Selling your home? What you can and can’t take with you

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If you are planning to list your own home for sale or will be buying a new home, you may be wondering what should be left behind. There are 2 ways to find out what is included.

The first option is to read the purchase agreement. This document details everything that is included with the home and special clauses on what may be removed that would under normal circumstances be left behind – a special plant or tree may be removed due to sentimental value that would normally be included as part of the landscaping. Talk to an attorney and find out what the law says.  To help keep it simple, we’ve compiled a list of items that normally stay with the home during a sale -but owners always have the right to adjust the standard boilerplate contract.

A good rule of thumb is if it’s nailed down, mounted, or bolted on it stays with the home. Most people understand that any sheds, built in furniture, and fixtures stay with the home. This includes ceiling fans, chandeliers, and faucets. However, it can get a little tricky when you start talking about big screen TVs and wall mounts. Most people assume that the TV isn’t included, but the mount is still questionable. Air Conditioning units are another questionable item. If it’s a window unit that’s easily removed, it’s fair to assume its personal property. However, if you cut a hole in a wall to mount the unit, then it’s generally assumed that it’s staying with the home. When in doubt always ask questions or detail the items on your agreement when selling.

If it has roots outside, it stays. As mentioned briefly above, the landscaping that comes with the home stays with the home when it’s sold. Unless you include a special request to take a plant or small tree, it’s assumed that everything stays. Digging up all the rose bushes or apple trees right before closing is not allowed as it’s part of the property.

If it’s anchored in the ground, it comes with the home. Basketball hoops, swing sets, gazebos, etc. are all considered part of the home if they are anchored or cemented into the ground. Patio furniture, rocking chairs, portable firepits and basketball hoops are all items that can be taken with the seller as those items are considered moveable.

Window treatments – what stays and what goes? This is usually something that’s outlined in the purchase agreement because it can be confusing. Curtain rods, blinds, curtain hooks, etc. are part of the home because they are screwed in. However, curtains are personal property because they can easily be removed. If you plan to leave the curtains, just specify in your agreement.

When it comes to selling your home it’s important to not get petty. Are you willing to have a sale fall through because you want to take something small that makes sense to leave? It might not seem like a big deal, but it could be really annoying to the buyer. If you want to keep items that you aren’t sure should stay, make sure to talk to your realtor and disclose those items to buyers. Have mortgage questions – give us a call – we’d love to hear from you!

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Jennifer Ives-Groebl
Vice President, Senior Mortgage Lender
860-393-9145
NMLS MLO ID: 532621

Author: Jennifer Ives-Groebl

Jennifer has been with Litchfield Bancorp since 1994 and was promoted to Assistant Vice President and Senior Mortgage Originator shortly after graduating the Connecticut School of Finance & Management in 1998. Stationed in both our Torrington and Litchfield locations, Jennifer is well known and respected in the local residential real estate community and recognized as a resource for some of the more difficult transactions. Jennifer resides in Torrington and is actively involved in the local community. She is a long time member of the Torrington/Winsted Rotary club and is currently serving as its Assistant Treasurer. Jennifer is involved with Litchfield County Board of Realtors and serves as chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Public Relations Committee. She is also a member of the Fuessenich Park Partnership; and through Education Connection, has participated in the Mentoring Program.

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