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Understanding Your Purchase Agreement

When you buy a home, it is important to understand what is and isn’t covered by your purchase agreement. Your purchase agreement is a document that describes exactly what is included with your home at the time of purchase. Remember, just because you saw something in the walkthrough does not mean it is included in the purchase agreement. It’s important that you have a knowledgeable realtor, whom you trust to relay this information to you.

What If I Really Want Something That Isn’t Included?

As you are walking through the home, you may see something that you want, like a mirror or a piano. If this happens, be sure that you mention it immediately to your realtor. Your realtor will have more insight about the buyers and their situation. Your realtor also has access to the listing agent, who will be able to contact the sellers directly.

Once you have clearance about a particular object, you should create a written statement of your intent to purchase. Again, this is something that your realtor should be able to help you draft. By having something in writing, you better the line of communication and help all parties who are drafting your mortgage agreement.

What Types of Things Might Not Be in My Purchase Agreement?
It’s important that you understand what things may or not be included in your purchase. Below are some grey area items that can cause discrepancies when understanding your purchase agreement.

It may surprise you, but appliances are not always included in the purchase agreement. If your purchase agreement includes appliances, be sure that you ask your realtor if the appliances included are in fact, the appliances you saw during the showing. Some homeowners have been known to switch appliances after the sale in order to take their top of the line fridges and stoves with them.

Personal Properties
Items such as large mirrors, kitchen islands and light fixtures may seem like they may be a part of the house, but the reality is, these can be extra add-ons to the home. If you are interesting in keeping these items, be sure that you talk directly to your realtor.

Bathroom and Kitchen Hardware
Typically, you can assume that hardware will be included with your home. However, if you are purchasing a foreclosure home, be advised that some homeowners have a tendency to stripe hardware from the home before they leave.

Are You a Seller Writing a Purchase Agreement?

If you are a seller showing your house, be sure that you are upfront about items that will and will not be included in the purchase agreement. For example, if you intend to take your washer and dryer with you, in your listing write, “washer and dryer not included.” By being upfront from the beginning, potential buyers will have better expectations. Likewise, if you intend to leave appliances, be sure that you mention them in the listing as well.

Are you a Buyer Interested in a Purchase Agreement?

As the buyer, you have a responsibility to ask lots of questions! Do not be afraid to ask your realtor if something is or isn’t a part of the purchase agreement. After all, that is what we are here for! Also, if you see something in the home that you are interested in purchasing, ask your realtor right away. The more questions you ask in the beginning, the less hassle it becomes in the long run.

Our Best Advice

Purchase agreements can be tricky and confusing. And the best solution to eliminate this trying period is to simply have good communication with your realtor. By expressing your thoughts as the seller and the buyer, your realtor can help you get the most out of the home selling and buying process!

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