When you are getting ready to sell one of the things you will need to consider is what stays in the home and what goes. There are certain things that are generally considered to be part of the home and others which are often negotiable. Before you put the home up for sale you will want to figure out what things you absolutely want to take with you and what might be up for discussion. If you know where you will be moving to next then you are already one step ahead of the game because you know what is in your new place. If not, or if you are moving far away, it can be trickier to decide what is worth moving or putting in storage and what is worth offering to the buyers of your home.
Generally things that are not attached go with the seller. If there are things you are absolutely certain you want to take with you that are attached, make sure you tell your Realtor and so that they are included in the listing and you don’t end up breaking any potential buyer’s heart.
Some people, especially if they are downsizing or moving far away, may choose to include the furniture as part of the package. This can be tricky because furniture will not factor into an appraisal value so if it adds significant numbers to the sale price then the sale may need to be done separately. These items can also be included as a value add for the potential buyer.
There are several areas which generally feature in this type of discussion:
Lighting: Lighting fixtures are often something that people are attached to because they often reflect personal style. In general things that are attached to the home such as lighting fixtures are generally considered to be part of the home. For example, when I bought my condo, the owners wanted to take their crystal chandelier in the dining room with them. For me this wasn’t an issue, the chandelier wasn’t my style and I was happy with having the chance to replace it with something else. However if I hadn’t known this in advance and I had my heart set on the way the dining room looked with the chandelier it could have been an issue. Fixtures are to remain in the home unless the seller explicitly stated the item is not to be included in the sale. The seller also needs ensure that the item be removed without damage to the home. Lamps are moveable items and are considered personal items that can be claimed by the seller when they vacate the home.
Appliances: Appliances are often an area where the buyer and seller can negotiate. In some cases, the buyer may actually prefer that the seller remove appliances because they have their own. Other times, the seller may be ready to take the appliances but could use them as an incentive to get the buyer to pay the list price because the buyer won’t have to pay for new appliances. If you are absolutely certain that you want to take the appliances with you make sure your agent notes that. If you are willing to negotiate let your agent know that too. Most appliances are moveable items that the seller would normally be allowed to remove from the home. Moveable items are considered personal items or possessions of the seller.
Landscaping: Plants, shrubs and trees are items that are affixed to the property and will remain with the home however if you have container gardens or perhaps flower-filled urns on the front porch those can be negotiable. Backyard equipment, such as lawn chairs, tables, swings and grills, are all considered personal items. The swing set may get a bit tricky because it can be claimed that it is attached to the ground in some cases. The seller may often be very willing to sell all of the backyard items for a price.
Window Treatments: Window treatments are another area that can be negotiated. Often window treatments were bought to fit the specific size and shape of the windows and so the seller may not be interested in taking them to a new home. If you are planning to leave the window treatments behind be sure to let your agent know so that it can be added to the listing. This is often a great selling point to use because it means the person can move in and not have to worry about privacy.
Susan Wellish contributed to the post.