Property issue after closing?

UPDATED: May 27, 2009

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Property issue after closing?

In our contract, the seller wanted to swap the major appliances in the house. I agreed but she never did. We closed and now a week later she wants to do the swap. Legally do I have to?

Asked on May 27, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Typically, something like this is done just before or the day of closing but post-closing is not unheard of.  What is the exact wording in the contract?  Does it provide for a time limit for this? 

If your contract is silent I would argue that there is no longer any obligation on your part.  However, this would not preclude the seller from bringing a claim against you in small claims court (assuming the amount of the appliances is under $5,000).  Judges in small claims are guided less by the letter of the law and more by the spirit of the law.  That being the case they may well rule against you since by virtue of the contractual language you were on notice of the appliance swap; and it was only a matter of days after the closing that seller made her request.

Why don't you save yourself the headache and do what you have already agreed to; let her exchange the appliances.  Life is too short.  Enjoy your new home in peace.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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