What Items Are Included When You Buy a House?

What Items Are Included When You Buy a House?

When you find a place you’d like to buy, how do you know what’s included with the house? In our area, it’s customary for certain items and fixtures to be included in the sale unless otherwise specified. These are spelled out in the “Fixtures and Personal Property” part of the standard Pennsylvania agreement of sale—which is the form most agents use when preparing offers. Before you sign your offer, make sure to read that section so you won’t be surprised later on.

Among the items listed as included—unless otherwise specified—are:

  • Ceiling fans
  • Light fixtures, including chandeliers
  • Range
  • Built-in appliances
  • Smoke detectors
  • Satellite dishes (if owned)
  • Hot tubs
  • Mailboxes
  • Storage sheds
  • Fences, including electric animal fences
  • Shades and blinds
  • Rods and brackets for curtains and drapes
  • TV mounting brackets and hardware
  • Existing screens and storm windows
  • Unpotted shrubbery and trees
  • Permanently installed items.
Be sure to check the listing to see whether the sellers have mentioned any additional items they want to include or exclude.

What About Appliances?

Built-in appliances are expected to stay (unless otherwise agreed to), but washers, dryers, and refrigerators are personal property and are not included in all sales. Some sellers indicate up front that their home is being sold with these appliances, others specify the appliances are excluded from the sale, and some sellers don’t indicate whether they’re included or excluded. Whatever you agree to with the sellers, make sure it’s clearly stated in your agreement of sale.

Do Window Treatments Stay?

Although blinds and shades are assumed to stay unless otherwise specified, the same is not true of window treatments such as curtains and drapes. Check the listing to see if the sellers have said whether they plan to leave their window treatments.If it’s important to you, list them as inclusions in your offer. Sellers who are downsizing often want to leave their window treatments, but some want to take them or leave just a few.

Put It in Writing

If you’re unsure whether an item is included in the sale, list it as either included or excluded in your offer, according to your preference. This will help you avoid misunderstandings down the line. On your final walk-through before closing, you’ll have a chance to verify that the items that were supposed to remain are still there, and just as important, that any items the sellers agreed to remove are gone.

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See more of Annette’s articles on related real estate topics. If you’re planning to buy or sell a home, contact Annette at (610) 247-7892 or annette@preferredhomes.com

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