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Does It Stay or Does It Go? The rules of personal property in Real Estate transactions

This question often comes up in a real estate transaction, "What's included in the sale?" or "What's not"? It's very important to ask these questions with your RealtorBEFORE you write an offer, and if you aren't sure, confirm with the Seller. Personal property can get a little tricky, so here's some basics to help you sort through it.
Do they stay or do they go?

Do they stay or do they go?

  • Curtain RODS convey with the home. Curtains themselves DO NOT. As a general rule, if property is fixed to a wall with screws, nails, orbolts, it's part of the structure and will convey with the property. If you love the curtains there is a good chance that the Sellers may not be usingthe exact same ones at their new home, and may leave them as a courtesy if you ask. But you MUST ask for them in the contract, or expect to have bare windows when you move in.
  • In a majority of transactions, some appliances will convey with the property. The most common appliances to be included are stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers. Don't just assume the microwave, air conditioner, dehumidifier, washer and dryer are being left behind for youjust because you see them at the home when you view the property. Be sure to confirm what the Seller is including in the sale, and understand that any other item you wish to have conveyedmust benegotiated.
  • So, what about woodstoves, hot tubs, snow blowers and lawn mowers -- These items are also occasionally included in the sale, with the most common ones being wood stoves and hot tubs. Some lenders prefer to haveaccessory items such as lawn mowers and snowblowers NOT included as part of a purchase and sale contract. So if you are going to ask for them, youmay want to confirm with your lender that it's acceptable prior to writing them in a contract.
  • What aboutthe bedroom set of furniture?When it comes to large amounts of furniture, this MUST be handled outside ofthe real estate purchase and sale contract.You can ask your Realtor for guidance on when theappropriate time will be to negotiate the possible purchase of furnishings that the Seller maybe leaving behind.
  • And as a Seller, what if you wish to dig up Grandpa's rose bush to bring to the new house? Trees, plantings and shrubbery that are in the ground are considered to be part of the property and convey with the property. Occasionally we do have a Seller that will ask to bring a lilac or rush bush, or some special plant with them to their new home. This must be disclosed to the Buyer and written in the listing information. The seller will also need to repair any hole made and re-seed the area if necessary as a courtesy.
  • Lastly...ceiling fans, fancy chandeliers and lighting: Lamps do NOT stay with the home as part of the purchase, but all other lighting fixtures that are afixed to walls are conveyed with the property unless otherwise specified by the Seller. If the seller is taking a special chandelier to hte new house, then they must purchase a replacement light fixture to be included in the sale.
Have fun shopping for homes this spring and remember....ASK FIRST and then WRITE IT IN THE CONTRACT!