Monday, May 28, 2012

What's included in a property sale?

This thorny question arises frequently on the various French property forums, by both buyers and sellers, so a further clarification is perhaps opportune.

In order to avoid any subsequent disagreements prior to or at completion, buyers and sellers should agree from the outset what precisely is included in the property sale, and draw up a list of what items are included and those not. This is important as misunderstandings can occur - for example, over what is meant precisely by a 'fitted kitchen' or 'fully equipped kitchen': does it include a cooker, hob, built-in oven, refrigerator, dish-washer and so on. The buyer's expectations may differ widely from those of the seller!

Such a list can be attached to the 'compromis de vente' (pre-sale contract) and included as a condition of sale when the parties get together to sign the 'acte finale' on completion.

Buyers are advised to visit the property immediately before completion in order to ensure that the property is in the condition in which they first saw it and agreed to purchase. This includes any work that may have been done, in agreement with the vendor, but otherwise nothing should have been done to alter the list of items included in the sale.

In the absence of an agreed list (not advisable) the Notaire handling the transaction may propose an 'indicative list' which normally includes items the buyer would expect to see left behind by the vendor. Among the items most frequently disputed are light fittings, door furniture, blinds, hanging rails for curtains, heaters/radiators, kitchen equipment, hanging rails inside cupboards etc.