I was speaking to a well respected Real Estate Lawyer in town yesterday and I was told something I could not believe . . .but it's true. The buyers of a home moved in and discovered…get ready…the furnace was not there!!!! That's a first for me; I have never heard of a seller removing the furnace. The worst I ever had was a built-in dishwasher being removed upon closing and I thought that was bad.
So, as expected, the seller’s lawyer defended his clients’ actions because he believes it acceptable in this case. He says that because it was a "rented furnace" the current owners had the right to take it with them. There are a few things that would have helped the buyers: 1) do a final visit/walk-through of your new home in the final 24 hours before closing. This is a common practice and would have alerted them to any problems before closing. 2) If you are the buyer you need to be very clear in the offer and do your homework. If the listing shows that the furnace is a rental, or anything else for that matter, you need to clearly state whether you want that item included in the deal. Never assume that a furnace, water heater, air conditioner, central vac, dining room light fixture or fancy mirror is included.
And, if you’re the buyer’s realtor, you owe it to your client to know what is included and make sure nothing is missed in the offer so that there are no surprises when your clients move in. Moving day is stressful enough without finding out someone overlooked a key detail.