If you are about to put your home on the market or are starting to pack up your belongings, then it’s good idea to have a general idea of what things stay with the home and what items you can take with you.
If you are not sure what that all entails then read on to learn the general rule of thumb on what stays and what goes:
What Goes: Your Personal Belongings
Unless you have negotiated a deal with the potential buyer, then any items that belong to you and aren’t attached to or otherwise part of the house can go with you when you sell the home. You should plan to take your furniture, art/ pictures hanging on the wall, small throw rugs and curtains with you when you move.
Now if you plan on taking something that would typically be left behind, like your rose bushes or a light fixture that is a family heirloom, then you will need to make sure that you put it in writing at the start of the selling process so buyers are aware that it will be missing at closing. If this is the case, then it would be a nice gesture to replace whatever item you decide to take with something that the new buyers can enjoy. You might also consider having these items replaced before you list the home so there isn’t any confusion during the selling process.
What Stays: Anything Built-in
There is a general rule when you’re selling your home, and that is anything that’s attached or built into the house typically stays behind. If your house happens to have some built-in bookshelves, then you would leave those shelves for the buyer. The same rule applies to any fireplaces, bathroom fixtures and kitchen fixtures.
You should also leave behind wall-to-wall carpeting and other flooring, hardware such as doorknobs and drawer pulls, light fixtures and any security systems or alarms, such as carbon monoxide monitors and smoke alarms.
If you have items outside of the home that are in the ground then you should also leave those behind. Now unless you specifically state that you are taking these, any bushes, trees and other in-ground plants should be left with the house.
What Could Stay: Certain Appliances and Furnishings
Now you don’t have to leave behind your refrigerator or other purchased appliances, such as the washer and dryer or dishwasher, but it is common for sellers to do so. Buyers will often times anticipate the appliances staying with the home, so if you are planning to take your refrigerator or washer and dryer, then you will need to put that into writing before closing so that everyone is on the same page.
Certain furnishings can also be left behind, but they don’t have to be. For example, if you have a swing set outside that your kids have outgrown and a buyer has younger kids, you can offer to sell it with the house. If you’ve mounted a flat-screen TV to the wall, it might be easier to sell the wall mount and television with the home and purchase a new one in your next home. It’s also possible that a buyer might fall in love with a certain item in your home that you were planning to take, such as your couch or a freestanding bookcase in the living area. In that case, you can decide to include those items in the sale of the house if they turn out to be a good negotiating tool.
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