Have you ever seen the HGTV show, Property Virgins? The reality show follows first-time home buyers as they walk through their potential starter homes. Our favorite part? Seeing the look on the property virgins faces as they become aware of hard-to-swallow real estate truths—like the fact that, sometimes, kitchen appliances aren't always included in the sale. But as we get started on the 2010's, it's becoming more apparent that sellers are willing to leave behind hard-to install gear—like their wall-mounted flat screens. Bonus!
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.