"Honey, Where's the bathroom mirror?"
Soon after this question is asked of your spouse I may get a call. This is an actual question that was asked by new home owners in Laguna Niguel and also a very good lesson for both buyers and their Realtor. I am not talking about the original sheet mirror above the entire vanity area but a newer framed mirror that was not attached to the wall but hanging there by nails like the family picture in the living room.
Let me back up a bit, I am Brian Wilson, that Laguna Niguel Realtor I mentioned above and I work with investors and home buyers. This situation was corrected but it illustrates the need of the Realtor to know more than the current housing market conditions to successfully represent the buyer. Your Realtor needs to know what is not in the contract. As your Realtor I need to listen to what you are telling me and ask questions to perceive what you as the buyer want in your next home, good schools, a large yard, a downstairs bedroom with its own bath, etc... One of the many benefits I believe buyers receive when working with a Realtor is that Realtor’s experience. I should have a very good idea of what you, the buyer, want/need in your new home even if you don't know to ask for it. Even something as basic as the bathroom mirror.
There are many items in and around a home that unless it is written in the contract the sellers may not consider it part of the sale. I work in Orange County, California and the newest version of the California purchase contract does a very good job of trying to cover the most common items that are missed but sometimes there is still a need to be specific, very specific to be specific (that was fun).
The purchase contract has a section called "Items Included In and Excluded From the Purchase Price". The contract refers to the 'attached' items and covers quite a lot of household items, it includes window screens, lighting and plumbing fixtures, ceiling fans and even includes items such as fire place gas logs and the mailbox. As a Realtor working on behalf of the buyer I need to be alert for items that the contract may not cover. Some of these items I have come across recently are the wooden play structure, any pool supplies (pool equipment is already included), patio furniture, and a couple less obvious are the flat panel TV wall mount and the infamous bathroom mirror. A phone call or email from the agent does not work, get it in writing.
Know that homes in Laguna Niguel and all over California are sold in their present and current condition unless otherwise agreed to. Basically, “as-is”, what you see is what you get. Of course there are certain contingencies in place and methods to ask for repairs but understand the sellers don’t have to do any repairs, even if say the air conditioner does not work, unless it is requested and agreed to in writing. If not in the contract then get it in a counter offer, a request for repair or an addendum, make it official and use a California Association of Realtor (CAR) form.
In a nut shell: If it is not in writing as part of the purchase contract it is not part of the Purchase Contract.
Please be careful and understand what is going to be left with the home so you have no surprises and have to ask, “Honey, Where's the bathroom mirror?"
If you have any questions about Orange County, CA real estate or need assistance buying, selling or leasing a home, contact me, I would love to be of service to you.
Brian Wilson, Realtor, Prudential California Realty,
email@example.com or 949-933-0852