August 19, 2016
You buy a house that the MLS Listing shows comes with a Washer/Dryer. Yet just before Closing you notice the sellers have taken the W/D with them. Is this a Contract violation?
A Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing shows that a property for sale contains a washer and dryer. The buyer submits an offer, using the Florida Bar AS IS Residential Contract, and the seller accepts. Everything proceeds smoothly…until the day of closing. During the final walk through, the buyer notices the washer and dryer have been removed.
What recourse does the buyer have?
- Sue the seller for breach of contract.
- Demand the seller credit the buyer an amount equal to the price of the washer and dryer.
- Nothing, as the MLS listing isn’t part of the contract and the buyer failed to include the washer and dryer in the contract as part of the offer.
- Demand the seller return the washer and dryer or else the buyer refuses to close.
If you said Number 4, you were incorrect. The buyer would be guilty of breach of contract and at risk of losing their down payment and the seller walking away from the deal.
Correct Answer: 3. It is up to a buyer to make sure their offer includes all items they want to remain on the property. A washer and dryer are free-standing appliances not attached to the house. The Florida Realtors/Florida Bar AS IS residential contract lists several property items that convey with a sale. A washer and dryer are not among them. Therefore, the buyer should have added these appliances in the offer if they intended to make them part of the sale.
In this instance, the seller had every right to remove the appliances prior to closing.
Joseph Schutz, GRI, CDPE, SFR, BPOR, GREEN
Broward & Palm Beach Realty
Ft Lauderdale, FL