December 3rd, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Multiple Choice Question: I am the listing agent for a pending sales transaction. My seller has a lot of pictures and paintings on the walls. When she removes the artwork, what is she supposed to do about the nails and walls as according to the Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA)? Pick the best answer:

A. The seller should leave the nails in the walls.
B. The seller should remove the nails.
C. The seller should remove the nails, and repair the holes in the walls.
D. The seller should remove the nails, and repair and paint the holes in the walls.

Answer: Believe it or not, Answer A is likely to be the best answer as according to the strict reading of the RPA. Under paragraph 8B(1), all existing fixtures are included in the sale. “Fixtures” are legally defined to include things affixed to land when “imbedded in it, as in the case of walls” (Cal. Civil Code section 660). Nails do generally fit that description.

It is true that paragraph 8C, if checked, requires “holes or other damage to be repaired, but not painted.” But that provision does not pertain to artwork. It only pertains to brackets for audio and video components, and items secured to the real property for earthquake purposes. It’s also true that we don’t want a deal to fall apart because of some nails in the walls, so if this becomes an issue, just help the seller and buyer come to an amicable resolution.

-Thank you to Richard Perez (Pasadena Office) for suggesting this week’s legal tip.

Copyright© 2018 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP). All rights reserved. Any unauthorized reproduction or use of this material is strictly prohibited. This information is believed to be accurate as of December 3, 2018. It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice in individual situations, and is not intended to nor does it create a standard of care for real estate professionals.

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