You Want the Carpets Cleaned Before You Move In? Put it in the Contract.

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You Want the Carpets Cleaned Before You Move In? Put it in the Contract.

Whatever you want left behind, cleaned, fixed, painted, pulled out, explained, or even permitted in the Orange County house you’re buying – put it in the contract!

“As Is” is the Rule

The purchase agreement clearly states that homes in California are sold in their present condition  – “as is”  as of the date of acceptance.   It does not automatically include having the carpet professionally (or unprofessionally, for that matter) cleaned.  Or the tile flooring.  Or the stove.  Or the kitchen drawers.  Or the windows.   Only what was agreed to upon acceptance, stipulated as included items or additional terms – like cleaning the carpets, leaving the washer, dryer, refrigerator, leaving any of the sellers’ furniture, or pets – is included in the contract.   Anything above and beyond what is in the contract at the time of acceptance has to be negotiated and agreed to by the buyer and the seller.  In writing.  On an official California Association of Realtors (CAR) form  – usually a Request for Repairs.  Failure to take this step may mean misunderstanding and missed expectations of the part of both the buyer and seller.  Ask for it in the contract.  End of story.

Time to Negotiate!

Now, do some sellers automatically take care of cleaning the carpets, cleaning the cabinets, touching up the paint, filling in the nail holes when they take down their pictures?   Sure.  Sometimes.  But that would be a BONUS to you.  Whoooo Hoooo!  But if it’s not in writing, you can’t count on it.  And there are just as many sellers who pack the moving van and skeedaddle away – taking care of only the things that were in the contract or negotiated in the Request for Repairs.  That’s just reality.  Deal with it.

Put it in Writing – In the Contract

Tip to all my Realtor Friends out there – do it the right way.  An email is not a written contract.  Just because you email me to say your client really really wants the carpets professionally cleaned and sterilized because they have nasty allergies does not in any way obligate the seller to clean the carpets.  That does not count as an amendment to the purchase contract.  Ever.  Never.  Always present your clients’ requests on the appropriate CAR form, with their signatures on it where required.  In the case of carpet cleaning, home cleaning, window cleaning, or tile cleaning – I would suggest to include these requests on a Request for Repairs.  Even if a RFR has been fully executed – there’s a space on the form to note the number of Request for Repairs – just like Counter Offers – there can be multiple Request for Repairs.  Just note it as RFR 1 or 2 or 3 or whatever number is next in line.  Simple.  Is the seller obligated to agree?  Absolutely not.  So you’d better put your marketing hat on and queue it up nicely for your buyer!  Make it as easy as possible for the seller to say yes and you increase your chances of getting it accepted.

Can I Get What I Want?

Here’s a short list of things that buyers have asked for up front, with their offer, and sellers have agreed to:

  • Home and carpets to be professionally cleaned prior to Close of Escrow.
  • The bar stools that fit perfectly under the counter in the kitchen.
  • The custom made curtains, throw pillows, comforter, bed skirt and upholstered chair that match the mural in the little girl’s room.
  • The patio furniture – all 21 pieces including a covered wooden swing.
  • The kids play-ground sized redwood play set with swings and a slide.
  • The pot rack above the kitchen counter.
  • The family dog.  Seriously.

Always get what you expect and agree to between buyers and sellers in writing on the correct CAR form.  Got Questions?  I’ve Got Answers!  Give me a call when you are serious about buying a home in Orange County.  Leslie 949-678-3373

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