You CAN Take It With You: Avoiding Unnecessary Costs In Home Buying
A recent July 8, 2016 article by The New York Times memorialized an age-old issue that occurs in nearly every residential real estate transaction: the seller leaves behind an unwieldy piece of furniture, an out-of-commission air conditioning unit, or a decades-old chest freezer and leaves the buyer to wonder how they will dispose of this unsolicited “gift.” Oftentimes, the removal of large items left behind by a seller can cost the buyer a great deal of money and effort. Nobody wants to see the closing on the sale of a home fall through over a chest freezer, so the buyer often bites the bullet and disposes of the unwanted items left in the seller’s wake.
But does it have to be this way? The answer is NO. Buyers can avoid the headaches described above by conducting a meticulous pre-offer walk-through of the property they are purchasing, noting any large items that would be costly to remove, and reducing the removal or disposal of those items to the terms of the written contract as a responsibility of the seller. If the seller insists that a certain item remain in the home at the time of sale, a buyer should obtain an estimate on the cost of removing the item, and escrow that amount as a contractual obligation. The buyer should also conduct a pre-closing inspection to ensure that such items have been removed and that the property has not been damaged during the move-out process.
Utilizing well-drafted and all-encompassing contracts in residential real estate transactions can safeguard buyers against unanticipated costs and alleviate a great deal of headaches at closing. For more in-depth coverage of this issue, consider reading You’re Taking That With You, Right? by Joanne Kaufman of the New York Times.
John M. Kelly, Attorney at Law, LLC is home to over 42 years of experience in the drafting, negotiation, execution, and enforcement of contracts for the sale of residential and all other real estate. If you are a seller or potential home buyer, it is essential that you engage the services of a seasoned attorney to guide you through the intricacies of the real estate process. Call today to consult with an experienced legal expert.