“They’ve taken away the cooker and all the curtains we especially wanted!”

Another matter to be incredibly careful about on a purchase is the furniture, fixtures and fittings which may or may not be included in the sale.  There is often more hassle and disputes over stovess and carpets and wardrobes than over the house itself.  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, or what you want included in the sale.

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”.  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.

Most vendors and purchasers are fair and decent, but some vendors can be truly awful.  In one case, the purchaser offered a vendor €2/3 k for all contents in the bungalow (the selling agent Greendoor Properties advised us this was a fair price).  But the vendor wanted €10,000 for most old stuff and that was refused.  He was asked to remove all these fitting, carpets etc out of the house. In the end he nearly steamed off the wallpaper, removed all the light fittings, unscrewed some bulbs, removed  all the carpets  and underlay.

So be careful and agree in writing with the agent what you want and what you are prepared to offer for it and don’t go overboard.