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What You See In An Open House Is Seldom What You Get
There a really big difference between the definition of real property and personal property.
And when a deal to transact is agreed between buyer and seller, the deal concerns the transfer of ownership of real property which excludes personal property.
This means that before handover a house that was sold, a seller would remove everything that belongs to him that is considered personal property and not categorized as fixtures.
The exception is when there is explicit agreement for some items to be included in the deal.
While most home buyers would already know this, there is still an unhealthy number of home buyers who actually think that what they see in an open house or a sales gallery is what they would get.
But because developers who run these sales launches of new homes and home sellers who would stop at nothing in staging their homes, this problem is not going away in the real estate industry anytime soon.
Mistaking home items as fixtures can be a huge price to pay.
Imagine walking into a posh kitchen filled with modern appliances fit for a smart home. Thinking that they come with the home purchase, you bought the house at a fair price. Then realize later that everything worth any money was removed from the kitchen as they were never part of the house.
Problems like these actually happen more often than most people realize.
Then there are also the crafty home sellers who promised in writing that a certain appliance would be included in the deal. Only after taking over the premises would the new home owner realize that A refrigerator was left behind as agreed… not THE refrigerator.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the real estate market is one huge battlefield to navigate. This is partly why it’s such a tough industry to regulate.
Even after centuries of real estating, there are still so many loopholes for people to exploit.
If ever you purchase a property and wants to ensure that certain things or fixtures would be transferred as part of the deal, the best practice is to have it all written down in the contract.
This is no time to be complacent.
When possible, include serial numbers of electronics and appliances so that a fast one would not be pulled on you.
This is so that a seller does not do something like replacing a high-end water heater with a cheap one.
Remember that if something is permanently attached to the property, it is considered as part of the house. Removing them would be a breach of contract.
You agent might not like it as he’d probably be the one tasked to do it. But it’s a way to protect yourself from becoming a victim of unethical home sellers.