AgentIndustry News

Seller ‘gift’ may disguise problem

Buyer beware of items left behind after closing

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...