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What goes with the house?

Sometimes, there can be confusion on what goes with the house and what goes with the seller when they move.  Generally speaking, the house is the land and buildings and any fixed or attached property.

Permanently installed and built-in items are considered real property.  Some things are obvious such as built-in appliances, wall-to-wall carpeting, light fixtures including chandeliers, shrubbery and landscaping, and window shutters. 

One indication is that if the item was removed, there be evidence that it was missing.  For example, if there was a wall mounted TV in the home, the TV is personal property, but the TV wall mount is real property.

Factors that determine if something is permanently installed or built-in would be:

  1. Was the installation intended to be permanent?
  2. How is the item attached and will the surrounding property be damaged if it is removed?
  3. Is the item made specifically for the property?

Personal property examples would include furniture, area rugs, pictures, non-built-in appliances like washer, dryer and refrigerator.  Confusion could arise between a mirror that is hung like a picture and one that is attached to the wall.  Most people would think that the former is personal, and the latter is real property.

Sellers are encouraged to have an open discussion with their listing agent about items that are not going to be included in the sale of the home.  The agent can advise you if they should be mentioned in the listing agreement and property description.

If buyers are concerned about items that may or may not be included, they should review with the agent items that the Seller has identified as not included in the sale.  If necessary, some items may be negotiated in the sales contract.

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