As a licensed Texas Real Estate Broker, I often encounter questions regarding what is included in the sale of a house. A common query relates to pool equipment - are these items part of the deal? According to the TREC 20-17 1-4 Family Residential Resale Contract, under Item 2C. ACCESSORIES, the answer is typically “yes”.
Understanding the TREC Contract’s Accessories Clause
The 1-4 Family Residential Resale Contract Item 2C clearly states that “swimming pool equipment and maintenance accessories” are included as part of the house sale. This clause is part of a broader section that outlines what is considered ‘accessories’ in a property transaction.
Inclusions in Property Sales: The General Rule
Generally, the sale of a house includes fixtures and accessories that are part of the property at the time of listing. This would naturally encompass pool equipment unless specified otherwise. Item 2C also gives a more exhaustive list of other included accessories.
Excluding Items from the Sale
If you, as a seller, intend to exclude certain items like pool equipment, it’s crucial to make this clear in your listing agreement, let your Broker or Agent know so they can add it to the MLS listing, and make sure it’s mentioned in the contract under Item 2D EXCLUSIONS.
Best Practices for Sellers
If your next Texas home has a pool, the sellers should be leaving their swimming pool equipment and maintenance accessories behind for you to make use of and if your next home doesn’t have a pool then you shouldn’t be needing your current pool equipment, so it’s a wash either way.
The Family Heirloom Dilemma
While this advice probably doesn’t apply to your pool equipment, we usually give this speech about things a that a seller is keen on hanging on to when they move. Items like family heirloom chandeliers or large focal point items in a garden (gazing spheres, large/expensive boulders, etc). If you plan on taking it with you when you move, go head and put it in storage somewhere offsite until you move into your new home. Out of sight, out of mind, is the best practice for treasured items that could become issues during negotiation later.
The Importance of Transparency in Listings
Honesty in listings is paramount, and if something appears in a listing photo that would normally be part of a sale, but it’s missing when they tour house house, it will very likely raise questions.
Expert Advice for Buyers and Sellers
Buyers should meticulously review contract terms and clarify any uncertainties with their Agent regarding included accessories before signing and sending an offer. Sellers should also meticulously review the terms of the contract before accepting and signing a contract.
Real Estate Professionals’ Role
As a real estate broker, it’s my responsibility to ensure clarity and compliance in these matters. Professional guidance is vital in navigating these aspects of property sales.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I ensure a specific item is excluded from the property sale? Make sure you notify your Agent or Broker in writing, make sure they put it in MLS so the Buyer’s agent is aware of the excluded item, and then make sure it’s included in your contract.
What happens if a dispute arises over an included accessory? Oftentimes issues can be handled during negotiation but you always have the option of seeking legal advice.
Is it common for sellers to exclude items from property sales? Yes, particularly for items of personal significance or value.
What role does a real estate broker play in these transactions? A Broker ensures that all terms are clearly communicated and agreed upon, providing guidance to their respective party.
Can a buyer request that certain items be included in the sale? Yes, buyers can negotiate for the inclusion of specific items, but it must be agreed upon by both parties. If a buyer wants to include something not typically included in the sale of a property, you would use form TREC OP-M Non-Realty Items Addendum.
Don’t Get In Over Your Head
While pool equipment is generally included in the sale of a house, it’s crucial for sellers to explicitly exclude items they wish to retain. Transparency and proper documentation are key to a smooth and dispute-free property transaction.
For a broader view of how this fits into the process of selling your home, read our article on a Real Estate Transaction from the Seller’s Perspective.