Garage Door Openers & Home Selling: An Often Overlooked Part of the Real Estate Transaction

Purchase offer contracts protect homeowners and home buyers during a real estate transaction. These contracts put expectations of both parties into writing to help ensure a smooth and fair transaction.

A standard real estate purchase offer contract includes a section called the “Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement,” which asks homeowners to disclose the types and numbers of fixtures in the home. Home sellers are required to complete the inventory of fixtures early in the home selling process, so the home buyers know what they’ll get when the sale is final.

An Automatic Garage Door Opener Is A “Fixture”

The little automatic garage door openers that clip to the inside of your vehicle visor are considered fixtures on a real estate contract. The number of openers disclosed on the contract are the number of openers that are required to be handed over when the sale of the home is final.

Fixtures Must Be Turned Over When Your House Sells

As a home seller, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the home buyer gets what he or she was promised when the sale of the home goes through. Failure to turn over the expected number of garage door openers when the sale of the house is complete could result in problems or delays in the selling process. The only remedy is to buy replacement remotes.

Know How Many Automatic Garage Door Openers You Have

Many homeowners fill out their Transfer Disclosure Statement without confirming whether or not they can find their garage door openers. These little tools have a way of getting lost with time. Some break, others get put into junk drawers or shoved into boxes and packed away. When the time comes to produce these fixtures, many sellers are unable to produce the promised quantity. Some are unable to produce any at all.

Track Your Garage Door Openers Throughout the Move

Once you’ve identified the number of garage door openers in your home and have filled out the Transfer Disclosure Statement, each clicker must be put somewhere safe until the sale is final. This can be a hectic time for many sellers, who are usually packing to move as the sale proceeds. Sellers who do not use their garage door openers and who need to keep track of them throughout the move can do so by taping the opener to the control panel in the garage.

Any garage door opener that is used on a regular basis can be tracked by simply keeping them in the same place where they are always kept, whether that’s in the car, purse or brief case.

Work With Your Real Estate Agent

If you’re a home seller who has determined that you cannot find the garage door opener that you disclosed on your Transfer Disclosure Statement, your real estate agent can help you decide how to handle the problem. They will also help you determine what other features of the home are considered fixtures.

Article written by Greg Geilman, REALTOR® President and CEO, South Bay Residential