Home Buying in 22201>Question Details

tim, Home Buyer in Arlington, VA

I'm buying a house FSBO from a friend, but we've had a bit of sticky questions arising out of what conveys. Does the porch swing normally convey?

Asked by tim, Arlington, VA Sun Nov 4, 2012

The contract we used lists a bunch of fixtures/items that convey, but doesn't mention the porch swing. This clause concludes with, "...and all other property owned by Seller and attached to the above described property except the following..." Would the porch swing be considered attached? I believe it is hanging on hooks. Thanks!

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I'm not a Virginia agent, and this is the sort of 'grey' area, that would hinge on local customs and traditions. But when worried about things like this... simply clarify it by writing the porch swing into the contract.

In Illinois, where I practice, since the porch swing is "hanging" (not screwed into the ceiling)... it would likely not convey, unless the seller agreed to leave it behind.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in 60201
This is a sticky situation, and it is probably likely that your friend did not intend to convey the porch swing. Rather than ruin a friendship over this, why don't you ask the friend if they would sell you the porch swing. The swing should not be that expensive compared to the price of the house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
some swing sets are attached to the ceiling and or screwed to the floor. so long as they are attached to something else they must stay- if they are loose and not attached , hooked to anything else and can be freely moved around on the porch from one location to another location then it can be taken by the seller. This is how it is read in VA and I will bet many states contracts follow the same.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2012
Since you are buying this property from your friend - why not just work it out between yourselves instead of letting the terminology in the contract dictate if it stays or goes?

Not sure how "close" of a friend this is - but it seems a little ridiculous to let a $100-200 (if that) porch swing sour a real estate deal, and create a rift in a friendship...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2012
If it is not in the contract, swing does not convey. Swing is personal property and can be removed by owner any time, like wall clock, picture frame, washer and dryer, refrigrator, etc....all this items are personal property and does not include for selling the property and they do not effect the value of the property.

Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2012
Doing business with family and friends can far exceed beeing "sticky business." The bottom line is that anything that is agreed to transfer by the seller can be attached to the property during closing.

The key to avoiding problems with this type of activity is knowing what does and doesn't convey and clearly articulating that to the buyer. It's when these things come up after the fact that people become enbattled.

Listing agreements normally outline what does and doesn't convey with the property. In my opinion, most would feel that a porch swing would be considered part of the furnishings and therefore would not convey.

A friendly meeting with your favorite beverage may help you get through this with your friendship still in place.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
If it is attached to the ceiling it conveys
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
I would not assume a porch swing is included. I have sold homes where entire swing sets did not convey. Assume nothing. Get it in writing so there are no surprises after closing
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
Hi Tim,

I agree with Alan May. Most likely it is a chain that is holding up the swing. The swing is personal property and can be taken with if it is hanging on a hook of some sort. If you have to unscrew the swing to remove it then it is a permanent attachment and should stay. Think in terms of drapes and blinds.
It's not worth losing a home you love over a porch swing. Good luck with your sale. Hopefully you'll be in by Christmas!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
I will chime in just to add another opinion.....

I would not assume a porch swing is included, unless specifically listed as such

Hope you clarified whether the light fixtures and window treatments are included........... or not!

Best wishes..........
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
This is why it's good to have a REALTOR representing you!

Here in CO, anything that is permanently attached would convey with the property. In this case, I say it's not attached. If you wanted it, you should have specifically included it. Are you and the seller in disagreement over this? If so, and if there are other more costly items in question, then it might be worth hiring an attorney to mediate. But if it's just a swing, then I wouldn't let this ruin the deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
Hello Tim, The porch swing is semi-attached. It is easily removed and not "permanent"...not as permanent as the hooks. There should be an area below the items that convey where you can write in "Porch Swing conveys" and any other items you wish to convey with the home purchase. Contact me if you have additional questions or to guide you through the transaction.

My office is in Arlington and I'd be glad to talk with you! Contact me via phone or email.

Jeanne Little
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
Everyone in a FSBO deal tries to out screw the other guy because there is no agent to keep things in control.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
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