A story in the New York Times details a new trend among buyers closing on a home: Whether or not the flat screen TV, the focal point of the beautiful home they've walked through, will be included in the sale.
According to the New York Times:
“It seems to be a topic of discussion in every walk-through now before we close on an apartment,” said June Gottlieb, a senior managing director at Warburg Realty. “If a seller is taking their flat screen with them, I always will ask if they plan to fill and patch the holes left by the brackets, because I’m not going to let my buyer walk into a mess.”
It's not as cut-and-dry as kitchen appliances, which are usually assumed to be part of the sale, unless stated otherwise. Wall-mounted flat-screen televisions fit inside a gray area, where their fate can be left up to interpretation from the seller or buyer.
And if the TV goes with the old owners? Well then you're left with a gaping hole in your new wall.
But the flat screen conundrum doesn't have to be a headache. If you're buying a house, make sure that your housing contract considers and fleshes out all of the following talking points:
- Will the flat screen be included in the sale of the house or apartment?
- If not, will the wall-mount bracket be included?
- If not, will the seller repair the wall, or offer the buyer a credit to get the wall repaired?
If you're prepared and willing to negotiate, you might just walk away from the deal with a new TV.