Getting Up Close and Personal (Property)

When real estate agents are out and about showing homes, those homes are usually staged, lived in, and/or full of furniture, appliances, etc. So when agents get the property under contract, what exactly is conveyed with it? The “As Is” and Standard Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contracts are useful tools and have been drafted by attorneys in order to afford realtors, buyers, and sellers with the utmost protection. However, these standard form contracts are not all-inclusive and completely exhaustive. Section 1(d) of each contract pertains to the personal property owned by the Seller, which exists on the property on the date of the initial offer.

Both contracts define Personal Property items as: “range(s)/oven(s), refrigerator(s), dishwasher(s), disposal, ceiling fan(s), intercom, light fixture(s), drapery rods and draperies, blinds, window treatments, smoke detector(s), garage door opener(s), security gate and other access devices, and storm shutters/panels.”All of the above listed items are intended and expected to be conveyed with the property unless redacted elsewhere in the contract (usually in Section 1(e) of the contract).

Section 1(d) also provides a few blank lines where additional personal property items that are to be included with the purchase can be written in. Often filled into those lines is the phrase “this property is turn-key furnished” or “all appliances and all furniture/furnishings.” What exactly does “turn-key furnished” mean? What constitutes an “appliance” or a piece of furniture? What is the difference between “furniture” and a “furnishing”? Is silverware included? What about place mats? Pillows? Is a television an appliance? Like so many other things, words are open to interpretation and everyone is going to have a different opinion of what “turn-key furnished” or an “appliance” means. Real estate attorneys can assist in drafting language defining what “turn-key furnished” or an “appliance” means, but again, language is always open to interpretation and can lead to differing opinions.

The interpretation of “turn-key furnished” and/or “appliances” and “furnishings” only matters to two parties: the buyer and seller. However, every buyer and seller is different. So what’s the best way to make sure that the personal property intended to be conveyed from the seller to the buyer are exactly the same? A detailed inventory list attached as an exhibit to the contract leaves no room for confusion. If the listing agent knows that the sellers are wanting to sell the home as “turn-key furnished,” the agent should walk through the property with them and create a detailed inventory list. The time when listing pictures are being taken is an opportune time to have an inventory completed. That way, when the property goes live on the MLS, there is absolutely no misunderstanding of what personal property is being conveyed with the real property. If a buyer wants to purchase a certain home with all furnishings and appliances included, the buyer’s agent should have a conversation with the listing agent and work together to create a detailed inventory list and present it to the buyer(s) prior to signing a contract. It is always best to set clear expectations at the beginning of a negotiation.

As always, if you have any questions in regards to how to effectively create an inventory list or about the conveyance of personal property, we encourage you to reach out to one of the attorneys at Berlin Patten Ebling, or speak with your local real estate attorney for guidance.

Sincerely,

Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

Article Authored by Mallory Moretti,Esq., mmoretti@berlinpatten.com

This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

www.berlinpatten.com

SARASOTA

3700 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 200, Sarasota, FL 34239   P (941) 954-9991  F (941) 954-9992

VENICE

247 Tamiami Trail South, Suite 201, Venice, FL 34285  P (941) 955-9991  F (941) 484-9992

LAKEWOOD RANCH

8433 Enterprise Circle, Suite 100, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202   P (941) 907-9022  F (941) 907-9024

TAMPA

442 West Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 312, Tampa, FL 33606  P (813) 467-7500  F (813) 251-1662

Did you find this real estate law content useful, but need actual legal council?

Speak to a real estate attorney!

, , , , , , , ,

Don’t Get Burned By Solar Panels (Or Other Leased Items)

More and more homes are running off the power of the sun these days. Renewable energy has become a trending topic and solar panels are beginning to become prevalent in the state of Florida due to positive environmental impacts and the potential to reduce large A/C bills. Selling a house with solar panels comes with…

Standard Or “As Is?” That Is The Question

While Florida law requires no particular form of contract for a real estate transaction, the FR/BAR Contract forms are the most utilized and well-recognized residential contract forms in Florida.  The FR/BAR Contracts, created and approved by a collaboration between the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar, include two Contract forms: the Residential Contract…

It’s Not Over Until It’s Really Over…Selling Real Estate After A Divorce

As you all know, real estate professionals constantly wear an abundance of different “hats.” Working in the real estate world demands that real estate professionals have at least a minimal understanding of a variety of topics including, but not limited to, family law, wills, trusts and estates. Even with divorce rates slightly declining, it is…

When Is It Critical To Review Your Estate Plan, and Why?

