What buy­ers see is what they want to get

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

HANDS OFF If it’s not for sale, don’t let buy­ers see it. That’s the sim­ple rule that prop­erty sell­ers should keep in mind when they put their homes on show.

So says Har­courts Africa CEO Richard Gray, who notes: “There are all sorts of ‘trea­sures’ that home­own­ers may want to take with them af­ter they have sold their prop­erty, rang­ing from an­tique mir­rors and crys­tal chan­de­liers to pool clean­ers and favourite pot plants. That’s fine, as long as they don’t give prospec­tive buy­ers the im­pres­sion that these are part of the sale.”

Mis­un­der­stand­ings, de­lib­er­ate or oth­er­wise, over such items, are one of the biggest causes of ugly post-sale dis­putes, he says, and con­se­quently most sale agree­ments now pro­vide space for sell­ers to list items which are specif­i­cally ex­cluded from the sale — or for buy­ers to list spe­cific “re­mov­able” items for which they have ne­go­ti­ated, such as cur­tains, blinds, air-con­di­tion­ing units, hot tubs, gar­den fur­ni­ture and play equip­ment.

“It is still all too easy for sell­ers to for­get to lay claim to cer­tain items or for buy­ers to take for granted that these same items will au­to­mat­i­cally come with the house in­clud­ing pool and bore­hole pumps, so­lar gey­sers, satel­lite dishes, stoves, garage door re­motes and ceil­ing fans.” Sell­ers should re­move to an­other lo­ca­tion ev­ery item that they don’t want to in­clude in the sale, he says.

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