First of all, were these items "excluded" in the listing on the MLS or in a counter offer? If not, and your sister made an offer on this home under the impression they would be staying without any notification from the seller at all, then your sister should contact her agent and tell them to look at the RPA (Residential Purchase Agreement) Item No-9 talks about the conditions of property:
Condition of property: Unless otherwise agreed: (1) the property is sold (a) in its PRESENT physical ("as-is) condition as of the date of Acceptance and (b) subject to Buyer's Investigation rights; (ii) the Property, including pool, spa, landscaping and grounds, is to be maintained in substantially the same condition as on the date of Acceptance; and (iii) all debris and personal property not included in the sale shall be removed by Seller at close of Escrow.
Item B states-Buyer has the right to inspect the property and, as specified in paragraph 14B, based upon information discovered in those inspections; (1) cancel this Agreement; or (ii) request the Seller make Repairs or take other action.
I am so sorry that this has happened to your sister. Unfortunately, I have seen this happen time and time again where people who are losing their home either to a foreclosure or a short sale feel "entitled" to be able to take these items. They go with the house and are considered "built in items".
My suggestion to you is to have your sister speak with her agent and have that agent speak with the listing agent and see what they can do about it. I recently had this happen and we reduced our offer to the bank due to some appliances being taken after our offer was written and we told the bank why we reduced our price. It does not mean the bank will do it as every case is different. Your sister at that point will have to decide if she wants the house without those items. If she does, she can move forward with the sale of the home. Every sale is different and every seller is different. I hope she has good luck with this. I am sure the home is going for a great price now. Let me know what happens.
Joan Patterson, B.A., G.R.I.,A.S.P., Realtor, License #01431647
Keller Williams Realty