When viewing Wilmington area homes for sale, it can be difficult to tell what exactly is included with the home. We’ve seen buyers put offers in on homes, go through the whole closing process, and discover when they move into the home that fixtures have been removed. That’s when people get sued and both parties enter arbitration. Ugly, ugly times.
We want you to avoid a bad situation, so here is a good rule-of-thumb:
If it’s bolted (nailed, screwed, glued, cemented, etc.) down, it stays.
That includes the 55” mounted television in the living room, stained glass chandelier in the dining room, blinds in the master bedroom, and surround sound speakers hanging in the media room. It does not include the island in the kitchen if it’s the portable type with legs that you can buy from Sears or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It needs to be screwed to the floor to be included.
Another good rule-of-thumb is:
If it’s buried or planted, it stays.
That includes all shrubbery, bulbs, plants, trees, etc. If you’re a seller and want to take it with you, make sure you dig it up before the house goes on the market. This rule also includes buried propane tanks that are not rented from the gas company. You can find out if a tank is owned or rented, by asking the owners or verifying it with the local gas companies.
Now, where it can really get confusing is with appliances. Most people think that the refrigerator is automatically included in the sale of the home. After all, if it’s removed, there’s a big gaping hole where it should be. However, the fact is you can unplug it and take it with you. It’s not bolted down. Many sellers will include the refrigerator in the sale of the home, but it does need to be specified in the contract. It’s best to verify which appliances stay with the home before making an offer.
If you see something in a house that you’re interested in and you aren’t sure it’s included, it’s always best to ask. You may find that the sellers are willing to negotiate certain features that aren’t automatically included, like that portable kitchen island. If you do extra negotiating, make sure those items are agreed upon in writing to prevent future disagreements.
When you’re ready to buy or sell, give us a call (910.202.2547) or send us a message through our Contact page. We’re ready to help!