Home Selling in Holliston>Question Details

Lori, Both Buyer and Seller in Massachusetts

As seller, what items do you have to list as exclusions if you want to taken them with you?

Asked by Lori, Massachusetts Sun Jan 13, 2008

We have several items we want to take with us when we sell our home. These include:

3 lighting fixtures (attached to the ceiling)
freestanding freezer
refrigerator
swingset (outside in the yard)
sandbox (outside in the yard)
washing & dryer

Do all of those things have to be listed as exclusions, or are things like lights and swingsets not considered part of the deal by default anyways?

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Answers

16
Technically, anything that's not "attached" should be specifically listed as an exclusion. So definitely list your three light fixtures. The freezer, fridge, swingset, sandbox and washer/dryer are considered "personal property" and although they don't necessarily NEED to be listed as exclusions, if I was the listing agent I would recommend disclosing that upfront. That way all offers and negotiations can be conducted with full knowledge of what's included and what’s not. In my experience it's better to lay it all out on the table beforehand in the interest of avoiding confusion as the deal progresses. Keep in mind at some point, even if they are listed as exclusions, savvy buyers may try to negotiate these items back in. Your best bet is to start clean and let potential buyers know exactly what you are selling from the get-go. Hope that helps.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
I know I'm not a licensed Realtor in MA or any state. I know I'm going to get a lot of TDs for this. I know I'm going to sound like a BABY.

But aside from JR commenting about my "negotiable" leading to "nickel and dime" has anyone really said anything new? John addressed GRAY areas and the sandbox - valid response IMOP. Why is everyone addressing basically the black and white areas? I don't even have to repeat the black and white because a dozen people already have.

What experiences or opinions do you have about the sandbox and swingset?

Lori: I hope you don't mind me being ruthless on your post.

Ruth
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
Great point Lisa,

I do that as well. I advise my clients to remove the item if at all possible. Peolple tend to hat it when things get 'taken away' from them (even if they know it in advance AND they are not theirs to begin with). Go figure.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
I agree with Mike, technically anything attached to the house stays, but it is best to make everything clear upfront, talk to your realtor as customs very even within massachusetts. I also agree if you are taking light fixtures, replace them now, if possible.Some examples of gray areas- window treatments like curtains & blinds, they are attached but personal property, better to state upfront whetehr they stay or go. Also, bathroom mirrors- many homes today have hanging framed mirrors which are not attached but hanging, yet when they disappear before closing the buyer says- hey where'd my mirror go. The sandbox- if its been there for years & you pull it out, then there is a big hole in the yard for you to fill in & re landscape before closing. Bottom line, its best to be upfront & ask your realtor what to put in the disclosure. LOTS OF GRAY AREA'S.

John
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
The lighting is the first thing to move. It is considered a fixture meaning it goes with the house. replace all 3 you will have no questions. All of the other Items are not a problem. Just make a list and make sure everyone knows about it. you should have no problems.
Web Reference: http://www.SOLDNEW.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 7, 2008
Just to add to the rest that most buyers do not make a big fuss about fridges, washers and dryers as long as it is disclosed that they are excluded. The same is for the swing sets and sandboxes. Beautiful chandelier...perhaps, but you should remove things that are of value to you anyways. Is your realtor helping you at all?
If you have fancy appliances you can use them as a negotiating tool especially in times like this where buyers are looking for bargains and good deals.
In no way should you feel obligated to replace those items, but at the same time do not let the deal fall through for an appliance.
Again you agent should know what buyers are looking for in your area and what they expect from a property comparable to yours in size, location and price. Have you had any feedback from showings or open houses?Anyone asked about the swing set?
Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2008
My opinion? Just like disclosures - if you feel like you have to ask, then list it. This is true for both buyers and sellers. Buyers - if you have something you really want, ask for it; and sellers, if you have something you really want to keep, then exclude it.

There should never be a gray area in real estate.

I have heard that a legal case (yes, in one of our infamous legal update sessions which I really enjoy and wish they have it all the time) where the sellers took the kitchen island - yes, built at the same time as the ktichen and has the same counter tops, cabinets, etc. But, no, the island was not nailed in and the buyers never checked. So, the sellers took it because it's not attached. Imagine when the buyers walked into this multi-million dollar home and discovered that on the day of closing.... Not a happy owner.

