What Stays in the House and What Goes after a Property Sale

Published : 16 February 2015

Congratulations, you’ve just sold your house! As happy as the moment is, it may also be connected to some confusion. You have to start organising a move but what stays in the house and what are you free to take?

You can rely on a few basic rules to determine which items to take. The ownership of some belongings is negotiable and you’ll have to discuss the situation with the buyer. The following guidelines can simplify the process and enable you to move out of the property faster.

Light Fixtures

Lamps, chandeliers, light fixtures – how many of these can you take to your new home?

Everything that is attached to the home will stay there. You’re free to take everything that can be taken out without damaging the walls. Free-standing lamps are one example of lighting equipment that you can take out of the property.

How about a beautiful chandelier that’s a family heirloom, for example? You can negotiate this aspect with the buyer and if they don’t have a problem with it, you’re free to take this piece of emotional significance.

Kitchen Tools and Appliances

Built-in kitchen tools can be taken to your new home, as long as these can be taken out easily and without causing damage to the property.

Most other kitchen appliances also fall under the category of movable items.

It may be a good idea to leave some of these appliances, behind, however. Are you targeting first-time homebuyers? Many of these individuals are starting from scratch. They probably don’t have appliances and they’ll be happy about your decision. Telling potential buyers that you’re willing to leave some appliances behind may also make it easier to close the deal.

The very same rule applies to built-in kitchen pieces. You can figure out what to take during the negotiation process. If the buyer needs just a slight push to place an offer, you may want to make a compromise.

Landscaping and Patio Furniture

Play sets, outdoor furniture and accessories can all be taken when you move. All of the plants and the flowers in the beds need to stay behind. The gardening equipment is yours and it classifies as movable items.

Custom swing sets that are installed in the ground will probably have to be left behind. Once again, you can talk to the buyer before closing the deal. Clarify all of these issues so that none of the parties involved will experience disappointment.

If you have a pool in the backyard, you can take all of the cleaning tools and the chemical treatments used to maintain the water clear.

A Few Other Items

The ones discussed already in this article are the main types of items that usually bring questions. Here are several other areas and types of items that you’ll probably have questions about:

  • - Bookshelves, racks and other built-ins: all such equipment attached to the walls will generally have to stay inside the sold property. The same applies to wall mounts.
  • - Alarm systems: wireless alarms can be taken out without causing damage. You’re free to take all of those. Anything attached to a cable or mounted will remain in the house.
  • - Curtains and carpets: these are considered movable items. You can take the curtain rods, as well.
  • - Smoke detectors: these stay in the house.
  • - Sprinklers and irrigation systems: if these have to be yanked out of the ground, they will have to stay.
  • - Window treatments: this is an area open to negotiations. Some of these are bought for a window having a particular size and maybe, these will not be suitable for your home. Talk to the buyer about it.

It’s a good idea to replace the fixtures, the items and the appliances that you plan to take before showing the house to potential buyers. Otherwise, you may end up generating some confusion and making it more difficult to get the house sold.

If you cannot replace those items in advance, make sure that everything is discussed with the potential buyer. Dedicate enough time to going through all of the household inventory and reaching a mutually-beneficial agreement. Most buyers will not mind if you take accessories and pieces that have been in the family for a long time. Still, you will never know unless you’re open about it.