Home Selling in Raleigh>Question Details

Confused in…, Home Buyer in Raleigh, NC

Do we have to leave our fire pit?

Asked by Confused in nc, Raleigh, NC Sun Nov 3, 2013

We're selling our home in North Carolina. We built a retaining wall fire pit on our yard. Nothing big or fancy. It's a small circle. It's not permanent. Not glued or fastened in anyway. Do we have to leave it or include it in the sale of our home? Is it considered a fixture? Our realtor is really new to this and he's not too sure.

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Thank you for all the speedy feedback. We will be leaving it. It's not built into the ground just assembled on top, (we have a pretty level yard). That's why I was thinking it would be more along the lines of personal property. We've sold the home and neither party said anything about the pit. That's why I figured we'd take it. We will just build a new one. Thank you agin for all the feed back. It was a great help!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 4, 2013
Confused, it actually sounds like you are pretty savvy. Clearly, the better move would have been to address the issue of the fire pit in the contract. Since that wasn't done, leaving it may be a better move than squabbling over what is likely a relatively minor item. With that said, did you actually ask the buyer whether they want it? Because they may be happy if you take it!

Ann Ryan
Keyes Real Estate
Flag Mon Nov 4, 2013
I actually had this happen with a sale I had several years ago and the answer I received was ..If the seller wants to take the firepit and NOT leave it with the home, there are two options.. #1) Disclose this in the comments on the MLS that " Firepit doe NOT convey" or remove it prior to the actual listing. I recommended that to my buyers which they did and it eliminated any possibility of there being a problem. I've had the same issue with swing sets where the seller wishes to take it and it's cemented into the ground.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 18, 2014
Were it a store bought free standing fire pit the answer would be no, it like your lawn furniture would be considered as personal property. From what you've written it sounds as if you're talking about either a loose pile of stones or bricks and the first question that comes to my mind is why would you want to take them? Assuming there nothing particularly "special" about them their easily replaced and simply weight you want to move why?

Generally speaking they would be considered part of your landscaping and thus should be left, however if they really mean something to you, then have your Realtor ask the buyers through their agent if they mind if you take them.

Your Realtor despite being new should know enough to have asked his broker in charge such a question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 18, 2014
Ethically at this point all you can do is have your Realtor ask the Buyers Agent if the Buyers wish to have it included in the sale. There is a fine line whether it would be considered personal property and excluded from the sale.
In the future make sure and exclude and include property that may be in question.
Good Luck in your transaction and move.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 18, 2014
Good evening, Confused.
If you want to take something from the home you are selling and it is unclear if it is personal property or a fixture, disclose it in the listing and stipulate it in the purchase and sale agreement. I have seen trees, playsystems, above ground pools handled this way. If you appreciate an answer, please give thumbs up. For the most helpful answer, please say thanks with a best answer click.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 4, 2013
Your Realtor/Broker should be able to assist you > If not Your Realtor could find out the answer from his/her Broker In charge from the office .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 4, 2013
I would compare your item to an above ground pool. I had a similar situation and the owners wanted to dismantle the pool and take it with them. To cover ourselves, we put it as an exception in the fixtures portion of the listing agreement with another provision that the ground where it stood would be reseeded. In other cases where someone wanted to keep a fixture, I just had them remove the item prior to actual listing the home and either do repairs or replace with something else to cover the spot... such as a cover plate on a ceiling fixture where a pool table lamp once was hanging.

The best thing your agent could do to not only cover you and him, but also as a learning lesson, would be to get his broker in charge involved as was already mentioned.

Best of luck with your sale!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 3, 2013
I would agree with the other answers on here about your fire pit. This would definitely make a very nice selling point or for a great picture. But, if you are planning on taking it with you I would make it clear on the listing that this item does not convey with the property. There is nothing in the contract under "fixtures" that includes a fire pit, but it's always better to be safe than sorry if you are planning on taking it with you, But, it can always be negotiable if it helps get the deal done. Good luck with a speedy sale!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 3, 2013
What I recommend my sellers to do if there is anything they want to take with them is to pack it up or have an "item does not convey" disclosure. But sometimes Items not conveying end up on the negotiating table anyway (W/D, Fridge, etc.)

Pack it up and put a nice flower pot there before going active and it becomes a non-issue.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 3, 2013
Based on your description of it being a retaining wall fire pit built into the ground it sounds to me that this is a fixture. A fire pit that is moveable like the kind you can purchase at Lowes and are usually metal would be personal property.
That being said, just because an item is a fixture does not mean that you have to leave it. Make it apart of the contract that this fixture does not convey with the sale of the home. Our standard offer to purchase has a section devoted to fixtures that will not stay. As long as this is clearly disclosed and agreed to between yourselves and the buyer there is no issue with you removing the fire pit. The only other question would be if you remove it will the area be an eyesore, i.e. no grass, open hole in the yard, and you should expect the buyer to ask for some dressing up of the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 3, 2013
Your agent has a Broker In Charge who should be readily available to help and support him.
All he has to do is ask.
That input will be much more valuable than anything you will get here.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 3, 2013
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