Friday, May 26, 2006

Can I Take It With Me??

Fixtures - do they stay or go? Did you know that when you sell your home, anything that is attached to the house itself must stay with the property. That means...anything that is attached, screwed in, taped down, glued to or some way wired into the house, then it stays with the property.

Now I know this gets a little technical, but when a seller goes to move out of a property that you are buying, wouldn't you expect that the curtain rods, light fixtures, mirrors and kitchen cabinets would be there when you went to move in?? Of course you would! However, if you moved in and the kitchen cabinets weren't there, then it would need to refer to the listing and sales contracts. If the kitchen cabinets, for example, were not "reserved" in the contracts, then they must stay with the home since they are attached (screwed into) the walls of the home. An example of something "reserved" in a contract would be something like curtains and curtain rods. As the seller, you must specify in the contract that these items will be reserved if you want to keep them, otherwise they must stay with the home. However, if the curtain rod brackets are screwed into the walls, but the rod itself that is holding up the curtains is only "laying" in the curtain rod brackets, then the Seller does not have to leave the actual curtain rod and curtains that are not screwed into the wall, only the brackets. My advice to you (if you are doing this) is to remember to reserve the curtain rod brackets too, otherwise you may have a problem hanging your beloved curtains in your new house! :)

In the video podcast episode I did on this, I mentioned a story about my sister who moved into a house and the bathroom mirrors were gone! Well, technically the seller could take the mirrors because the mirrors themselves were only "hung" on the screws that were bolted into the walls. So the sellers were only responsible for leaving the screws & bolts, not the mirrors. If you want to check out the podcast episode, you can check it out by clicking on the picture above. Or you can subscribe to my podcast series "(417) Dwellings!" in iTunes.

I want to know your stories of moving in and out and leaving things behind or taking them with you. Of course, if you have any questions or want further clarification, I can do that for you too. But I can't help if you don't ask, so comment here and I'll help you out in anyway I can.

Until next time...


Anonymous said...

Hi, I installed nice curtain rods when I moved in and don't want to leave them. I did not reserve the rods in the contract, but I did reserve the curtains. I see you state that technically I don't have to leave the rods, just the brackets. What if I change the brackets (and maybe the rods) and take the ones that go with my rods with me? Thank you.

Dizmang Properties Real Estate said...

I am assuming that you are already under contract and if that is the case, congratulations! Once you are under contract, open communication with the buyer is critical. Therefore you will want to talk with your buyer about this issue immediately. Chances are they would be okay with you taking everything with you. Also, you will want to check and see if the rods are actually attached to the brackets or not. However, if you talk to the Buyer and be up front with them, chances are they will be fine with either removing them completely or at the very least replacing them with something else. Of course, it is always nice to display common courtesy to your buyers and paint/patch any damages that happen to the wall when removing the brackets. :)

If your home is not currently under contract, then it is important that you remove these types of items before you start showing your home so that you can eliminate any potential controversy.

Please feel free to e-mail me at if you want to discuss this further, I will be more than happy to help you and answer any questions you may have.

Until next time...

Anonymous said...

I am a buyer and I am in contract and schedule to close on 9/29/06. My husband, daughter and I love the house we bought. The house was vacant when we looked at it. The seller has now asked if they can have a shelf they left in their daughter's room stating that is has sentimental value. The problem is my daughter loves that shelf and does not want it to go. I said they could not have the shelf and now my real estate agent is telling me that the seller's real estate agent is threatening to delay the close of the house. Is this legal? And, what happens if they take the shelf anyway?

Thank you

Dizmang Properties Real Estate said...

Congratulations on finding a house that you have really fallen in love with. That's frustrating about the "shelf situation" you're in and I feel for you. Emotions can run high when it comes to such a large transaction, so I would first keep that in mind and understand why the seller and/or their agent in your situation would threaten to "delay the closing". Hopefully your REALTOR is doing their job in representing you the best they can and working out these details. If you don't feel this way, then I would suggest talking to your REALTOR's Broker to see if they can go over the terms of the contract with you again and figure out whether or not the shelf would be considered fixed property and thus staying with the house. Look over all of the terms of your signed contract again and make sure that the shelf was not reserved by the seller in either the disclosures or any other part of the contract. I don't know which state you are in and what the laws are in your state. However in Missouri here, the laws and contract specifically state that if something is screwed into a wall then it stays with the property. However, if the shelf is only hanging on a couple of nails in the wall, then it would not be considered fixed property and the sellers would then have the option of taking the shelf with them. Again, it is so important to see what the signed contract states. If the shelf is to stay with the property and this continues to get sticky, and you still want the shelf then offer this suggestion: if the sellers are attached to this one shelf for sentimental reasons, then offer the shelf to them and in return make them provide a similar shelf for the bedroom so that everyone is happy in the end.

If you'd like to discuss this further, feel free to e-mail me. My e-mail is Bottom line...the shelf isn't what made you want to buy the house, so pick your battles and get what you really want and that is the house. I hope this helps and I wish you good luck and a successful closing of your new home. Keep me posted, I'd like to know how things turn out.