The home selling and buying process can be confusing, particularly when it comes to figuring out what items stay with the home. This article sorts out what personal property stays with the home when it is sold.
What stays with the house?
Built-ins: Built-in bookshelves, benches, and pull-out furniture generally stays with the home.
Landscaping: Trees, shrubs, and any flowers planted in the ground should stay in the yard.
Wall mounts: If you have TV wall mounts or picture mounts that might damage the wall if you remove them, it is a good idea to leave them in place when you move.
Custom-fit items: If you have custom-made curtains, plantation shutters, or blinds, leave them on the windows and doors.
Hardware: If you upgraded the knobs and drawer pulls in your bathrooms and the kitchen, you’ll either have to leave those behind or install replacements before you show the home. If it is shown with the house, and not exempted in writing, it is included in the sale.
Alarm systems: Wireless alarm systems are designed to be removed. Otherwise, leave the alarm monitoring station attached and either relocate or cancel the monitoring service.
Smoke detectors: Smoke detectors and sprinkler systems should stay in the house.
Typically, any items attached to the home stay with it while non-attached items are considered personal property and go with the seller. Here are some examples:
Patio furniture, lawn equipment, and play sets: If you have a wooden swing set in the backyard and a bistro table on the front porch, take those items with you.
Appliances: Some lenders require that a home have an oven installed before approving a loan, but for all other appliances, it's up to you to decide what you will take and what you will offer as part of the home.
Some light fixtures: Generally, homeowners leave light fixtures behind, but if you’re attached to a certain fixture, you can make arrangements with the buyer to exclude it specifically in the contract or better-yet, remove it before showing.
Built-in kitchen tools: If you can safely remove a mounted spice rack or the pasta arm, you can take it with you.
Rugs, basic curtains, wreaths: Small decor items like rugs or curtain rods that can be safely removed can be taken.
If you’re a seller and you don’t offer the items generally expected to convey, you make your property less attractive than the competition. With the red-hot real estate market, it may not matter. You may still sell your property quickly and easily.
As with most things related to the real estate buying and selling process, keep in mind the relationship between the parties. The buyer and seller are not enemies and all items on the table don’t carry equal importance for both parties. If you are willing to be reasonable, there is almost always a win-win solution.