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Q & A – What Can Home Sellers Take With Them When They Move?

My name is MaKay Swanson, and I serve the amazing people of West Cobb County  and the Surrounding Area.

○             Today, we’re talking all about what stays and what goes during move out.

○             So I was reading on facebook the other day where a homebuyer walked up to the front door after closing and discovered  that there was no doorbell. The home had previously had a Ring doorbell. Should it have been left or was it ok for the seller to remove it?

○             Buying or selling a home can be stressful. And it’s even more stressful when buyers and sellers are unclear about who gets to keep the Doorbell,, drapes, or the $10,000 water feature in the front yard.

○             Here’s a rule of thumb, to keep in mind during the buying or selling process:

■            Legally, anything bolted, nailed, wired, cemented, or permanently glued to the property becomes a fixture – And fixtures stay behind when the seller leaves.

■            But anything that’s mobile is considered personal property, which leaves with the seller. So basically, anything that can be removed without causing damage to the property, goes.

■            Let me give you a few examples of how this plays out during a sale…

○             #1 – Appliances

■            A washing machine is considered personal property, because hoses can easily be disconnected and power simply unplugged, so the sellers are entitled to take it with them .

■            The Refrigerator is less mobile, but can still, be easily moved, so the seller may take it as well – In Georgia Stoves and Ranges are considered a Fixture and are expected to stay. It’s best for a buyer to specifically request for any of these items to remain when writing their purchase offer, to remove any doubt about their expectations or wishes.

○             #2 Window Dressings

■            Drapes can easily be unhooked, so they remain the seller’s personal property. But the drapery rods and cornices are bolted to the wall, so they must be left behind.

■            But most drapes are purchased to fit the design of the home and rarely look good in the seller’s new home – which is why most sellers leave their drapes behind, even though they’re entitled to take them.

○             #3 Flooring

■            A rug lying on the floor will go with the seller, but any flooring that is tacked, nailed, fitted, or glued down stays.

○             #4 Hardware + Fixtures

■            Generally, all door knobs, mailboxes, light switches, hardware, swag lights, and water features transfer to the new owner.

■            There are a few exceptions to this rule, so be sure to speak with a good real estate agent before you write your contract.

○             #5 TV’s

■            Technically, mounted TV’s aren’t fixed to the home, they’re fixed to the mount, which is fixed to the home. So the general rule of thumb is that the TV goes and the mount stays.

○             But again, don’t assume anything you see on the property comes with the house.

○             Always speak to your Realtor® for clarity and always have your Realtor® write everything you want into the contract. Because, everything is negotiable!

○             And as far as the Doorbell goes, It is a fixture and should stay. I would always advise a seller to remove anything they do not plan on leaving prior to listing, and replacing it with a reasonable alternative.

●            Thinking about making a move? I can help you through the process.

MaKay Swanson

MaKay Swanson

I'm a Baby Boomer that isn't afraid to learn new things. I love technology and Social Media and enjoy being around and learning from all people. My occupation is Real Estate sales, but I'm so much more than my job. I Love helping folks, whether it's recommending my favorite restaurants or dog groomer, or laying out the perfect plan to help you buy or sell a home. I've got you covered - Call or text any time! (404) 993-4474 Your West Cobb Influencer since 2021 Selling Real Estate in Georgia since 2001 Cobb County Resident since 1986 Atlanta Native


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