Just like other important life tasks, your estate plan deserves your time and attention. It’s important that you work with us to review your estate plan at least once a year. Think of this as your estate plan’s annual physical exam, and remember-prevention is the best cure. An annual exam isn’t necessarily the only time…

Color Of Authority To Sign Listing Agreements & Contracts

A contract (which, for purposes of this Blog shall focus on Listing Agreements and Residential Contracts For Sale and Purchase), is only as good as the authority of the Seller and/or Buyer to sign them. Many times, I receive calls from agents asking who has authority to sign the Listing Agreement, and then the Contract…

No Leaks, No Damages, No Problems!

  Congratulations!  Your client entered into a new Standard FARBAR Contract on the purchase of a single family home in Sarasota.  The only contingencies are inspections and marketable title. Your client immediately hires a professional home inspector to conduct their home inspection.  During the Inspection Period the home inspector provides a “clean” report only notating…

The Repair Escrow Agreement: Having Your Cake and Eating It Too

In Florida, more likely than not a buyer will identify his or her requests for repairs early in a real property transaction and prior to closing pursuant to the standard FAR/BAR contractual provisions with little fanfare. Nonetheless, as in life and in realty, there are unforeseen circumstances where a closing extension would be difficult and…

“Options? We All Got ‘Em, We All Want ‘Em, What Do We Do With Them?”

We see option contracts for real estate purchases frequently, and we run into problems with those contracts just as frequently. In this blog we’ll go over what option contracts are, what they require to be effective, and we’ll identify some common pitfalls. An option contract is a promise by the owner of property to sell…

New Construction, Review Before You Execute

  New construction agreements can be extremely complicated and it is important that the buyer have a thorough understanding of the contract and terms prior to executing.  The construction agreements provided by developers are typically one sided and do very little to protect the buyer/owner in the event that an issue should arise.  It is…
Real Estate Firm

Your Condo Purchase-Treat It As An Investment

Condominium purchases by their nature involve property rights that are more complicated than typical single family lots or properties.  We have written several blog articles relating to investigations that buyers and their realtors should undertake prior to their purchase (links are included at the end of this blog). It is said that ownership of real…

Check Out My Title While BPE Resolves It!

One of the most frequent questions we receive from realtors involves the status of title to the property. The answer to the question “how is title” can be a source of great anxiety or a source of great relief. As a result, most people involved in any real estate transaction want the answer to that…

Not Quite Sure When A Contingency Ends? Read This!

We are fortunate to have holidays and weekends to provide us with time for relaxation, fun times with friends and family, and time away from work to recharge. Legal holidays and weekends follow a different rule for contract contingency deadlines. Throughout this week and into the weekend, while most of us will be celebrating the…

Balancing a Closing with Summer Vacation

During the summer when everyone is jet-setting on vacation, and year round as part time residents move in and out of Florida, we experience an increasing amount of closings where one or both parties cannot be physically present on the day of closing.  As this is a common occurrence, there are many ways to accomplish…

Breaking News! “RON” Remote Online Notarization is coming to Florida

  The much-anticipated remote online notarization (“RON”), is set to arrive in Florida as of January 1, 2020. Florida will join the ranks of twenty-three other states that have either passed or have pending bills that allow online notaries to perform notarizations anywhere in the world (Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi,…

Hurricane Season: The Good, The Bad and Still Closing

Often, parties seeking to buy and sell real property only concern themselves with Florida’s Selling Season and do not take into consideration the other season – Hurricane Season.  Florida’s Hurricane Season is kicking off and now that Hurricane Irma is approximately two-years in the rearview mirror, Berlin Patten Ebling would like to remind our buyers…

Look Before You Leap…Into A New Listing!

