Curtain Tug-of-War: Nobody Wins
Unless you’re in the process of decorating, most homeowners don’t give much thought to curtains until they become the subject of a tug-of-war with a homebuyer. If you (or your clients) are particularly attached to curtains or other window treatments, there is one thing you need to know. Just like bathroom mirrors, window blinds, and light fixtures, under KCRAR’s current home sale/purchase contract form used by most parties to transactions in the Kansas City metro area, those fabulous curtains and window treatments stay with the home. If a seller wants to take the curtains with them, there are two ways to handle the situation to avoid a tug-of-war battle where everyone ends up muddy, even if they get the curtains.
Lower the Curtain
The best way to avoid a tug-of-war is to take the curtains down and replace them before the house is shown to potential buyers. This way, no buyer will fall in love with the curtains only to discover that the seller wishes to exclude the curtains from the contract. This leads us to the second option: excluding the curtains or window treatments from the sale by adding express language into the sale contract. This option should be used with caution for two reasons.
Ignore the Curtains?
First, if the buyer falls in love with the curtains he or she may want to negotiate over them, leaving the homeowner to haggle back and forth and possibly give up the curtains or walk away from the deal. This situation can be stressful for both the buyer and the seller. Second, the language added to the contract should be very clear so that all parties understand which curtains or window treatments do not stay with the home. This is important in order to avoid a tug-of-war when the buyer moves in and discovers that the curtains they thought were staying are now gone.
Amy Ringsdorf, Corporate Counsel/Vice President