For example, a buyer was purchasing a home with top-of-the-line kitchen appliances. In the property's marketing brochure, the real estate agent had highlighted the high-end stainless steel appliances. Even though the contract stated that "appliances included in the sale," however, the buyers were shocked when they discovered, upon taking ownership, that the seller had replaced the high-end stainless steel appliances with low-end models. This led to arbitration, and the seller had to return the appliances.
The lesson learned: Find out when making your offer if including appliances is customary in your market. If there's any doubt, be sure to put it in writing - and be specific. Make sure that "existing" appliances are included, or even go as far as to spell out the specific appliances, such as Bosch Dishwasher and Wolf Range.
2. Window Coverings
Window coverings are another issue that often results in some nasty email exchanges after a sale.
In nearly every market, the custom is that if there are window coverings present, they stay with the new owner. Sometimes, there are shades and there are drapes. The shades may be fully fitted for the window and attached. But the drapes may be decorative. Sometimes the seller, who had the drapes custom made to match the furniture, will want to exclude the drapes from the sale. If you don't see it written anywhere or haven't heard about it, get the inclusion of window coverings in writing. Along with the appliances, specify that you want the "existing window coverings."
3. Personal Property
As with the drapes or the gigantic mirror noted above, the seller may have a specialty light fixture or a piece of art that appears to be designed to fit into that space. Or there may be furniture that fits so perfectly into a room, nobody could imagine anything else going there. Here again, these items are personal property, and the seller may have no intention of letting them go, no matter how obvious it seems to the buyer that they should stay. Always assume that any personal property, much like the beds and furniture, will not transfer to the new owner.