Do curtains stay with the house? We just did our final inspection and found the curtains had all been changed out. Is this allowed in California?

Asked by Fishmjo, Los Angeles, CA Wed Jan 4, 2012

Upon inspection, we found the seller took the sheer curtains down and replaced them. They also changed out drapes in kitchen. No replacement in bedroom. Are sellers allowed to remove and/ or replace the drapes that were originally shown when saw home.

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LuLu DeBolt, Agent, La Crescenta, CA
Fri Jan 20, 2012
Is this a deal Break? On a Regular sale personal property needs to be negotiated from the beggining Seller usuly tells their agent on what stay in the house if this home was listed in any MLS Check the (MLS) is up to the buyer's agent to do their investigations and negotiations also in the Purchase Agreement or a counter offer between Seller/Buyer you just found this after( home inspection ) was not a ( walk thru ispection) The negotiations are still going on for the repairs ,please ask what happen to the curtains?
Happy happy closing..
1 vote
I'm not sure, but I think it depends on the seller. I would have asked them before buying the house if they were included. I'm not sure if they can do that or not, but I wouldn't be afraid to call and ask them. They should be able to help you figure everything out.
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Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Thu Jan 5, 2012
It's unfortunate that your agent didn't explain this when you first sat down to write the contract. Because curtains are not "attached" to the house they are considered personal property.
Now mini blinds or shutters on the other hand are attached to the wall some way so they are to be included. Just has the actual curtain rods are to stay. It is written into the contract but some times people miss that part of the contract so I personally explain what would be included and what wouldn't at the time of contract signing in case my clients would like to ask for something in the home that isn't included per the contract how it's written.
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Michael Nava, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed Jan 4, 2012
Section/Paragraph 8 in the Purchase Agreement (Bottom of Page 3 of 8) is all about what will be included or excluded from the sale. Utilizing this section is the best and safest way of ensuring that anything you wish to get from the sale is in fact part of the deal. You should check with your agent but (since I'm assuming this was not stated in the contract), I'm not sure how much you will be able to do at this point. Hope this helps.

Best of Luck,

Michael Nava
Rodeo Realty

"Dedicated to bringing you the most innovative tools available to get your home sold"
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Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Wed Jan 4, 2012
I just took a listing where the owner wants to keep all curtain rods. I had to put in the MLS listing that "curtain rods do not stay" & this would naturally include the curtains as well. The curtains or drapes are PERSONAL PROPERTY, whereas technically the curtain Rods unless otherwise mentioned would normally stay because they're considered ATTACHED FIXTURES.

If you like what the seller replaced the curtains & drapes with, you should be happy, they didn't have to do that at all.
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1 vote
Jane Peters, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Jan 4, 2012
You would have to have requested that the curtains stay in your purchase contract. You cannot assume that the Seller is going to leave them. Curtains are not fixtures and unless you specify that you want them the Seller is entitled to take them. I can't imagine what they would do with them but that is there prerogative. Anything that is fixed cannot be removed.
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Jeff Haring, Agent, Westlake Village, CA
Thu Feb 23, 2017
According to the California Association of Realtors the curtains would be considered to be INCLUDED in the sale along with all other window coverings. When it comes to the method of attachment, notably permanently affixed or fixtures in the strictest sense one may argue that curtains can easily be removed and thus are not included. But this is one exception to that rule and is specifically stated in the contract under the section that clarifies what is included or excluded.

The term is used in a broad sense and causes confusion among buyers and sellers. It probably should be spelled out as to what exactly is a window covering but I consider anything that covers a window to fall into this definition. Shutters, vinyl blinds, sheers, valances, mini blinds and curtains all fall under the "coverings" category. Until there is more clarification, consider curtains as items that are passed on to the buyers along with the rest of the house..

