Elizabeth Weintraub • Sacramento Real Estate Agent: May 2010

Home Buyer Requests for Personal Property Should Be in Writing

bumble bee on lavender in land parkLockbox day came and went on Saturday. But I didn't have time to collect all of my lockboxes from my closings last week because one of my Land Park / Curtis Park buyers needed me to draft a Request for Repair. Picking up lockboxes falls to the bottom of my priority list when a client calls.

I had tried to remove the lockbox from a certain Sacramento listing the day after closing, but the buyers had locked the exterior screen door. My lockbox was attached to the inside door handle. Usually I put them on the gas meter, as long as the gas meter is not behind a locked gate, for this very reason.

My transaction coordinator called the buyer's agent to find out when the buyers would be home so I could gain access to my lockbox. It was possible that these buyers weren't very happy when this transaction closed. That's because they thought they were getting a free pool table but the seller took it.

When the buyers did their final walk-through with their buyer's agent, they discovered the pool table had been moved out. They were very upset, according to their agent. In fact, their agent suggested that I should compensate the buyers for their loss. This was the same agent who wrote an offer for these buyers over list price and forgot to ask the sellers to pay the buyer's closing costs, which the buyers were counting on. Neither the buyers nor their agent noticed that little snafu until the file was ready to be submitted to underwriting.

The thing is if a buyer wants personal property, the request for that personal property should really be in writing. The agent did not make a verbal nor a written request. Not by email, not by addendum. When I sent the sellers' acceptance of offer to the agent, I included the contact information for the title company and let the agent know that the sellers would be willing to leave the pool table if the buyers wanted it. The agent replied "Excellent." But the agent did not ask for the pool table. What did excellent mean? I interpreted that word to mean the agent was happy that the buyers' offer was accepted.

So when I picked up my lockbox yesterday, I passed on the sellers' message that the pool table had been purchased years ago from Sears for $229. It was missing nuts and bolts and screws. They were probably better off without it. I'm not even sure they really looked at it because in an effort to stage the home, I had the sellers cover it up with a tablecloth, disguising it as a dining room table. Hey, what are you gonna do when you've got a pool table smack dab in the middle of your dining room?

I didn't want to bad mouth their agent. That would serve no purpose at all. Sometimes agents make mistakes. We all do. It's the nature of the real estate business in Sacramento right now. Instead, it's better to focus on the positive aspects -- which were the buyers got their dream home and the sellers were able to close escrow 5 weeks from listing that home for sale.

Photo: Bumble Bee on Lavender in Land Park, by Elizabeth Weintraub

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Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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