Settle on inclusions before buying at auction
It’s a realization that can be incredibly frustrating, sometimes tarnishing the experience of moving into a fantastic new home – “But I thought they were leaving the dishwasher/shutters/built- in heater…”
Many people often assume the inclusion of various fittings, fixtures and appliances in their purchase of a property. In some situations, it only comes to light upon moving in that various household items which were present upon earlier inspections have been removed and taken with the previous owners to their new address.
The best way to avoid this situation is to cover every eventuality before you settle on a purchase or raise your hand to buy at auction. Although property laws can differ in each Australian state, a property’s sale contract should usually be made available to each prospective buyer, which will outline all household items that are included in the sale.
You should try to get a copy of this contract as soon as possible, giving yourself ample time to go over it with your legal representation clarifying any issues you may have regarding inclusions. For instance, it may be assumed that a set of plantation shutters are included with the house, however it is not set out specifically in the contract. This should be discussed with the sellers and the contract amended to reflect the outcome.
Remember, once your bid is accepted at auction, it is taken that you accept the sale contract in its current form. You will not usually have a chance to change or add any household items once the hammer has dropped.
If you have addressed your legal paperwork correctly to begin with, you could have the grounds for legal recourse if you realize that certain household items that had specifically been included in the sale contract have been removed from the property. Usually the best approach can be to contact the real estate agent who has been handling your purchase, who can then contact the seller. In many cases, a simple misunderstanding has occurred and the items can be easily returned.
As a seller, the best way to avoid any misunderstandings regarding items to be included in the sale of your home is to be clear and upfront from the beginning of the selling process. If you would like to take a particular appliance or fixture with you, make sure this is stated in the contract of sale and that your selling agent informs prospective buyers of it.
If you have any questions regarding what household items/fixtures are usually included in the sale of a property, please contact your local CENTURY 21 real estate agent, who will be able to advise you.