THE sale of the property is agreed, the SOLD sticker is proudly slapped across the For Sale board and a date is set for completion. Details of the transaction are sent off to the solicitor to sort out the legals and everything should proceed like clockwork. It should proceed like clockwork but it rarely does!

One particularly important aspect of the deal which is very often overlooked when the deal is struck is the important subject of fixtures, fittings and unspecified extras. The fitted carpets are usually included these days but what about miscellaneous, often expensive, items such as the curtains, washing machine, wardrobes, garden furniture and outbuildings?

In negotiating these finer points, it’s always heartening for an estate agent to observe acts of generosity by the seller. I recall with great admiration an elderly chap downsizing from a large country house. On being asked what recompense he required for the expensive tools he proposed to leave in his workshop and what price the ride on mower in the garage? ‘I don’t need them, they can have them’, he announced without hesitation. I’ve since encountered many more similar acts of exceptional generosity. People can be so kind.

At the other end of the spectrum, meanness sometimes clouds the deal. A prime example occurred at least 30 years ago but I’ll never forget a list of articles a seller wished me to offer her young first time buyers a couple of days before the sale was due to complete. Some twenty items long, it included a doormat priced £2, half a dozen lamp shades at £1 each and culminated with a toilet brush for the princely sum of 50p. The response from her horrified buyers consisted of just two words!

Chris Willey is an Independent Property Appraiser and welcomes sale related enquiries on Taunton 01823 412661