Property Description: Buildings

Posted on: April 12, 2014


It doesn’t matter what the seller tells you when you’re shopping for a home; the property description that goes into the contract is the one that is enforceable. You may think that the shed or other outbuilding on the property is included in the home purchase, but you could be in for a surprise when you show up after closing to find that the seller removed the extra buildings to take to the new home. Make sure your purchase and sale agreement includes an accurate description of all buildings that will be included in the transaction, and include this item on your pre-closing checklist.

Assertions about the Building

Some sellers will say a lot to attract a buyer; particularly in a competitive housing market. Your seller may tell you that the building was designed by a famous architect. You may believe the building to be made from certain materials or constructed in a specific manner and building technique. The seller may claim the house is a certain square footage, or is energy efficient.

Ask to have any and all property assertions about the building included in the property description. It may be difficult to prosecute a seller for fraud for verbal representations, but if the seller misrepresents the property in the contract, you may have grounds for legal action later. Listing all of these facts in the contract is an easy way to get peace-of-mind, and may reveal something you didn’t know about the property.

Outbuildings, Sheds and Other Considerations

Don’t assume that outbuildings, garden sheds, tool sheds, barns, greenhouses and other separate buildings on the property are included in the home purchase. In some cases, the sellers may write the contract in such a way that they retain ownership of some of these buildings. Even by virtue of leaving outbuildings out of a contract, the seller may be justified in taking or demolishing these features. By including these outbuildings in the legal description, you have a reliable account of what you’re purchasing, and can take legal action if you don’t get what you think you’re getting.


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