Friday, November 29, 2013

Weird requirements when buying a house

It's a wacky real estate market--in some areas, inventories are low and sellers can clamp on weird contingencies.

Nancy Keates writes about this in the WSJ, Nov 22, 2013.

In one case, the buyers were asked to take on the owners' Norwegian elk hound Fiffi--they could not take the pet to their new place. The dog lived happily another 10 years.

Such requirements are called "irregular exclusions or inclusions."

They give agents fits--their commissions depend on making people agree to these--they are on the increase, up 25% from five years ago.

One deal fell through because the buyer would not buy one of the seller's unremarkable paintings.

Another deal meant most of the plants in the yard were going with the seller. A U-Haul pulled up.

Another buyer refused to close because the seller had taken the turtle fountain that spit water into the pool. The agent found a similar one and saved the day.

Another deal turned on the buyer taking the seller's four chickens.

As for Fiffi's new owners--they had never had a dog. She barked and barked to go out until they got it--she trained them. My dog is not so conscientious--a coping story for another day.

As for advice--ask your agent about contingencies before making an offer.

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