Keep Your Offer Simple

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty

I'm in negotiation on a property this weekend on a Rio Rancho Home. When I showed my buyer clients the house we noticed that there were for "For Sale" tags on many of the pieces of furniture. I didn't think much of this until later, when we were starting to negotiate, when my buyers wanted to ask for some of the furniture to be included in the offer to purchase.

The sellers do have some nice furniture, and for whatever reason they don't want to take it with them where they are going, but I insisted that we needed to keep it out of the contract.

In fact, I wanted to keep it out of negotiations entirely, and we did until the final counteroffer (#3). Then, at my clients insistance, we asked verbally if they would please consider leaving the patio set behind. It turns out the seller was fine with doing so.

Why shouldn't you include the patio furniture or other personal items on an offer to purchase? Well, lenders and underwriters hate to see that on purchase agreements. Why? They don't like the idea of you financing a washer and dryer for thirty years!

Another good reason is that it muddies the waters. Keep your focus and negoiate on the things that really matter-the purchase price, the closing date, who pays which closing costs, etc. (Of course if you are a cash poor first time home buyer maybe a fridge, washer or dryer does make a big difference).

Lastly, I've seen this really irritate sellers before especially in a market like we currently have here in Albuquerque. "They're going to low-ball us and ask for the bedroom set???"

Keep your offer simple, don't clutter it up with personal property, unless you absolutely have to have it!


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Kirsten Lindquist
Pacific Union International - Sonoma, CA
Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country

Hi Rich:  In our market if you include personal property in the purchase price, ie: selling a furnished vacation rental, you are setting yourself up for higher property taxes.  Our property taxes are based on the purchase price.

May 29, 2011 04:59 PM #1
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

I agree with keeping the offer simple. A while ago, I had a buyers who indicated to me that they would love to have the sellers' piano.  I mentioned to the Seller's agent when we were out of Option, that my client may be interested in purchasing the piano. Two days before closing, the owners decided the piano was too expensive to move and sold it for $50.  What a deal for my clients! I have also experienced Sellers preparing a list of items that they are willing to sell or leave for the Buyer. And I have experienced Sellers who are offended by someone asking for "their stuff." Lenders that I work with, agree that transfer of personal property should be outside of closing.

May 29, 2011 05:09 PM #2
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial - New Rochelle, NY

Sellers want a clean offer, without crazy conditions. I think Kirsten's point is VERY valid too

May 29, 2011 05:13 PM #3
Jennifer Dominquez
Home Vision Realty - San Diego, CA
Realtor - San Diego California Homes For Sale

As a fairly new agent this is good information to have.  I have heard of people negotiating for furniture and appliances, but I would have simply made that part of the offer.  I think that this is something that isn't covered for many new agents that should be an absolute must.

May 29, 2011 08:10 PM #4
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

I love it.  The lenders don't want to finance a fridge for 30 years.  My question is, why not?  Is it not a good investment :)

May 30, 2011 09:06 AM #5
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Rich Cederberg

eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque
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