What Stays with The Home?

What Stays with The Home?

  • Zita Billmann
  • 07/27/23
When selling a home, you have a lot on your mind- from negotiating deals to planning your future. One big task is packing up your belongings for the inevitable move. As you go through each room, you may not realize that some items may not be yours to take. Did you know that your favorite chandelier may no longer legally be your property? For first time home sellers, it’s easy to be confused when confronted with this reality. While there can be exceptions, it’s generally accepted that some items will stay with a home being sold. Before your agent hands you an exclusion form that lists what is and isn’t included in the sale of their home, you can better understand the big picture ahead of time. Avoid disappointing yourself or delaying the closing by taking the correct items and leaving those that belong with the house behind.

When you think about a home, there are a few categories of items- personal items like clothing, furniture like beds or televisions, décor such as rugs or paintings, appliances like ovens and dishwashers, and fixtures- ranging from celling fans to built-in shelving. Although these categories can be quite broad, it’s important to carefully consider each before deciding to pack something away. While personal items are obviously yours to take, the other categories aren’t always as obvious.

When it comes to furniture, the general rule is that it’s yours to take- as long as it isn’t physically attached to the home. This means that built in shelving and cabinets are more often considered fixtures, and remain with the house. While you can negotiate with a buyer who may be interested in some of your furniture, as a general rule you won’t be leaving behind your tables or seating surfaces. 

Home décor is generally considered personal property and does not come with the house, but there are a few exceptions. Curtains and blinds do stay with a home, along with installed mirrors – unless otherwise stated up front. When it comes to appliances, stoves nearly always stay with a home, as do dishwashers. Washers and dryers may or may not be included, and can be negotiated with the buyers. Central heating and air systems always stay with a home, but window units are normally considered personal property. If you’ve made accommodations for a wall mounted AC unit, such as cutting holes for ducting, it’s been mounted to the home and is now considered a fixture- and stays with the home.

Fixtures are often described as anything nailed down, bolted, or mounted to the home or land. Ceiling fans, chandeliers, and other light fixtures are typically included in the sale of the house, alongside outdoor fixtures like your mailbox, and outdoor structures like gazebos. While a television is yours to take, the TV wall mount may be considered a fixture- so you should consult with your agent prior to removing it.

For the first time home seller, it can quickly become confusing on what is yours and what’s staying with the home. If you are ready to buy or sell a home, make sure and discuss with your agent what you want to add or exclude to the sale. If you’re hard-set on keeping an item that stays with a home, it should be replaced prior to listing your home for sale. If you want to hold onto a family heirloom chandelier, remove it and put it into storage until you’re ready to move into your new space. Install a replacement so the home looks complete and is ready to be sold. 

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Whether you are a first time homebuyer, looking to upsize to a larger home, relocating to or from the area, or downsizing as an empty nester, my expertise and 20+ years sales experience will get you where you want to go.

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