Whether obvious or not, when you go out house shopping and you walk through a home for sale you may instinctively assume that certain features of the house come included with the structure. For example, you could count on the garage door sticking with the property. You would also assume that you shouldn’t have to replace the windows or any fire exit signs that might be affixed to the walls of the home. Lastly, you should be able to count on the cabinets being around when you move in.
But, on the other hand, it is safe to think you wouldn’t expect to have the current owner leave behind their furniture, artwork, clothing, and other household items as they move out. Who goes to an open house and imagines the current owner’s TV and their furniture – no you imagine your own stuff.
Now why is this important to talk about as you are starting the home buying process? All of this is important to make sure that your real estate agent spells out what comes included with a given house and what does not. If there is something that you want left behind you need to negotiate for it.
An area in home buying that often can get murky is kitchen appliances. Does the current owner have plans on taking their refrigerator for example? Another example, are the washer and dryer going to remain in with house when you buy the house and the previous owner leaves?
You should be able to count on your real estate agent to help you figure out what stays with the home and what doesn’t, but you should make sure you ask questions. Ultimately, as we just mentioned, if you have a question, or if you want something make sure you talk to your agent about it so that you can negotiate for it in the sales contract.
A general guideline for what items stay and what goes could be summarized by what is bolted down stays like: outdoor decks, cabinets, and dish washers and what is not “bolted” down goes like furniture, maybe washer and dryer, and refrigerator.
Lastly, if it isn’t clear by now, hopefully this will make it clear – if you want something – make sure you ask for it.