Another matter to be incredibly careful about on with a house or apartment purchase is the furniture, fixtures and fittings which may or may not be included in the sale.  There was a case where a Million Euro sale can end up in Court over a €150 rug.  Try to establish clearly what is not for sale and what is being included with the house itself.

Generally, most fixtures (fireplaces, rads etc.) stay with the property while some fittings (lights, rugs, lino etc.) may be removed unless otherwise provided for in the contract. A lot of old carpets, presses, curtains etc are worth extraordinarily little but quite handy to tide the purchaser and his family over for the time being.   It is hardly rocket science to go through all these items with the vendors agent and agree on a list of items what you may like to purchase.

Unless you are buying a Picasso over the fireplace, none of these items even an old table or bed should set you back very much. If you want none of them at all you are perfectly entitled to ask the vendor or his agent to arrange to have all of them taken out of the house before you take over.  And the day before the sale closes, you should arrange with the vendors agent to show you the house so you can see it is vacant and that items which should be there are actually present.

Clarity is king.  Don’t accept a clause that says, “curtains in the living room are included in the sale”.  Believe me, several purchasers have taken over  their new home to find a ragged old pair of curtains in  the living room while the nice wool ones they had admired and wanted are nowhere to be seen.  Ensure the wording is something like “the purchase price includes the current cream wool curtains in the living room”.

Most vendors and purchasers are fair and decent, but some vendors can be truly awful.  I have heard of a case where a couple offered a vendor €2/3 k for all contents in the bungalow (the selling agent advised us this was a fair price), but the vendors wanted €10,000 for most old stuff and were refused. In the end he nearly steamed off the wallpaper, removed all the light fittings, unscrewed some bulbs, removed all the carpets and underlay but left scores of  sharp carpet tacks  everywhere.   The Vendor also – illegally – took some freestanding units in the kitchen which he was forced to reinstate.   Truly the vendor from hell.

So be careful and agree in writing with the agent and your solicitor what you want and what you are prepared to offer for it.