What Stays and What Goes
What is a fixtures and who gets to keep what? When you are buying or selling a home a Vermont Purchase and Sale contract describes fixtures as “heating, lighting, plumbing fixtures, storm windows, doors screens and window screens, curtain rods, window shades, venetian blinds, shrubbery & trees, wall to wall carpeting, television antenna and satellite dishes”. All other items are considered personal property and do not automatically convey with the property. So, what about appliances then? Typically these do also stay with a home but are not required to. A seller may be willing to leave a stove but may want the refrigerator. Make sure that your purchase and sale specifically states what is staying with the home at closing. What if a buyer does not want a specific item that is considered a fixture? The purchase and sale can also address this issue- with a written agreement stating that the fixture is to be removed or replaced. If you are a seller make sure that the fixture that is identified on the Purchase& Sale is the one that the buyer receives at closing. It is not legal to say “dishwasher” on the P&S, then because the seller decides he wants to keep his nice new Bosch unit, changes it out with a much cheaper unit prior to closing. What about the gray area items? There are often questions on things like mirrors, bookshelves, spa tubs or water fountains. These items may be screwed to a wall or the ground, but without a specific statement that they stay the seller may be able to take them. When in doubt write it into the contract. If as a seller there is something you know you want to keep, change it out before you put your house on the market so buyer’s don’t see it.