Move out cleaning

The dirty secret about buying a home in the Vancouver area; most seller’s don’t clean.

As a tenant, there is a specific list of what must be cleaned before moving out or the landlord may hold back your damage deposit to cover the costs of cleaning but in the case of a home purchase buyers are required to pay the seller before they receive the keys to the home, many times buyers have no idea what the condition of the property will be like once they move in and there is no damage deposit in trust if things are not cleaned.

In general, a seller is obligated to deliver the property to the buyers in substantially the same condition as the dated the buyer viewed the property but there is no mention of cleaning, in standard purchase contract drafted by the BC real estate council. In most cases cleaning before a buyer takes possession is not considered fundamental to the contract and the term substantially the same condition is what sellers rely on when they don’t want to or are unable to leave the property in tidy condition. Some sellers even take substantially the same condition to mean it is the buyer’s responsibility to clean when they move in. While other sellers may have made an honest effort to clean up but their standards are vastly different from the buyers.

So what happens if the day you get the keys to your new home it is dirty? In most cases besides starting a small claims action there is little to nothing a buyer can do. Whatever happens on moving day it’s important to keep everything in perspective. Moving house can be very stressful for both buyers and sellers we may never know a person’s reasons for leaving rubbish or unwashed floors behind but one thing is for sure we always hope people are passing a  home on to the next owner with good intentions.

Subject to sale offers

The 2017 housing market has been so busy a seller accepting a subject to sale offer has been very unlikely, verging on improbable! In most cases buyers are competing against many other buyers in multiple offer situations, all fighting over a single property. In this scenario to be competitive buyers would have to consider removing any subjects from their offer.

It’s been very challenging for people who are relying on the sale of a property to buy their next property. Do you sell first and risk not securing your next property in time for you to move out, or buy first and risk paying two mortgages? Or what if you are not able to sell in time and are stuck in court unable to complete your purchase?

In a more balanced market people would use a subject to sale offer. Buyers in this case would first search for a home and when making an offer add in a subject to sale clause giving them the option to sell their home before finalizing their purchase offer. The subject to sale offer would typically have a 24 hour clause giving the seller the option to sever notice to the buyers if they receive another offer. Once the 24 hours’ notice is given, the buyer has the option to remove the subject to sale or allow the seller to leave the agreement and move on to the next buyer. If the buyer does nothing during the 24 hours the contract will become void freeing up the seller from any further obligations to the first buyer.

In a slower market more in favour of buyers we would see subject to sale clauses without the 24 hour clause, giving the buyer an uninterrupted option to sell their property before committing to the purchase of their next property.

Wondering whether a subject to sale clause might be right for you? Let’s chat!

Wall mount TV’s are they included?

In the last 10 years wall mounts TV’s have almost completely replaced tube TV’s, in the past it was a tube TV sitting on a cabinet was easy to view as a personal item. Today wall mount TV’s often raise question about what is and is not included when buying or selling a home.

The BC real estate council’s standard contract of purchase reads under inclusions “anything affixed to the wall” there is a common example used to illustrate the definition of “affixed” where a picture is hanging on a nail, the nail is affixed, making the nail an inclusion, but the picture resting on the nail by its own weight is not included.

A picture on a nail although similar to a TV on a bracket is not exactly the same. If the TV is resting on a bracket by its own weight, then the bracket is an inclusion but the TV is not included. The confusion arises when the bracket which is affixed to the wall has been affixed to the TV, which would make both the TV and bracket an inclusion or would it? In this case the Bracket is still the only item affixed to the wall making it an inclusion but the TV can be removed making it not included.

But the most common issues with wall mount TV’s are more social than technical, many people believe the personal nature and larger costs associated with wall TV systems should not be covered by the standard inclusion policy, as traditional tube TV’s were almost never considered included.

When it comes to wall mount TV’s as with other inclusions its best to list your expectations clearly in your offer to purchase and avoid any disappointments on move in day. Keep in mind not all brackets will fit all TV’s and if the bracket is noted as being removed to add in your expectations for patching, painting or filling holes. Its better to be clear than sorry!