What buyers see is what they want to get
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.