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As buyers’ agents one of our roles is to liaise between parties such as solicitors and conveyancers, building inspectors, property managers and lenders in order to effect a successful sale for our clients.  Not only does this ensure the process is an easier one for purchasers but it can often expedite the exchange of contracts and avoid being gazumped, especially in a sellers market situation.

Part of the due diligence here involves obtaining a copy of the contract of sale and passing it on to the buyers legal representative for review.  However, it’s in the best interests of our client, as their buyers’ agents, to double-check the “black box” in the middle section of the front page of the contract, which contains the inclusions and exclusions of the property for sale.  Vendors have been known to omit articles that were “assumed” to have been staying with the property eg: curtains, pool equipment, dishwasher- that are not necessarily considered fixtures of the property.  It is vital to not only check these inclusions upon inspection but also to take note of any exclusions and inform our clients.

Sometimes we need to itemize  other inclusions to ensure clarity here. For example, “pool equipment” as an inclusion can be vague and we have heard of cases where buyers turned up to their new home to find that the $800 auto pool cleaner had disappeared yet the pool scoop and brush had been left behind, constituting the “pool equipment”.  Dishwashers are a common inclusion that buyers assume are staying and, if unchecked, can find themselves doing the washing up by hand when they move in, to their surprise!  Items such as curtains, blinds and light fittings have been known to have been substituted between exchange and settlement, so it’s also good practice to take note of these and photograph them as a record for the pre-settlement inspection.  We do this for all clients and also take the time to test everything electrical in the property both at initial inspection and again prior to settlement.

Checking inclusions may seem like common sense and assumed to have been carried out and double-checked by buyers legal representatives, however it’s our duty of care to our clients to ensure that these are correct and recorded as accurately as possible to avoid any nasty surprises at settlement.  So, if you’re buying a property soon make sure you double-check and clarify those inclusions and take photos as an extra form of protection when conducting that pre-settlement inspection!

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