When in doubt, ask your agent for clarification on what stays and what doesn't in the sale. It should all be clearly stated on your purchase agreement.
0 votes
Celine Sande…, Home Buyer, Walla Walla, WA
Mon May 11, 2015
It completely depends on the seller if they want to take the curtains or not. One thing you can do is ask the owners to leave the drapery in the house with some kind of extra offer or deal when buying the house. Often times the seller wouldn't mind to leave the curtains and would love to receive any additional offer if they simply left the drapery in the home. Make sure their drapery matches your couches and other furniture that you're going to put into that room though! Matching really pulls the room together if you do this right!
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, ,
Mon Oct 13, 2014
Yes, you can argue it but you might lose according to the wording of the contract. You could always hire a real estate attorney but it might not be worth it.

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Alvin King, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Mon Oct 13, 2014
This appears to be A contract issue. If these items were not specifically requested in the purchase agreement, there is not much that can be done about it. If you see something that is not A permanent
fixture, you can request inclusion, as part of the sale. It must be in writing and included in your offer to purchase. Good Luck!
0 votes
Mimi Davies, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Tue Jan 10, 2012
Hello Fishmjo,

Congratulations on your purchase. I hope you close Escrow successfully and have a happy life in your new home.

When it comes to personal property, everything is negotiable, provided it is carefully mentioned in the offer to purchase. This allows the seller to either accept, reject or counter. But at least it opens the dialogue and gives the buyers the chance to request furniture and other items to be included in the sale.

If you really liked those curtains, it gives you an excuse to go shopping :)
Have a great day!
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sun Jan 8, 2012
Dear Fishmjo,
There is no distinct line between "personal property" (things belonging to the owner). and "fixtures" (things belonging to the property itself). The general rule is, if it's "attached permanently" it belongs to the house.

Curtains being a decor type item would not apply. To be safe, always include the items you would like to keep with the house, in the purchase contract. Then those items can be discussed and negotiated between the buyer and seller.
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Sara Mehrpou…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Jan 5, 2012
Hello- the offer and any counter offer/addendums should clarify what is included or excluded from the sale. If the seller's agent did a thorough job, they should have mentioned the curtains. Good luck.

Sara Mehrpouyan CDPE
Direct: 818-903-2040
Rodeo Realty
Dre License #01712757
0 votes
Judith Gotte…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Jan 5, 2012
Dear Fishmjo,

Just refer to your original purchase agreement. Look at page 3 of 8, paragraph 8 B, Items included in the sale. Section (2) lists window coverings. However, look further to paragraph 8 C, items excluded from sale. Does it mention the window coverings there as an exclusion? If not - you also need to review all your counter offers - then the window coverings - not just the rods and brackets - are included in the sale.

Better yet, have your agent review these paragraphs with you and show you where the window coverings were excluded.

Good luck,
Judith Gottesfeld
REALTOR Extraordinaire
Gibson International
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Lee Fruchter, Agent, Glendale, CA
Wed Jan 4, 2012
Curtains are personal property. You have to specify in the contract what personal items stay in the house and what items end up in the possession on the seller. If the seller specified in the contract that he/she can will take the curtains upon completion of escrow than he can remove them and take them. If the curtains are suppose to stay with the property than they are the property of the new owner ( the buyer). You need to review the contract and talk to your agent unless this sale was a For Sale By Owner. Are these curtains unique? The new contract also specifies that the wall brackets for certain LCD T.V screen have to be negotiated between the seller and buyer. I hope this helps. Good luck and Happy New Year.


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Daniel Klein, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed Jan 4, 2012
Usually yes, and the law in California is pretty clear. When it comes to "real" property, then that gets transfered with the sale. For example "real" property is anything that attaches itself to the property, such as the home, the fence, and maybe a fireplace etc. If the object is easily removable such as a washer and dryer, then it is considered "personal property"
When there is a question about what will stay with the home upon sale, these items need to be clearly discussed and put in writing before anything is signed. This saves headaches later.

When a person stages the home with nice drapes and cookies, they have the right to remove those items. Shutters may be a different animal, as they are attached or could be attached more permanently than drapes.
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Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Wed Jan 4, 2012
You need to read your purchase agreement. Usually, the curtain rods stay because they are attached to the wall, but the curtains could be removed. It is just confusing that they replaced SOME of them.

Contact your agent and ask him/her how she interprets the agreement.

Dot Chance, Realtor®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
DRE License #01494182
Keller Williams Realty World Media Center

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