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What are you expected to leave when you sell?

10 Tips for First Time Buyers

What do sellers usually leave when selling their property in Edinburgh and which are treated as included in the price and what items are not usually included? What obligations you have to the purchaser for any included items?

The difference between fittings & fixtures and movable items

Essentially you will be expected to include in the sale of your property everything that is fitted or fixed to the property. That still sounds a little difficult to understand and so, as with most things, it is best to give examples.

So, if you are a first time seller living in a flat in a typical tenement building, you would be expected to leave in the property and include in the price such items as:

  • Blinds and curtain poles (but not necessarily the curtains themselves)
  • The carpets and other floor coverings (but not including loose rugs)
  • Fitted toilet and bathroom fittings such as shower curtains, bathroom cabinets and mirrors)
  • Kitchen units and the cooker, hob, oven and appliances such as the washing machine, dishwasher, fridge and freezer (but only if those kitchen appliances are integrated)
  • Electric and gas fires
  • Light fittings and shades etc

Decide at the start of marketing what you want to include and not include in the sale of your property

Although previously almost all sales brochures included a list of the items included in the sale (the Extras as they are generally referred to) that is not so common nowadays.

Not-with-standing the change in trends in sales brochures, it is perhaps a good idea to discuss with your estate agent/solicitor before the start of marketing your property for sale, what items you intend to include and which items, for sentimental or value purposes, you wish to take with you. This will also be the time when perhaps you can discuss with your solicitor/estate agent which items of furniture you might either be willing to include in the sale or which you would be prepared to sell to the buyer by separate negotiation.

Whether that information is contained in your sales brochure or not, you will have given the information to your estate agent/solicitor and so they and you will have that information available if asked by any potential buyer.

What if there is something fixed to the property that you would like to take with you when you leave?

The most typical examples of these are:

  • There is a particular light fitting;
  • You have a wall mounted TV

If you have a particularly expensive light fitting that you would prefer to take with you, then it is important that the Sale Contract makes specific mention that this item is not to be included in the sale and that you will be removing it. However, you will be required to replace the light fitting with something fairly standard. It is not permitted (and not fair to your purchaser) to simply remove the light fitting and leave dangling electric wires coming out of the ceiling.

If you have a wall-mounted TV, then the odds are you will want to take away the TV but what about the wall-mount? Again it is important for the Sale Contract to provide that you will be removing the TV and the wall-mount but you will be required to make good the damage to the wall caused by its removal. So, if there are holes in the wall, you should make sure that they are filled in. Further problems come where perhaps the wall is wall-papered.

What are the seller’s obligations to the purchaser for kitchen appliances?

Unless modified or qualified, the Sale Contract will provide that you, as the seller, will give the purchaser a limited guarantee that the kitchen appliances included with the property, will be in working order commensurate with their age. The purchaser then has 5 working days from the completion of the sale to check to make sure the appliances are working and to intimate to your solicitor within that 5 working day period any claim for appliances not working properly.

It is then your responsibility to get the problem investigated and (but only if the cost of the repair is going to be more than £400) will you be responsible for the cost of the repair. Since by and large, the kitchen appliances will be fairly old when you come to sell, it is always a good idea for the Sale Contract to provide that the kitchen appliances are sold “as seen” and without the limited guarantee.

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