Selling a home can be an emotional and overwhelming process, and there is a lot to consider.
One area that often brings confusion for both sellers and buyers is what personal property can be taken by the seller, and what should remain with the home.
In this blog post, we’ll shed light on the essentials of what sellers can legally take with them, when they sell their property, and what items are typically expected to be left behind.
What Sellers Can Take
Personal Belongings: Sellers are generally entitled to take their personal belongings that are not attached to the property. This includes items such as clothing, furniture, electronics, and other personal possessions.
Potted Plants and Garden Décor: Sellers can usually take potted plants and garden decorations that are not planted in the ground, or permanently installed. However, if a plant is rooted and part of the landscaping, it should remain.
What Stays Behind
Permanent Fixtures: Anything that requires a tool to remove, or is bolted, nailed, wired, cemented, or permanently
glued to the property becomes a fixture – and fixtures stay behind when the seller leaves. These include items like built-in appliances, HVAC systems, light fixtures that are hardwired, and in-wall shelving. Items that are required to operate the fixtures or home systems, for example smart HVAC controllers and garage door remotes, generally convey with the property.
Structural Elements: Elements that are integral to the structure of the house, such as walls, windows, doors, and built-in cabinets, must remain with the property.
Landscaping: Landscaping features that are in the ground, like trees, bushes, and flowerbeds, should remain as part of the property. Heavy water features that are difficult to move, may be considered a fixture, and thus convey with the property.
Built-In Features: Features like countertops, bathroom vanities, and kitchen cabinets that are permanently attached should not be removed by the seller.
Any Agreed-Upon Inclusions: Sellers should carefully review the purchase agreement to see if any specific items are listed as inclusions in the sale. If an item is agreed upon as part of the sale, the seller should leave it behind.
In conclusion, navigating the divide between what sellers can take and what should stay behind requires really understanding the distinction between personal property and fixtures.
By taking deliberate steps to avoid any confusion, sellers can help to ensure a seamless transaction that satisfies all parties involved.
Remember, transparency and clarity are key to a successful real estate sale.