Real estate transactions can often be quite complicated and confusing for even the most savvy of Sellers and their agents. You would think that the most basic and straightforward step in the process would be determining who are the owners and who has the authority to convey the property and sign related paperwork, such as…

LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE YOU WALK AWAY FROM A DEAL

While it may not happen often, on occasion we have experienced situations where one of the parties “walks” from the transaction.  In this instance, the buyer or seller is often left in a difficult position and wondering what remedies they may have against the breaching party, if any.  A well drafted contract will typically set-forth…

Foreign Buyers & Sellers-Speaking Their Language

In Florida we are fortunate to have many foreign buyers and sellers of real estate. Sometimes they show up on a realtor’s threshold and are ready to purchase a property to use as an investment, or a vacation home, or a reason to remove their money from their home country, or to house their children…

Six Things You Need to Know about Buying Rental Properties (#2 will surprise you)

When a Buyer is purchasing a residential rental property such as a multi-unit building, they often have many questions about their rights as the new building owner and landlord.  The Buyer may also wonder whether the standard FR/BAR real estate contract is the appropriate contract for them and what protections it affords them.  Below is…

Consequences of Recording a Notice of Commencement

The Florida Construction Lien Statute (commonly referred to as the “mechanics’ lien law”), can be found in Chapter 713 of the Florida Statutes, Part 1. For purposes of this blog, the focus will be on this section of the statute dealing with Notices of Commencement.  First, what is a Notice of Commencement? For brevity, Notice…

DON’T BE CAUGHT WITH YOUR PANTS DOWN

Have you ever represented a Buyer that literally waits to the last second to inform you, via email, that they want to terminate a contract?  As a Realtor, what are your obligations?  Generally speaking your obligation (as Selling Agent) is to deliver the written notice of termination (or signed Release and Termination) to the Listing…

Attractive Feature of AS IS Residential Contract

The Florida Realtors/Florida Bar AS IS Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase is the preferred form of Contract for many agents, in no small measure because of its very clear provisions on how and when a buyer may terminate a contract.  These terms are found in Paragraph 12 PROPERTY INSPECTION; RIGHT TO CANCEL. Paragraph 12…
Sales Tax on Real Estate in Florida

Sales Tax on Real and Personal Property in Real Estate Transactions

Everyone knows that sales tax isn’t due when you sell a home in Florida, right?  Or is it only sort-of-right?  Or is it only sort-of-right-sometimes-depending-on-XYZ?  Since this is a legal blog, of course it’s the latter. It is certainly true that the sale of Real Property in Florida is not subject to sales tax.  Real…

Propane Gas – What’s the Big Stink?!

Over the last few weeks there have been numerous requests by Sellers to obtain a prorated credit for unused gas remaining in their propane tanks.  In these instances the Sellers thought Standard K (“Proration’s; Credits”) of the Standard FRBAR-2 Contract addressed this issue.  Standard K specifically requires the following recurring items to be made current…

Misconception of AS-IS Contract and Disclosure

When a party sells a property, they are required to fill out a Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement (“Property Disclosure”).  This Property Disclosure covers a wide array of questions about the condition of the property and knowledge of facts that materially affect the property.  Many are unaware that these disclosures are mandated by Florida law. …

Major Differences Between the As Is Contract and the Regular FAR/BAR Form

The As Is Contract and Regular Florida Realtors/Florida Bar Contract forms are essentially the same with the following exceptions: 1. Heading. Of course, the inclusion of “As Is” in the heading sometimes draws concern and can create minor angst for Sellers since they don’t want Buyers to get the impression that the Property is substandard.…

CRSP-12 and CRSP-12 Addendums Debut

Originally Published: 8/10/2012 Effective August 20, 2012, the FAR-9 Contract will be replaced with the Contract for Residential Sale and Purchase (CRSP-12). In addition, the Comprehensive Addendum (FARA-10) will be replaced with the CRSP-12 addenda. Please see the attached link to the summary list of the changes between the FAR-9 Contract and the CRSP-12 Contract.…

IMPORTANCE OF OBTAINING NEW SURVEYS AND HAVING THEM REVIEWED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FLORIDA REALTORS/FLORIDA BAR CONTRACT

Originally Published: 6/8/2012 The following are excerpts of a more comprehensive article previously published by Julie A. Horstkamp, Esquire, Berlin Patten, PLLC, Member of Sarasota Association of Realtors/Sarasota County Bar Association Joint Committee, and Chair of the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar Joint Committee. We receive a number of questions regarding the survey provision under the Florida…

SHORT SALE CONTRACT DEPOSIT DEADLINES – EFFECTIVE DATE OR UPON SHORT SALE APPROVAL?

Originally Published: 5/4/2012 With 2012 being the year of the Short Sale, you need to be familiar with differences in the contract forms being used in the marketplace. Typically, in a short sale transaction, we are seeing the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar (“FR/BAR”) As Is Residential Contract form (“As-Is Contract”) being used along with either the…
Menu