Q. I am buying a second home in London and have agreed verbally that some of the furniture will remain and be included in the purchase price and some items will be removed. What is the best way of ensuring that when I come to complete that this verbal agreement with my estate agent is followed through so that I don’t get any nasty surprises when I come to complete?
A. Whenever folks make an offer on a property the excitement of finally finding the ‘right’ place sometimes acts as a smoke screen when it comes to being level headed and making sure all the ‘I’s’ are dotted and all the ‘T’s’ are crossed. Remember that the agent is not the decision maker when it comes to including fixtures and fittings within the sale, this will always be the sellers decision so make sure that the agent has checked this carefully with the seller. Often you will be at the property discussing the items you wish to be included in the sale and the agent will promise you that if agreeable with the seller they will be included in the purchase price. However a word of caution please, always make sure that any furniture fixtures or fittings that should be either staying or on the flip side – be removed are recorded in the Special Conditions of the sales memorandum. If this is recorded and agreed in writing and given to all four parties, the buyer/seller and their respective solicitors this will protect you from any adverse repercussions later down the line when you’re nearing completion. Far too many people have a verbal conversation and expect that discussion to be set in stone and actioned without anything being recorded in writing anywhere, needless to say many come unstuck. When you receive your copy of the sales memorandum check it through carefully and make sure that you can see your agreed items clearly stated in that document and if not go back to your agent as quickly as possible to rectify this. Once this is done and your solicitor is aware that makes things pretty watertight. Finally following exchange but prior to completion go back to view the property one last time to check that the items included in the sale are still remaining in the property and check that those items that should have been removed are now gone. As long as all is in order you can then give your solicitor instructions to complete. Of course if everything is not as it should be then delay completion until the vendor has rectified the situation and replaced or removed the listed items.