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Contract Calamities: Take it or leave it.

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With the holiday season in full swing many of you are focused on what gifts to get your friends and family…or what gifts your friends and family might get you. Many of you will undoubtedly get

For home owners this time of year may when you use that holiday bonus check, or the generosity of your loved ones, to acquire a new appliance for your home. Perhaps you’re getting that new convection oven you always wanted so you can create the kitchen of your dreams. Undoubtedly you might fall in love with the new oven because of the speed at which it bakes the most perfect bread you’ve ever seen. However, as you begin falling in love with your new oven, you might start falling out of love with your house—the kitchen is far too small and the style of the architecture just doesn’t match the beauty of that oven. And, so, what started as an appliance swap at the end of the year turns into a home sale at the beginning of the New Year.a gift or two that you’ll want to leave somewhere, like the oversize day-glow orange sweater I got from my grandmother one year. However, most of us will be incredibly blessed this holiday season by being able to give wonderful gifts to our loved ones, while receiving some wonderful gifts in return.

When closing on a real estate sale, one common error that can cause a lot of headaches is when either the buyer or the seller are not clear on what is included in the sale —especially what appliances are included. We’ve all heard horror stories of a buyer walking in to find holes where all of the appliances once were. Equally scary are situations where sellers accidentally sign contracts that will force them to leave their beloved convection ovens in the home.

If you go through an attorney and a licensed real estate agent many of these issues can be avoided. However, before closing on any real estate deal it is important that you read the documents—whether you are the buyer or the seller—and make sure you know what is being left in that home and what is being taken out. Then, double check your contract to make sure that there are very specific words denoting those appliances that will remain in the home. As a buyer, if you don’t, you may lose that convection oven . . . or refrigerator or washer and dryer.

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