There’s so much to do between getting your home ready for sale, entering escrow, and ultimately packing up and moving out. It’s easy to make assumptions about what’s yours to keep. After all, you may have selected the window coverings and designed the built-in cabinetry. It’s essential, however, to know what contractually remains with a home upon its sale before you fill up a single box. Trust me when I say you don’t want a dispute to arise during the final walkthrough and delay closing until the issue is resolved.
Use the three tips below to avoid a misunderstanding with a buyer about what contractually remains in the home and is part of the sale:
What is Real Property?
Real property is defined as land and any property attached to it. Under the terms of a real estate contract, and in the context of a home sale, this means anything that’s nailed, bolted, screwed, anchored, built-in, or otherwise attached to the house.
Examples of real property include doors, windows, ceiling fans, most light fixtures, plumbing, fences, landscaping, built-in bookshelves and furniture, storage sheds, curtain rods, blinds, and so much more. The most commonly disputed items I’ve encountered are TV wall mounts, light fixtures, appliances, and window treatments. If you’re not sure what constitutes real property, ask your Realtor!
Write It In the Contract
One of the best ways to avoid a misunderstanding with a buyer of your home is to put it in writing. If there is a family heirloom, a light fixture, or an appliance you want to take (i.e., the high-end wine refrigerator) write in the contract that these specific items do not convey with the sale of your home. These so-called “fixtures” will otherwise be included in the contract and legally must remain with the house.
If You Want It, Swap It Out
I advise my Sellers if they have purchased expensive items for the home and can’t live without them, replace them before going to market. It’s important to note, however, these upgraded items are likely the reason the home may sell for more money. I wouldn’t strip the house of every upgraded fixture but instead, focus on just one or two items that may work well in your next home. After careful consideration, most of my Sellers realize that most of the things should stay.
If you’re thinking of selling, I would be happy to put my expertise to work for you! I’ve helped many sellers successfully navigate the sale of their home in San Diego County and am available to answer any questions you may have about real property, moving up, downsizing, and more. Please give me a call at (858) 735-5767!