BEWARE THE PROPERTY EQUIVALENT OF “BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED”
The house you viewed was everything you hoped it might be; it had some lovely features and even some of the little touches you’ve secretly craved in your own home.
You were diligent about making your offer, you waited for the keys and you looked forward to savouring that sensation of walking through the door knowing you owned everything on the other side.
But wait! Surely there’s been a mistake…this isn’t the house you fell in love with! Those chandelier-style light fittings in the living room have gone and even the rustic oak shelves which filled that recessed alcove have vanished.
There’s a space on the wall where the mirrored medicine cabinet in the bathroom once was and even the novelty cat at the end of the pull-cord light switch has been replaced with a boring, bell-shaped piece of plastic.
What happened? How could the previous owners have the bare-faced cheek to take everything you loved with them when they left…?
But the thing is, all those quirky little details you fell in love with were not what you were buying. You bought bricks, mortar and the bit of land they stand on – not a home; you might be surprised how many make the same mistake.
Rewind to the viewing and it’s at that point that potential buyers ought to be checking exactly what is included in the deal. It’s easy to make assumptions that the carpets will still be there when you move in but, believe it or not, quite a few buyers presume the curtains will be as well – and that’s by no means guaranteed.
The same applies to light fittings, curtain rails, shelving, wall-mounted storage units, appliances, alarm systems and even some furniture which may appear to be built-in.
If you’re not sure, our advice would be simply to ask – particularly if it’s a feature of which you’re particularly fond. It may well be that the seller intended to take an item with them but, if they know you’re keen on it, they may be prepared to include it in the price, particularly if their property has been on the market for some time.
As Brits, we don’t like to appear too avaricious; it may seem a little gauche to haggle over the fixtures, fittings or personal effects of a vendor.
But, to be honest, it’s better to be clear about exactly what you’re buying before making an offer – especially as you’re likely to be negotiating the largest financial transaction of your lives. Make no assumptions and you’re less likely to be disappointed when you cross the threshold of your new house for the first time.