Buyer wants my crappy Washer / Dryer; what are my obligations?

TRex4.14November 14, 2012

We just accepted an offer on our house. The buyer asked to keep several things, including our washer and dryer. They look like nice appliances, (they were nearly $1k each when we bought them 4 yrs ago), but in reality, the washer is a POS lemon that broke down as soon as our 1 yr warranty was up. (Class action lawsuit attempt failed- Kenmore Elite Oasis.) The computer on it malfunctions regularly; we never know when we push the "start" button if it's actually going to work or if we'll have to unplug the machine and wait for it to reset....and sometimes that doesn't even work. When pushing the start button actually works, it does complete a successful wash, so, for this reason (and because I don't want to drop another 1K on a new washer), we've put up with the pain of unplugging it multiple times a week for the last 3 yrs.

Our realtor knew this- we told him when we signed our seller's contract that potential new owners probably wouldn't want it. When we signed the offer contract, we reiterated to him that it was a piece of crap, and did the new owners know that? He said, "Well, they know the house is full of 10 yr old appliances, so it shouldn't be a problem. Plus, they're getting a Home Warranty." (Washer is NOT 10 yrs old.)

What would you do? Go ahead and leave the crappy appliance for the buyers? I feel kind of bad, because they are newlywed kids, so I know they don't have a lot of cash to drop on new appliances. They probably assume, from the looks of the washer, that it's a nice, newer washer. Should I buy them a new, but cheap, washer (leaving a mismatched pair)? Is my only obligation to leave the washer that he asked for, even though it's not perfect?

What would you do? We had to drop our price considerably, so I really don't have a lot of extra cash to spend on a new washer for them. Thanks in advance for your advice.

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This is fine. They have the warranty if necessary. You are under no obligation to replace anything. Having your appliances now means they won't have to spend money yet. Consider them starter appliances. Congrats on your house sale!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 4:41PM
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Did your listing indicate you would leave the washer/dryer or did they just ask for it with the offer?

If the listing said it was included, I might feel the need to replace it. If they asked for it, I would leave it, but also email your agent to confirm that you are happy to leave it, but it does not work reliably and to please inform the buyers of this.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:15PM
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If the buyers are asking for it, and you are willing to throw it in, then it is up to them to tell their inspector to check it out.(even if he will agree)It woon't matter anyhow if they do find out it is not working properly, because it is considered personal property and not real estate.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Specify that the appliances are "as is", are used, and that you make no warranty about their condition.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:30PM
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And, they like you, won't have to buy another $1k washer right away when they move in.

There is the PITA factor, but you've been doing it for 3 years...

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 7:35PM
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tell them to make sure the washer is covered under their warranty.In my home warranty that's an extra rider.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:15PM
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re: the contract- we didn't specify that they would be included, the buyer just asked for them with their offer. Too late to say they are "as is", as their offer was accepted a few days ago, and we didn't know they wanted them until we got to the table to sign.

Sounds like the consensus is that it isn't unethical or wrong to leave them. I'm glad to hear that! :)

Thanks for the advice....

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:23PM
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I think a nice thing to do would be to pass on the information that the washer is "quirky" and they may need to unplug it to re-set it. Otherwise, they may be shelling out for a repair/replacement bill the first time it doesn't work.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:11AM
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Personally, I would tell the buyers, especially if they are a young couple. But that is the only thing I would tell them. You told your realtor, he/she refused to pass on the message to the buyer's realtor, that is not good for me. The ONLY reason I would tell is you have had so much trouble. As a side issue, did you contact the CEO of the corporate office? I would and send them all the information and if you have an investigative reporter on TV notify them also, even though you are moving. When we sold, our fuel oil furnace was almost 20 years old and it was hard to get someone to work on it and we personally notified the buyers before we signed any papers. It did last about 5 more years but we did hear that they did have problems getting it out. It was outside in a side attached shed. But at least they knew.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Legally, likely no need to inform the buyers as you are delivering exactly what they asked for and paid for. Ethically, I would probably disclose the need to unplug & replug after closing along with any other helpful hints / garage door openers / extra keys etc.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 2:26PM
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Oh, yes! I definitely plan to give them the real-life instructions for how to operate the machine, along with the rest of the items for the house.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 10:10AM
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Give it to them and say "as is." We sold a home in D.C. area once and the buyers wanted my brand new, just received as a gift (I am practical and wanted one for b-day), 4 month old washer. I previously had a 30 year old, refurbished Kenmore and yes it still ran great for me. I was willing to give up my new washer to make the deal happen with the promise from my husband, with NO complaints, that I could get another new one when we moved. We did just that and all went well on the deal. That is the only thing they wanted but asked for our beautiful playhouse (wood built, not plastic) to be taken off the property before closing. They didn't have kids. We assumed someone with many children would buy our home, but in the end it was an older professional couple who didn't have kids and never planned on it. House selling is so strange and unpredictable and you can't ever guess who will love your home and for what reasons.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:17PM
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Yes, I left a POS fridge for my buyer, it was excluded in the listing, but they requested it so no disclosure was needed.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:28PM
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