Sylvia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Anything is negotiable and disclosed:

I have had a seller take a tree with them. It was a Japanese Maple that they received as a wedding gift and they just didn't want to leave it behind. They had to put another tree in its place though...

I also had a buyer that wanted to buy the furniture in the house we looked at, so yes, he purchased everything including the house of course.
Web Reference: http://www.sumnerrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
Lori....

Anything that is permanently attached to the property stays. Anything that is portable and movable can and may be negotiated. I always tell clients when listing the property if there is something they are specifically fond of please remove it so it is out of sight of the potential buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
MVP'08
Contact
Typically if it is permanently attached like a light fixture it is automatically included. Things like a refrigerator are simply plugged in and are free standing are not included.

However nothing beats a signed document by all parties being very clear.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
Good point. I also advise that if possible you should remove everything you plan on taking beforehand. I once had a listing where there were antique bathroom mirrors and antique doorknobs such. I insisted they remove them, especially when the first comments from most prospective buyers was "oh what nice doorknobs!" "beautiful mirrors!".
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
All of the advise given in the previous answers are great. The only thing I'd mention, especially in the case of the light fixtures, definitely remove them and replace them before even showing the house. However, with that said, I have seen some pretty heavy chandeliers that sellers can't remove until having a new home to place them in. In this case with the exclusion, you should have pictures so that you are specific in which fixtures are not transerring in the sale. With regard to the appliances, make sure that the marketing material for your home is accurate. I always advise my sellers to review the MLS sheet for any mistakes. For example, make sure the washer and dryer isn't included, but the hook-up is available. Good luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
I also agree with the previous answers. To simplyfy: If it is 'attached' it belongs to the property. If it is not attached (but may be 'assumed' by a buyer to be part of the house) it is always best to state it upfront in the listing - and reconfirm in the proposal to purchase - as this takes any possible confusion away.
Web Reference: http://www.REALTYMAN.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
Anything ATTACHED to the house, such as lighting fixtures, and they should be replaced with something else. Appliances also, including your washer and dryer AND portable microwaves. As for the swingset, yes, I would specifically exclude that if you're talking it. I explain that we will list everything they are excluding. Some people tell me "well it depends what they're giving me for the house." No, we decide when we put the house on MLS. It's an incredibly bad situation, when somoene offers you 600,000-700,000 for your house, to then begin asking them if they want to buy your freestanding freezer or hot tub. It's very easy for a large transaction to turn adversarial and there's no better way to do that than to keep asking the buyer for more money for your stuff. Even furniture and personal items are not to be negotiated during the original price agreement but after you're in full contract, and heading to closing. If I have heard "they're trying to nickel and dime me!" once, I've heard it 100 times--sometimes from both sides in the same transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
Mike:
I type slow. TU. That and I was searching for a good web reference.
Ruth
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
Great question Lori.

The lighting fixtures by default would go WITH the house. That one is a clear cut exclusion that must be listed. However, it will make life much easier if you replace them NOW. If you don't it could cost you the sale of your home. The saying I have heard for years is "Too many deals are lost over a $100 fireplace screen."

The freezer, refrigerator and washer & dryer are usually check mark items that you say if they are staying or going. So you don't necessarily have to list it as an exclusion unless in your description of the kitchen it refers to "appliances." In the description of the laundry room you put w/d HOOKUP.

The swing set and sandbox are ones I have no idea about. I do know that you can't remove your prized rose bush unless it is marked as an exclusion. I would think if you have them pictured in your advertising, you would want to mark them as exclusions.

Personally, with everything except the light fixtures I would have them ALL considered NEGOTIABLE. Do you know what the moving costs are on a freestanding freezer? Why would you want to go to the trouble of dismantling a swing set and sandbox? Also, the answer to the swingset and sandbox would depend on the kind that they are. If the sandbox is a 4 foot in diameter plastic turtle, it would go with you. If it was wood built there and looks like part of the landscaping then you would probably need to mention it as an exclusion or negotiable.

I'm curious to hear what some Realtors say. Keep in mind Lori that local customs my be different and your agent should go over all of this with you before entering anything into the MLS.

Good luck,
Ruth
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2008
Ruthless, Other/Just Looking in 60558
MVP'08
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