Personal Property: The MLS is NOT the contract! Argh!!
Personal Property is an issue that almost always comes up during a real estate transaction. In the easiest definition of terms, "personal property" would be anything that is not permanently attached to the home.
Some typical examples of that would be appliances such as a refrigerator that is free-standing, washer and dryer, a free-standing microwave, above-ground spa, potted plants, a free-standing pergola, patio furniture, or in some cases you're crazy Uncle Gooch that lives in the trailer parked behind the garage.
Nonetheless, the MLS (multiple listing service), for the most part, was designated for listing the FEATURES of the home. I.E. - what the home contains, and certain features surrounding the home and/or qualities about the home and it's location.
The important thing to remember is: THE MLS IS NOT A CONTRACT
What I mean by this is that you cannot simply claim that everything listed on the MLS is automatically assumed or implied to be included in the sale.
A good example is school districts. Most MLS sites have a section where you can state what school districts and/or actual schools would be associated with the home. Does that mean the schools are included in the sale? Is it assumed that you own the school district when you purchase the home? Hello?!
If it's a wood-burning fireplace, does that mean you automatically own any chopped wood on the property? If there are solar panels in the description, does that mean they are automatically included in the sale? No.
The point being THE CONTRACT IS THE CONTRACT. The MLS is not a contract. You cannot claim that "it says it in the MLS". If there is personal property that you are interested in, the you must WRITE IT INTO THE CONTRACT. (Or in some cases OUT of the contract if there is some ambiguity about something that needs to be removed from the property prior to closing.)
Personal property is a very important factor you must consider when crafting a residential purchase agreement. In contractual law, there are no "assumptions" A contract must have validity to be upheld.
Even if the MLS reads "We hereby and fortwith include the goats, chickens, and our three children in the sale", it means nothing unless it's written into the contract (and in the case of the latter items, approval from social services!)
So many stressful issues can be avoided by just sticking to the contract. It's so simple. And even if and when there is an unresolved issue, you can always make an addendum to the contract by mutual agreement. But again, in the form of a WRITTEN agreement.
There is very much weight to the old saying "put it in writing".
So don't be "goated" on by assumptions........
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