Post Home Closing Issues for Buyers to Be Aware of
Friday Feb 21st, 2020
You signed your final documents and you’re ready to move into your new home. However, once you move in, you may notice a few issues around the house that catch you off guard. This month’s blog post will discuss four main issues that can sometimes occur post home closing that you should be aware of. But don’t be alarmed, these issues can be solved in a few easy steps!
- Missing Fixtures
Generally speaking, a fixture is something that is attached to the land or property. Chattels are usually goods that are not fixed to the land or property and are the belongings of the owner. It’s important for the buyer to mention items to be included in offer/Agreement of Purchase and Sale to guarantee that the items are part of the deal and there are no surprises later on. For example, the fridge is a chattel. It is excluded unless it is specifically included in the Agreement. A curtain rod is a fixture as it is screwed to the wall. This curtain rod is included unless it is specifically excluded in the Agreement. Differing opinions about what constitutes a chattel versus a fixture can lead to litigation. These disputes can end up in court with insurance companies getting involved. Surely no one wants to end up in court, especially when these issues can be preventable if dealt with beforehand. If a deal is closed and a particular item was removed, it is best to just turn a blind eye if the item is not of great value.
- Undisclosed Rental Items
It is the seller and the listing agent’s job to disclose if there are any items being sold within the home that are rented. There is a section on the standard Agreement of Purchase & Sale that specifies which items, if any, are rentals. It is important for the agent and buyer to sit down with the seller to go over the features of the house and see whether or not there are any rental items. If the seller is not sure, then they should double check with their providers. For example, what happens when you take possession of your new home and find out that the hot water tank is rented? If a piece of equipment is a rental, but not disclosed as a rental item to be assumed by the buyer in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the buyer can assume that the equipment is a fixture, included in the purchase price, and require the seller to “buy out” the contract and deliver the piece of equipment free and clear on closing.
- Junk Left Behind
It’s becoming increasingly rare to find a truly empty house upon closing. Once in a while, items are left behind that the sellers think the new buyers might use: cases of extra hardwood flooring, paint cans, cleaning supplies, kitchen items, hangers, etc. These items are often left behind because it’s easier for the owner to leave them than to throw them away. You can inspect the property the day before closing and tell your lawyer that there are items left behind. The only potential problem is that this can be deemed too small of an issue to take up in court. Just keep in mind that you may find some left over unwanted items in your new home and that you should simply throw them away if it’s nothing of value to you.
It is no surprise that when you move into your new home, you might still receive mail addressed to the previous owners. This happens often and it is totally normal. Firstly, try not to open the mail or throw it away. What you can do is contact the senders and inform them of the error so they can update their mailing list, or cross out the address, write “Moved” and deposit the item in the street mailing box. On the other hand, if you are still in contact with the previous owners, an agreement can be made for them to pass by to pick up their mail the first couple of weeks until they have updated their mailing address. If you happen to be the seller, Canada Post offers a paid mail forwarding service to have your mail redirected to your new address. The service is reasonably priced for a full year and it ensures that all your mail ends up at the correct address.
With that being said, do not be alarmed by these issues. Having an expert Real Estate Agent by your side will prepare you of these post home closing issues, as well as guide you on how to handle any complications that may arise.
Remember, we’re never too busy for your questions. For all your Real Estate needs, feel free to email or text the Traboulsi Team anytime.