Have you ever planned a long needed vacation just to have something more urgent interrupt your plans before you even get a chance to relax? How about the times when just as you “touch wood” for making a casual declaration like “I never have issues with my car. It’s always reliable” just to have something go wrong? Well Karma works in funny ways and house purchases are no exception.
So you buy a home which included some stainless steel appliances which look in wonderful shape. As you start settling down in your home over the next few weeks and you find out these nice shiny objects have issues. They may just stop working altogether. The question is… did the sellers know there were issues with the appliances when they agreed to leave them in the house? Or, was Karma just working against you?
What to do?
- Attempt to fix it
- Go out and buy a replacement appliance
- Get angry and call your realtor
- Get angry and call your lawyer
- All of the above
If an appliance which was included in the sale fails to work correctly after closing, your options are limited to get anyone to do anything about it. This is a BUYER BEWARE situation. Your agent and you should test each of the appliances during your home inspection to ensure they are operational. Any issues which are discovered can be address far in advance of closing. Then again, the day of or prior to taking possession, another inspection of the appliances should be conducted. There are NO WARRANTIES with these items after you take possession of the home. If they fail to operate after you move in, you have no recourse. Trying to solve this situation via the lawyers would end up costing you more money and stress than it is worth. Venting to your realtor or lawyer may help with your stress level but will result in very little satisfaction.
How to protect yourself?
- The best solution is to bring or buy your own appliances
- If you do include them in the offer to purchase, ensure you take the time to inspect whether they are operating as expected. (NOTE: this does not protect you against issues that result in a complete failure of the appliance days or weeks after closing)
- Ensure you understand that no warranty is expressed or given when you include the appliances. When you have the keys in your hand, you are now the proud owner of those appliances, working or not working!
- Request to take photos of each of the appliances and record the make, model, and serial numbers. This way the old bait and switch doesn’t happen before closing. You ensure the appliances you thought you were going to get are actually the ones in the house on the day of closing.
Within the negotiating process, be happy with the price you are offering FIRST. If your agent is able to also negotiate in the appliances to make the deal come together, then it’s a win win. You shouldn’t feel that you paid extra for the appliances especially when that perceived “extra cost” goes into the mortgage and paying interest for 25 years. If they only last a week or 5 years, you are technically out nothing other than a bit of stress.