When buying a home, you are truly buying REAL ESTATE – which is different from personal property. Personal property is the ‘stuff’ contained in (or in some instances ON) the real property. In a traditional transaction, anything ‘attached to’ the real property conveys with the sale – unless otherwise stated in the listing or the contract. And sellers will occasionally exclude anything from a chandelier that has been in the family for decades, to antique rose bushes or other prized plantings. It runs the gamut.
In most transactions, though, the main items of concern are the appliances – specifically those in the kitchen. In the MLS listing for a home, most sellers will offer to convey the stove, microwave (if it is attached) and the dishwasher. The refrigerator, since its moveable – and also the most expensive – is often kept by the sellers and taken to their new home. In some cases, they do offer to convey it as well.
Then there’s the washer and dryer. Most folks take those too, although some offer them as an incentive to buyers. This is especially helpful if the likely buyer of the home is a first time home buyer. Such buyers are often using all their available cash for their down payment, so if they can save on having to buy a washer and dryer, that does sweeten the deal.
The next thing buyers will specify are the blinds, drapes and curtain rods. Since blinds are physically attached to the property, they are considered to convey. Same thing with curtain rods – although if they are custom or expensive, sometimes sellers will specify that they intend to keep them. Drapes are a gray area. Technically, they aren’t literally attached, so they can be removed. But often times if the drapes are custom designed to fit the specific windows of a particular home, they won’t be of any use to the sellers in a new home, so they’ll stay too.
Ultimately it is wise to be as specific as possible to avoid confusion. One other thing to keep in mind: the information in the MLS, including what stays and what goes, is essentially an ‘offer’ from the person selling the home. But it is NOT a contract between the seller and buyer, so don’t simply rely on the MLS listing for what conveys. In other words, saying “well the MLS listing included…” does not equal a contractual obligation on the part of the seller. Spell it out in the contract to be certain everyone is in agreement.
Finally if you are selling a home, make sure anything you want to keep for yourself is specifically noted in your listing agreement and the MLS listings. And if you are buying a home in the near future, make sure anything you want left with the house is similarly itemized.