Here’s some helpful information when buying or selling a home.

When it comes to chattels the Seller has an obligation, clearly stated in the standard Real Estate Purchase Contract, to deliver the chattels listed near the top of the first page of the Contract in their normal working order. Normally, those chattels are the fridge, stove, washer, drier, microwave, etc. While it is the Seller’s obligation to ensure that they are working, it is the Buyer’s obligation to ensure they are working when the Buyer takes possession. If you, the Buyer, do not take steps to verify that those items are working properly, and promptly advise your lawyer of any problems, the responsibility for the repair of those items will likely end up becoming your obligation.

If, on the other hand, you are able to advise your lawyer of any problems quickly, it is possible that your lawyer can work out an arrangement with the Seller’s lawyer to have the costs of repair held back. Remember that the Seller has no obligation to allow such a holdback but, often, a deal for a holdback can be reached.

To Sellers, make sure the items you are selling with your house are in normal working order or, when you are negotiating the Purchase Agreement, put the words “in as is condition” into the list of the chattels.

To Buyers, check out the items you have purchased, check all the knobs and switches, all of the cycles, buzzers and other doo dads, promptly. Advise your lawyer immediately of any problems.