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Real Estate Terms to Know: Inclusions & Contingencies

Real Estate Terms to Know: Inclusions & Contingencies

If you are ready to sell or buy your home, there are important terms to understand so you can get the most out of any negotiations you may face. As part of the negotiation process, a seller has a chance to enhance a deal with inclusions to attract buyers. Both buyers and sellers can protect themselves with contingencies should an offer fall through. But what exactly do these terms mean?

An inclusion is a specific, yet removeable item within a house which a seller is willing to leave behind as a part of the sale. Examples include appliances, lighting fixtures, and window blinds. Inclusions can help appeal to potential buyers too, and may help sell a home quickly, and possibly for a better price. If all the appliances in a home have been updated to Energy Star rated models, including them in a sale could do well as an incentive for buyers looking for an energy efficient property. Unique features such as bookshelves, which add to the appeal of a home, yet are removeable, can also be included, and may even be requested by a buyer.

It may seem like common sense that basic household items should remain with a house once it’s sold. However, non-permanent aspects of a house are considered personal property, not real property; it’s this difference which inclusions provide for, ensuring the seller and buyer are in agreement with exactly what is being included in the sale of a home.

While inclusions denote just what you will leave behind when you sell your home, contingencies cover specific situations which, if they occur, can help protect either the seller or buyer. Think of a contingency as an extra bit of insurance towards the possible risk of not being able to complete a sales agreement. Both parties should consider what types of things may hinder the completion of a sale, and if something occurs, who will end up with the earnest deposit because of it.

Common examples include Home Inspection, Repair, and Sale & Settlement Contingencies. If a property doesn’t pass an inspection, a buyer could walk away from their offer and keep their earnest money. Both a buyer and seller can benefit from a Sale & Settlement Contingency. While a buyer may be serious, a seller can still market their home to other buyers with this type of contingency. If another offer comes in, the first buyer will need to make a decision one way or the other, and possibly let another buyer get the property. With repair contingencies, there’s an agreement of work to be done on a home before the sale is complete, and who will cover the cost.

Contingencies can also be used to ensure a personal situation is covered should the unexpected happen. For example, if you happen to be selling to move to a new location for work, but things are not yet all settled at the new office, you can include a contingency which allows for confirmation of your impending promotion, or to allow for travel delays in getting things done as you prepare for closing.

Whatever inclusions or contingencies you want incorporated into an offer, it’s best to be specific. List out each item individually to avoid possible confusion or disputes down the road. When you’re ready to sell or buy property in York County, you want a team you can rely on. The Jim Powers Team of local, experienced Realtors® is here to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to help you from start to finish, with complete satisfaction. Visit our website to learn more, then contact us or give us a call at 717-417-4111, to get the conversation started.

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