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Working with Contracts

posted by Stephen Katz @ 12:21 PM
Monday, May 6, 2013

Before you make a written offer on a home, there are some critical things you need to consider. One important part of your offer involves the items that you are expecting to find on the property when you move in. Some of these items are called fixtures.

Fixtures are things that are permanently attached to a house like a built in oven, cabinets in the kitchen, heating and air conditioning units. They are part of the property and are normally left for the new owner. Most fixtures are listed on a preprinted form used in the purchasing transaction. Almost all homes have decorative fixtures; these are the types of items that can create problems between the seller and buyer. It would seem odd that the seller would pull out a built-in refrigerator, even though it was listed as a fixture, but some do. Don’t take a chance on something like that happening. Make it clear which items will stay and which can go and make sure there is an agreement between you and the seller first, before it comes up missing in the final walk thru.

Make a list of the items you want. Do a walk thru and be sure to list all the items you think should be part of the purchase price. If this house was listed with an agency, then your agent should have given you a list of items that the seller intends to sell with the house. Be sure to note decorative items such as the nice mirror over the fireplace. Some things that would be considered personal property and are not attached, but would make the home completely functional such as the refrigerator or microwave. You should add them just to be sure. Also add things like an outdoor storage shed, window treatments, garage door openers, and light fixtures such as chandeliers.

Never depend on the MLS sheet for what the seller will leave, but use it as a guideline. Remember, the only way to be sure that there is an agreement between you and the seller is to put it in writing.

Be sure to make a list of the items you don’t want, such as an old broken swing set.

Take your contract with you for your final walk thru. You will have a stronger leg to stand on in negotiations for a price reduction if you bring the discrepancies to everyone’s attention before the property changes hands.

Even though most sellers are honest, you should never rely on oral agreements. The contract should clearly state what goes and stays so there are no discrepancies on either side.

Stephen Katz

(770) 309-0939 (direct) or (866) 742-8400 -- For the past 18 years, Stephen Katz has built a successful business almost entirely on referrals. As your mortgage consultant throughout the home loan process, Stephen will explain the pros and cons of all available mortgage programs and help you choose the financing option that is best suited to your needs. Throughout the loan process, he will keep you informed and will respond quickly to your requests with answers and solutions. Consistently a top producer, Stephen is a Mortgage Bankers Association "Diamond" Award winner, a Georgia Mortgage "Top Gun" and has closed almost half a billion dollars in loans. Put his knowledge and experience to work for you!

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