One of the most frustrating aspects of buying a property can be negotiating over fixtures and fittings. Whether you are desperate to make sure you are buying the fantastic bathroom suite that had you hooked or nervous that the whole sale might collapse over who pays for the plug sockets, what may seem trivial at the start of process can be very contentious.
What Are Fixtures And Fittings?
A fixture is something that is affixed to the walls, floor or ceiling of a property. A fitting is something that is a freestanding item or something that is temporarily secured to the walls or ceiling by a screw, hook or nail etc. Here’s a list of some of the most common of each category.
• Light switches and plug sockets
• Central heating boilers and radiators
• Built-in wardrobes
• Kitchen units
• Bathroom suite
• Paintings or mirrors that are not bolted to the wall but hung or screwed
• Curtains and curtain rails or poles
• Free-standing ovens, fridge freezers and washing machines
• Beds, sofas and other free-standing items of furniture
• Television aerials and satellite dishes
Is It Worth Arguing Over?
If you are looking to move straight into a property the fixtures and fittings are likely to be more important to you than if you are buying somewhere to renovate. Kitting out a home with fixtures and fittings is an expensive business and can mount up very quickly. If you buy a place expecting to have the boiler and radiators already fitted you could be in for a nasty shock and thousands of pounds of extra expense. Take the time to clarify the details. It will save you possible disagreements during the process and could save you quite a bit of money.
How To Include The Fixtures And Fittings You Would Like
There are no hard and fast rules about what can or can’t be taken when a sale takes place and misunderstandings can easily and often occur. The seller is able to remove everything but they need to make it clear what they are prepared to leave.
Create An Inventory
As part of the conveyancing process, the solicitors will facilitate the creation of a detailed inventory of all fixtures and fittings, which forms part of the sales contract. When you are negotiating both parties will be able to know clearly what they are coming to an agreement over and it eradicates a lot of confusion. Likewise, once the agreement has been made, make sure it is logged and attached.
The seller has no obligation to leave anything so bear this in mind when negotiating. Remember that being demanding is likely to have a negative effect and could possibly make other aspects of the sale tricky too.
Do You Really Want It?
Also, get to thinking about what changes you would make to the property as quickly as possible – most sellers are happy to let you go back in to measure up while the process is unfolding so that you don’t end up wrangling, and potentially jeopardising the whole sale, over something you will chuck out anyway.
You might not end up with everything you want, and sometimes that can mean the difference between the sale going through or not, but if you are organised, up front and fair, a potentially tricky part of the sale can go off without a hitch.