Don’t Let a Strength Become a Weakness – Tailor Your APS to Each Transaction

A strength of a standard form contract like the Alberta Real Estate Association/Ontario Real Estate Association agreement is that it saves the realtor time and makes sure that key areas of a contract are covered. But a standardized template will not include everything required to protect your client in every transaction. Agreements for purchase and sale (APS) should be customized appropriately to avoid unexpected expenses later.

Good realtors know that rented appliances stay with the home. In one case, however, a realtor did not properly identify whether the hot water tank, air conditioner, and furnace were rented. The APS made no mention of these in Schedule A. Consequently, after the transaction closed, the seller had to unexpectedly buy out the remaining balance on the rented air conditioner. The buyer got a free air conditioner, and the seller was shocked to pay this unexpected, significant expense that he had not bargained for.

The takeaway is to specify the ‘chattels’ that are included with the property on Schedule A of the APS. If there are no rental items listed, the seller will be legally responsible for them.

If you need help to interpret contract language, use the expertise of a Millars real estate lawyer to review the APS before signing. This will ensure that the expectations of both parties are fully contained in the contract.

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