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What Stays With a House When You Sell It? And What to Take With You

Selling a house can be a momentous event in anyone's life, whether it's upgrading to a larger property, downsizing to a more manageable space, or relocating to a new area. As a seller, you need to understand what typically stays with the house when you sell it and what items you should take with you to avoid misunderstandings and potential disputes with the buyer.

What Stays With the House?

Fixtures and Fittings

Fixtures are items that are permanently attached to the property and are considered part of it. They are generally included in the sale. Examples of fixtures include built-in furniture, light fixtures, ceiling fans, and heating systems. 

Fittings, on the other hand, are items that are not permanently attached but are still considered part of the property, such as window blinds and curtain rods.

Built-in Appliances

Built-in appliances like ovens, stovetops, dishwashers, and built-in microwaves are typically included in the sale unless otherwise specified in the contract.

Landscaping and Outdoor Features

The landscaping and outdoor features, such as trees, shrubs, permanent garden structures, and installed water features, are part of the property and usually stay with the house.

Permanent Installations

Any permanent installations like wall-to-wall carpeting, installed shelving, or in-wall speakers are generally included in the sale.

What Can You Take With You?

Personal Belongings

As a seller, be sure to remove all personal belongings from the house before the closing. This includes your furniture, clothing, electronics, and any other personal items that are not part of the sale. Taking your belongings with you avoids confusion and ensures that the buyer receives an empty and clean property.

Non-Permanent Decorations

Items that are not permanently attached to the property, such as artwork, mirrors, and removable decor, should be removed unless you negotiate their inclusion in the sale with the buyer.

Portable Appliances

Appliances that are not built-in, such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers, are generally considered personal property and can be taken with you. However, if you've explicitly agreed to include them in the sale, they should remain in the house.

Family Heirlooms and Sentimental Items

If there are family heirlooms or sentimental items that you don't intend to sell with the property, it's essential to remove them before the sale. These items hold personal value and should not be left behind.

Important Documents

Take all important documents related to the property, such as maintenance records, warranties, and instruction manuals for appliances and systems. These can be useful for the buyer and might help facilitate a smooth transition.

Communication Is Key

To avoid any confusion or disputes, clear communication between the buyer and seller is required throughout the selling process. Before listing the property, create a list of items that will stay with the house and those that will be taken by the seller. This list can then be included in the contract to ensure both parties are on the same page.

If there are any items that the buyer wishes to include in the sale that are not on the list, negotiate and come to a mutual agreement before closing. Having everything in writing will protect both parties and prevent any potential misunderstandings.

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