Is that included in the purchase of the home?

Jeff Peterson
Jeff Peterson
Published on May 29, 2019

Marcy, a first-time homebuyer, was over-the-moon excited about finally moving into her new home!

The day arrived, the movers were actually on time and, for the first time since the final walk-through, she opened the door to her home.

Since she had a case of water bottles with her and she headed straight for the refrigerator, to ensure they were kept cool for her hard-working crew.

But there was no refrigerator – just an empty space where it once stood, just weeks earlier during the walk-through. Marcy panicked. The stove was there and the built-in microwave above it. And the dishwasher was there.

She then ran to the laundry room, only to find empty spaces where that gorgeous washer and dryer once stood. Marcy grabbed her phone to call her real estate agent who told her that those appliances weren’t included in the sale.

“If you wanted them, you should have said something and we
could’ve negotiated with the seller.”

Marcy was, again, a first-time home buyer. She had no idea that appliances were something that needed to be “negotiated.” After all, as a tenant, they were always included in the homes she rented.

The tragic fact is that Marcy, like many new homeowners, spent all of her savings on the down payment and closing costs, with nothing left to pay for appliances.

It’s the buyer’s agent’s job to educate his or her clients about a process they may find completely foreign along with what is and isn’t included. To have neglected to do so, and then blame Marcy for his shortcomings, is beyond belief.

Why aren’t appliances included in the purchase price?

Sometimes they are. Many times, they are not, and here’s why: if they aren’t built-in, they are considered “personal property.” Personal property is not included unless negotiated in the deal.

When you buy a home, you are buying “real property,” which is the land, the home and anything else permanently affixed to both.

A rose bush planted in the backyard is considered a “fixture,” because it is affixed to the land.

A rose bush planted in a pot on the patio, on the other hand, isn’t a fixture, it is personal property and may or may not be included in the sale of the home.

Other examples of fixtures that are included:

  • Chandeliers that are attached to the ceiling
  • An outbuilding, such as a shed
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting (but not the Persian throw rug that isn’t glued to the floor)
  • Garage door opener

If the item is glued, nailed, bolted or otherwise attached to the home, it is typically considered a fixture and must be included in the sale of the home. But, there’s a “butt.”

takazart / Pixabay

The seller can exclude items from the sale by mentioning it in the listing agreement or the purchase agreement. It turns out that the washer, dryer and refrigerator in Marcy’s new home, were excluded in the purchase agreement.

Marcy isn’t a lawyer and was depending on her real estate agent to decipher what she was reading before she signed it.

If Marcy was buying a newly constructed home, the builder would make sure she knew what wasn’t included because it is their job to try and upsell. Before you buy a newly constructed home, read these tips.

Yes, you can ask that personal
property be included in the sale

Real estate agents sometimes get-together and have conversations about the crazy things some homebuyers have asked sellers to leave behind.

From wanting the seller’s family dog (I’ve personally seen this happen twice!) to requesting that the entire contents of a home (even soap and toilet paper) be included in the sale, everything is negotiable.

The sellers are under no obligation that any personal property be included and, depending on the type of market and how motivated they are, they may hold firm during negotiations. But, there’s no harm in asking, right?

For those that this really is your first time buying a home, I think you fill find this information about things you should do immediately after you move, very helpful!

Keep this in mind if you’re thinking of selling your home. If you want to hang on to your great-grandmother’s chandelier (or anything affixed to the home), remove it and replace it with something else before the home goes on the market.

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