What Homesellers Can Take with Them… and What They Can’t

There’s an old saying: You can’t take it with you.

That may be very true as far as mortality is concerned. With regard to home selling, however, things are a little more complicated.

When a homeseller vacates their property, it’s expected that certain things are taken with them, like their clothing and household decor. And some things are left behind, such as the air conditioning unit and the dishwasher.

But there may be some items that fall into a murky in-between area.

Thankfully, there are legal guidelines in place to determine what you can and can’t take with you when your house is sold. It’s worth reviewing these guidelines, whether you’re buying or selling; doing so can give you some helpful clarity.

Also be advised that you can claim your SOLD.com report at any time. In it, you’ll find some individualized insights for how to sell your home quickly, and how to do it right. Request your seller’s report today!

Selling Your Own Property: What Can You Take?

With regard to what you can and can’t take with you when you sell, there are some basic rules of thumb to keep in mind.

Please note that this isn’t a frivolous or inessential matter. If you take things you’re not supposed to, you could torpedo the sale… or worse, you could get slapped with a lawsuit later on.

Naturally, you’ll want to avoid both of those fates. So first and foremost, remember that you can’t take anything that’s legally considered to be part of the property. This includes shrubs and plants. You may have a favorite rose bush that you’d like to dig up and replant at the new place, but it’s actually illegal to do so, unless you expressly mention it in your negotiations with the buyer.

Along similar lines, buyers and sellers sometimes have misunderstandings about backyard items, such as patio tables, basketball hoops, and playground equipment. The rule of thumb here is that, if it’s anchored to the ground, it’s supposed to stay with the property; if it’s not anchored, you’re free to take it. Again, if you need an exception to this rule, you have to clear it with the buyer and negotiate accordingly.

So, with regard to the basketball hoop: If it’s a kiddie-sized one with an inflatable base, you’re free to take it. But if you’ve placed it into a hole in the ground and poured concrete all around it, then it counts as part of the property, and needs to stay.

Picnic tables and outdoor furniture will usually be able to go with you… again, unless you’ve somehow anchored them to the ground.

As far as inside home decor is concerned, buyers and sellers can often get into disagreements about lighting fixtures. You may have a beloved chandelier, but the rule of thumb is that lighting fixtures are part of the home and thus can’t be taken, unless you specify in your listing that they are excluded from the offer.

(Another simple solution: Simply remove those lighting fixtures before you list and replace them with something a little less ornate. If they’re not actually installed at the time of listing, then there shouldn’t be any confusion about whether or not you’re taking them with you.)

And what about window treatments? Rods and blinds are considered to be part of the house, and you’re not supposed to remove them. Though again, if you have window fixtures you’re really attached to, you can remove them and replace them before you list and avert the problem altogether.

Find Out How to Sell Your Home Quickly

A lot of this just boils down to common sense, and to staying abreast of a few basic principles… but if you have any additional questions, you’re always welcome to reach out to either a real estate agent or a real estate attorney.

And if you’re selling your own property, make sure you claim your FREE seller’s report from SOLD.com today. In it, you’ll find all the advice you need for getting your place sold, with minimal hassle. Get your free, independent home seller’s report from the SOLD.com team today!