolted down inside – cupboards, vanities, wood and carpet floorings, decks and balconies … and that’s about it.

It surprises a lot of people to hear that a refrigerator is not automatically included, or that the oven and dishwasher might be considered the seller’s private property, not included in the sale.

It’s something you need to know about and something your real estate agent should emphasize, over and over again, during your search and when making an offer. While you’re focused on “I wanna buy this house!” your agent needs to do his/her part by making sure the “house” you wanted is the house you’re going to get.

Offers to purchase often include the phrase “purchase price includes all appliances and fixtures in good, working order”. This is a start, but not specific enough. Writing that in will let the seller know you want the stuff but it doesn’t do anything to define what an “appliance” is, or, worse, what a “fixture” is. The toilet? Built-in bookcase?

Err on the side of caution when writing up your offer (add a page / addendum with the items listed, individually). Do you want the refrigerator, microwave, stove, oven, and dishwasher / disposal? Do you want the curtains (and the rods they’re hung on)? What about the lighting? Is there a specially-designed chandelier in the living room? Mention it in the offer.

Most buyers, they only realize what’s happened the minute they want in after closing. “Oh, they took the curtains,” is the reaction.

Don’t let this happen to you. Make it explicit what’s included and not.

More: What Stays and What Goes When You Sell?

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