But in a real estate transaction, you need to read the small print. Because almost everything you need to know about your deal is in the TAR contract. Read it. Or at the very least, ask your agent about the key points. (NOTE: I am referring to the standard TN Association of Realtors Purchase and Sale Agreement which is used by most, but not all, agents in Middle TN.)
I see you yawning already! I know, I know, but you will thank me for this information when you go to buy or sell a house.
Whether you are the buyer or seller, the section about the stuff—the refrigerator, the chandelier, or the basketball goal is important, and often overlooked. You’d be surprised at how many real estate deals have been derailed because of a misunderstanding about a $300 refrigerator in the basement.
Section 1A of the agreement states what property is included as part of the home sale. When preparing to buy or sell, review the entire section with your Realtor, but here are a few items that often cause confusion.
All built-in kitchen appliances –INCLUDED
What about that stand alone refrigerator in the basement? Not included, unless you address it. (There is a space for this!)
All bathroom mirrors- INCLUDED
I have this fabulous mirror in my powder room that came from my grandfather’s house. I wouldn’t consider including it in a sale. But if I forget to mention it, it goes with the house.
All window treatments and hardware- INCLUDED
What about the custom curtains that match the chair and headboard in the master bedroom? Included, along with mini-blinds, shutters and shades.
All attached light fixtures and bulbs and ceiling fans -INCLUDED
What about the dining room chandelier? Technically a chandelier is an “attached light fixture,” but this one always causes trouble. As a seller, if you want to take Grandma’s chandelier with you, you must specifically exclude it from the sale.
Advice to Sellers
If there are items that are automatically included in the contract that you prefer to exclude, amend the contract accordingly. Better yet, remove the chandelier, the window treatments, and bathroom mirror before you put the house on the market.
Advice to Buyers
Just because the standard wording in the contract says the bedroom curtains remain, doesn’t necessarily mean the seller knows this. Ask your Realtor to double-check on any questionable items.
But It Said In The Brochure
Don’t count on the brochure.
Often it states in the marketing materials which items are included or not. But that information must make it into the agreement for it to be binding.
Now you know! And may you never find yourself haggling over a lighting fixure on the morning of the closing!