AgentIndustry News

Seller ‘gift’ may disguise problem

Buyer beware of items left behind after closing
Published on Oct 3, 2008

It's common for buyers to ask for appliances or other personal items when they purchase a property, but what about the seller who voluntarily leaves personal items as part of the sale? There are numerous pitfalls when it comes to dealing with personal property included in a real estate sale. The lender can deduct the value of the personal items from the appraised value of the property, which results in a reduction in the loan amount. Furthermore, many states require sellers to transfer personal items with a "bill of sale" calculated and reported separately from the real estate sale. There are risks as well. Several years ago, my partner was out of town and I took her buyers to see five houses. They found a beautiful house owned by a 78-year-old widow who was moving in with her son. Her 70-something sister was the listing agent. The house was immaculate and beautifully decorated. Once the property was under contract, the widow invited the buyers and their two litt...

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