By Realtor Terry Black
There is usually a disconnect between what the Buyer wants and want the Seller wants. I usually introduce the thought during negotiations of a potential property sale that there are 3 things that both “sides” want: Price, Possession Date, and the Possessions themselves. This article is Part 1 looking at these aspects of a sale. In particular the expectations about the possessions and how to save a lot of pain and suffering….as well as money.
It’s easy to get focused on the price because both sides want the complete opposite. Buyer wants to pay zero and Seller wants to sell the moon. Reason prevails and the Buyer ends up paying more than they want; Seller gives up their spot with a view of the moon. During “house hunting” when a Buyer finds the property, they really want most of their energy is spent here.
Possession date gets a lot of attention too. Usually, the date is settled with some good negotiating and without a lot of quibbling.
Possessions often get overlooked or more specifically somehow lost in the fog of details either at time of Listing the property or worse; at the time of Selling the property.
I’ve witnessed a lot of stress in working with Buyer’s and Seller’s. On a list of life’s most stressful things selling and moving is right up there. But I’ve seen more stress on the part of my Buyer or Seller related to who gets what (fixtures vs chattels) than anything else in 24 years (21 licensed) representing clients in selling real estate. I leave off with a true story and follow-up next month.
A Seller lists their single-family home in January in a year when there is a lot of snow on the ground. Two feet or more of snow covers their entire non-shovelled property including a $20,000 patio (in 2003) including lovely paver stones, walls and a built in BBQ. Listing Realtor lists the home MLS and describes a lovely yard including patio. However, the Seller provides no summer photos (claiming they have none) and the Buyer doesn’t write the patio into their offer. Their Realtor and the Buyer apparently assume the Seller’s are nice and/or that because the patio is described on the MLS listing it is included by right. Wrong. Negotiations, condition removals (including inspection by the Buyer that don’t mention a patio) happen and it is now June. Birds sing, flowers blossom, Seller moves out, Buyer closes sale on their property in another province, Buyer’s Realtor lines up pre-closing walkthrough prior to closing, Buyer’s show up with a U-Haul truck for the pre-closing walkthrough …. BIG PROBLEM!
The Seller, unknown to the Listing Realtor, had removed every paver stone, rock wall component, BBQ , and not even resodded where the expensive backyard patio existed…and taken it all to their new home. Listing Realtor didn’t know until the bombshell phone call from the Buyer’s Realtor. Do you think the Buyer was upset? That their property Lawyer got a very animated phone call from them? That the word lawsuit was bandied about? You’d be correct.
This is an extreme example, but it did happen and could happen again. Next month more about stress avoidance pertaining to Fixtures and Chattels.