What can I do if an item was not listed in the sales contract but the realtor included ii in the MLS as part of the sale?

I sold a property last month and the realtor included a portable security system in the MLS that was not in the contract. It is a wireless security system, not a hard-wired system. I had planned to keep the system for myself. The realtor informed me that it had to stay. Can I demand that the realtor pay me out of her commission for doing this without my permission in the original contract?

Asked on May 31, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You probably do have to provide it since it was listed in the MLS, and it would be reasonable for a buyer to believe that a security system is simply part of and comes with the house--i.e. this is not the sort of thing, like a refrigerator, which has to be included in the contract, but is rather more like a light fixture, which would go with the property unless specifically excluded. Even though this is a wireless system, it is still not necessarily obvious to a buyer that it would not go with the property. Reasonable expectations typically govern in a case like this. If you don't include it, the buyer could most likely sue you for its value.
As for the realtor: you can ask that she reimburse you, but if she refuses to do so, you can't unilaterally withold money but would have to sue her, which may or may not (depending on the value) be worthwhile.


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