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What Can Home Sellers Take With Them When They Move?

What Can Home Sellers Take With Them When They Move

Who gets to keep the appliances, drapes, or the $10,000 water feature in the front yard when buying or selling a home? Disputes can arise over what items the seller can take with them and what should stay behind. It’s a common issue that occurs more often than you might think. 

Here’s a rule of thumb so you have more clarity 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. Let me give you a few examples of how this plays out during a sale…


Appliances like washing machines, stoves, and refrigerators fall under the category of personal property. These items can be easily disconnected and moved, giving sellers the right to take them along. However, it’s important to note that many contracts specifically include ovens, stoves, and refrigerators as part of the property being sold, ensuring that they remain with the house.

Window Dressings

Drapes, being easily detachable, are considered personal property and can be taken by the sellers. However, the rods and cornices that are bolted to the walls are fixtures and must be left behind. While sellers have the right to take their drapes, it’s common for them to leave them behind, as the drapes are often custom-made to fit the home’s design and may not suit their new residence.


Rugs that are merely placed on the floor can be taken by the sellers. On the other hand, any flooring material that is affixed to the property, such as tacked, nailed, fitted, or glued down flooring, is considered a fixture and should remain in the house.

Hardware + Fixtures

Various items fall under the category of hardware and fixtures, including door knobs, mailboxes, light switches, mirrors, swag lights, and water features. As a general rule, these items are expected to transfer to the new owner and remain with the property. However, it’s advisable to consult a reputable real estate agent before finalizing the contract, as there may be some exceptions to this rule.


When it comes to mounted TVs, it’s important to understand that the TV itself is not considered a fixture. It is fixed to a mount, which is then fixed to the home. Therefore, according to the general rule, the TV can be taken by the seller, while the mount should remain as part of the property.

If you are selling and plan to take something with you that may be considered a fixture – make sure your agent makes that clear in the listing – or even better, remove the item in question from the house altogether before putting your home on the market. 

If you are buying, never assume anything you see on the property comes with the house. However, everything is negotiable, so if there are specific items you wish to have ensure that they are specifically stated in the contract. 

By being well-informed and proactive, you can navigate the process smoothly and ensure a successful home sale.

If you’re thinking about making a move, I can help you through the process. Just send me a message. No pressure, no sales tactics, just the help and guidance that you need! 

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