When making a deal to sell your home, be sure you are perfectly clear about what you are taking with you and what you are leaving behind.
“Real” property: The general rule is that if something is attached to the structure or the ground, it stays with the house. If removing the item would ruin or disfigure the walls or you need tools to remove it, it generally stays. Legally, these are called fixtures, which include everything permanently attached to the property such as a fence, built-in appliances, ceiling fans, flowerbeds and shrubs.
“Personal” property: If you can disconnect, unhook or detach it with bare hands, it’s free to leave when you do and shouldn’t be assumed as part of the sale. This could be furniture, potted plants, free-standing appliances, an outdoor grill, etc.
It’s a good idea to not show your home with fixtures you are planning to take. It’s better to replace them. If a buyer falls in love with the chandelier in your dining room but then learns that you are planning to take it with you, the deal may fall through. Walk in each room with your agent and make a list of things that you’ll be taking with you.
However, if you decide to leave curtains, chandeliers or are open to giving up outdoor furniture, it may just help with a sale. Buyers appreciate getting something for free. A savvy agent will hint that fixtures and furnishings are negotiable. Unless they are really important, let them go with the home. Use them to get the price you want and then replace the items in your new home.
By itemizing and discussing items, there will be no miscommunication on closing day