I am often asked, “Are those curtains and that light fixture staying with the house?” when showing Buyers a home, or “Do I need to leave my refrigerator when I sell my home?” when a Seller lists their house.The answer is, EVERYTHING is negotiable and can be written in the contract, however, the Texas REALTOR magazine says, “Contracts commonly used in Texas home sales state that the house, fixtures, improvements, and accessories are part of the sale.”
Here are a few examples of what typically stays with the property:
Stove, wall to wall carpeting, ceiling fans, TV wall mount, chandelier, smoke detectors, curtains (and rods), blinds and window shades, garage door opener, shrubbery and landscaping and window air conditioning units.
Here are some examples of what typically goes with the Seller:
Table lamp, TV, potted plants, bed, couch, dining room table, area rugs, lawn mower, patio grill*, bookcase*, washer and dryer, artwork and home decorations.*If the patio grill or bookcase is built into the structure (vs. free standing), then they would stay.
Some of these items seem pretty obvious as to whether they “go or stay”, but you’d be surprised at what Buyers and Sellers aren’t aware of.My best advice is to remove anything that you want to take with you before you list your house (i.e. swap out your antique chandelier that you want to keep with a different fixture, or take down the curtains and rods if you don’t want to leave them); then there is no issue about them whatsoever!On the “flip side,” if you want to leave something behind that usually goes with the sale, like a swing set or patio furniture, make it known in the MLS listing that it will stay.
Being pro-active about what stays and what goes before you list your home will save you a lot of hassle in the end!On the other hand, as a Buyer, if you really want something included with the sale that typically isn’t, don’t be afraid to ask for it in writing in the contract!
Submitting an offer on a home without ever setting foot inside is not new… and now with the COVID-19 Pandemic, it has become more common place for buyers who simply don't want to take any risks. But is this a smart thing to do?