Buying and Selling 101: No Verbal Agreements - Molson Law

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    • 22 February 2021
    • Ashley Molson
    • Uncategorized

    Buying and Selling 101: No Verbal Agreements


    When you’re selling a home and you have furniture or fixtures that you’re going to be selling to the buyer or if you’re the buyer and you’re going to be purchasing things from the seller how do you handle this?

    Oftentimes, this opportunity will come up during inspections because it’s the longest time buyers have to spend in the home and see how the furniture fits and if they like any items. I wouldn’t walk around assuming everything is on sale, but every so often I’ll have a client who lets me know that – during the inspection – “the seller was there and they said that they were going to leave their couch, their dining room table, some patio furniture, their snowblower, etc. and they’d like to sell it to us for a specific price and we want to buy.” 

    When this happens during inspections, the realtors are usually the first people involved. It make sense it happens this way all the time. It’s a perfect time for realtors to step in because they’ve been to the home, they’re familiar with the items and they can swiftly communicate with one another about the items and the costs.

    Because it’s so easy for agents to be involved…

    The attorneys are quite often left out of the loop. Sometimes we don’t ever even hear about the list of furniture until closing! And then when the final walk through comes along… and the prized snowblower that was supposed to be left to the buyers is now gone it becomes a huge disappointment. It  can cause a lot of sadness, frustration, and anger because it feels like a betrayal. Closing day is hard enough. Add this to the list and it raises the stress levels to epic proportions. If the list of furniture was never reduced to writing and discussed with the attorneys – their hands will be tied without the inability to help the aggrieved buyer or seller.

    The purpose of this blog is to encourage, whether you’re a buyer, seller, or a realtor, to discuss with your attorney and put the agreement in writing! Anything that is verbally discussed should be shared with the Attorney and even if you think it’s in the contract and you have not had a conversation with the attorney about it, just bring it up. It might actually be there, the attorney might know about it but it’s important to have a discussion. 

    Even if the discussion is based on trust and a relationship or conversation that feels very warm and cozy it’s important to bring up these verbal agreements with your attorney so that they can help you establish something formal as an addendum to the contract so that it’s in writing.

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