Is it illegal to take appliance out of house after I sell it?

Asked by Awenzel, Azusa, CA Sat May 7, 2011

Is it legal to take out appliances out of the house when in a cabinet or installed in a wall? The dishwasher is hooked up to pipes, and the garbage disposal is also installed, can the seller take these items?

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Dallas Texas’ answer
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sun May 8, 2011
Your buyers agent needs address all your concerns. However in most instances these items are considered be attached to the property AND convey with purchase

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
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James Wehner, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Sun May 8, 2011
It would depend on what your contract states. Typically anything that is a fixture (built in) would remain in the home. Appliances such as refrigerator, washer/ dryer, freezer are usually considered personal property and can go with the seller or sold outside of escrow with a separate bill of sale.
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Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Sun May 8, 2011

I agree with what has been said below: 1) read your contract, and 2) consult with your Agent.

If you make the wrong decision(s) you can easily find yourself in legal “hot water”. Taking/damaging items within or around the home not only exposes you regarding the purchase contract you can also void possible deficiency protection(s) via CA’s SB 931, which became law recently.

From the CAR Website:

With passage of SB 931, effective Jan. 1, 2011, after the short sale of a residential property of one-to-four units, the holder of the first deed of trust (or first mortgage) cannot pursue the borrower (seller) for any deficiency under the note. If the lender consents to the short sale in writing, the lender is obligated to accept the sale proceeds as payment in full and the note is considered fully discharged. The borrower (seller) is protected even if the loan is refinanced as long as it's secured by a first deed of trust. (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 580e (a).)
However, this law doesn't apply to junior deeds of trust. Thus, the borrower (seller) may still be liable for the deficiency balance on those loans.
An exception to SB 931 occurs if the borrower (seller) has committed fraud with respect to the sale of the property or has committed "waste" of the real property (e.g., severely damaged the property) (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 580e (b)). Under these circumstances, the borrower (seller) may still be liable for the deficiency balance.
Note: SB 931 doesn't apply if the borrower (seller) is a corporation or political subdivision of the state (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 580e (c)).”

[End Quote]

Best, Steve
0 votes
Melissa Krch…, , Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Sun May 8, 2011
I would double-check with your listing agent but as a good rule of thumb, if it's connected, it stays. That includes all light fixtures, drapes, etc.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sat May 7, 2011
What is your agent your contract as the answer more than likely can be found in it; for any legal advice needed, do consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate.
0 votes
David Cooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat May 7, 2011
The dishwasher thing could go 50/50. I would hope your agent spelled it out in your purchase agreement.

- David Cooper..Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned REOs with Cash Flow . email or call for FREE daily list +1-7024997037
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Jimmy Esqueda, Agent, West Covina, CA
Sat May 7, 2011
Because the dishwasher and garbage disposal are connected with pipes it has become part of the property therefore have become real property and not personal property. It is part of the real estate that make the property mechanically functional.

Any free standing appliances that you can simply disconnect from electrical outlet are still considered personal property that belong to seller unless negotiated in purchase agreement.
0 votes
John Barry, Agent, Eagle Rock, VA
Sat May 7, 2011
Hi Awenzel,

The contract will dictate what is included and what is not included with the sale. With the standard C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors) contract, "all fixtures and fittings that are attached to the property" are included with the sale, and there is a space to include additional items to include or exclude which may be in question. When I am writing an offer for one of my clients, I usually will write the offer to include in writing any items that may cause a potential conflict down the road, such as the refigerator, stove, microwave, etc.. Normally, if an appliance is installed in a wall or in a cabinet it would be considered attached to the property. A garbage disposal would also be considered attached. Check your contract and talk to your agent to be sure what is and what is not included in your particular transaction. Good luck!

John Barry
DRE #01856079
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Cell: 323-810-7976
Twitter: @RealtorJB
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