Home Buying Insights: 5 Clear Rules for What Stays and Goes

Buying a home is an exciting adventure, but it can bring unexpected surprises, especially when it comes to what’s included or excluded from the sale. To steer clear of disputes, it’s crucial to understand the rules around common items that often lead to disagreements between buyers and sellers. Here are five key things to consider to make your home buying process smoother:

1. Appliances:

When it comes to appliances, clarity is key. Legally, anything permanently attached to the property, like a built-in dishwasher, is part of the sale. However, free-standing items, such as refrigerators, might or might not be included, depending on local norms. Always have a clear conversation with the seller to determine which appliances stay and which go. Put this agreement in writing to avoid any misunderstandings during the home buying process.

2. Window Dressings:

Window coverings, like drapes, can be a source of contention. While drapes are typically considered personal property and can be taken by the seller, items like rods and cornices that are bolted to the wall should stay. To avoid any confusion, specify in writing whether the seller is leaving window coverings. Clearly outline the type and quality agreed upon to prevent potential replacements with inferior alternatives.

3. Floor Coverings:

The state of floor coverings, including rugs, can impact the home’s overall look. Rugs, being personal property, move with the seller. However, wall-to-wall carpeting and glued linoleum are generally included in the sale. Ensure that the sale contract explicitly states whether floor coverings are staying or going, providing you with peace of mind regarding the condition of your new home.

4. Hardware:

Small details like doorknobs and light switches might not seem significant, but they are part of the sale. These items, along with bathroom fittings, are typically included. However, it’s essential to note that trade fixtures used for business purposes, such as kitchen equipment in a home business, can be excluded unless specified in writing. Clarify any business-related fixtures with the seller to avoid surprises later on.

5. Flat-Screen TVs:

The status of flat-screen TVs can be uncertain territory. If the TV is mounted on the wall and adapted to the property, it’s likely included in the sale. However, considering the history of TVs as personal property, it’s safer to state in the contract whether the flat-screen TV stays or goes. This ensures a clear understanding of what you’ll find in your new home.

Remember, in real estate, assumptions can lead to misunderstandings. Always inquire about items you want to keep or remove, and ensure everything is documented in the written contract. Verbal agreements may lead to confusion, but having everything in writing ensures a smooth and transparent home buying process. By following these tips, you can navigate potential pitfalls and focus on the excitement of making your new house a home.



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