aerial-photography-of-three-people-sitting-on-sofa-2029715You spent a lot of time, energy, and effort in designing a home that you love. Now you’re selling. This might leave you wondering what you can take with you and what you must leave behind when you finally sell your home. 

Disputes over strange things can cause an otherwise tremendous offer to fall through, so it’s best to know these things before you list the home. 

This knowledge enables you to swap out some of your prized possessions if you have the urge to hang onto them or write into the listing a mention of your non-negotiable items. 

Otherwise, these items are fair game for the buyer to assume.

Plan to Leave These 6 Items in Your Home When You Sell It

Yes, some of these items are technically outside on your property.

1 – Plants, trees, and flowers

Plants, trees, and flowers are rooted in the ground. Therefore, they are considered an integral part of the landscaping. 

It’s not unheard of for buyers to arrive at a house post-closing to find that show stopping peonies or flowers went missing between the walk-through and the closing. But that trick can land you in hot water if the buyer gets technical over it. 

If you have a special plant or shrub, mention it when you list the home. Or, dig it up and place it in a container garden until you sell. The difference is, moveable planters and containers may go with you. An exception to that container rule would be heavy concrete planters that are considered fixtures.

2 – Appliances

You love your shiny smart appliances, and you hate you have to leave them behind. However, they are considered part of a real estate transaction in most cases. In fact, appliances are even a marketing point in many homes, especially those modern, state-of-the-art models. 

By the way, it’s a nice gesture to leave the manuals and warranty information handy for the new owners.

Plan to use part of the money you receive from the sale of your home to invest in new appliances and fall in love all over again. 

3 – Anything anchored into the earth

Do you have an outdoor swing that’s secured with concrete into the earth? Or do the kids have a basketball hoop stuck permanently into the ground? 

Either of those is a permanent fixture that should convey to the buyer. However, a freestanding basketball hoop that wheels into the garage for the winter is yours to keep. 

4 – Window treatments

Window treatments can be expensive, and they become a sticking point when buying or selling a home. 

Window brackets, rods, and blinds are secured to the window frame. Thus, they are permanent fixtures. However, your curtains are easily removable and might be okay to take with you. 

On the other hand, offers to purchase real estate will often stipulate that you leave the curtains as well. That case is particularly true when you have custom-sized windows. 

Regardless, the curtains might not fit your new home anyways, so it’s often best to leave them. 

5 – Installed features

Anything that you have mounted, bracketed, secured, or custom-installed is permanent. 

These items can range in size and include:

  • Toilet paper or soap mounts in the bathroom 
  • Television brackets (minus your tv, of course)
  • Custom built-in furnishings or cabinets

In short, if you have altered your home to install a feature, plan to leave it with the property. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for a disappointing outcome when it’s time to negotiate. 

6 – Light fixtures

Any light fixtures that are hard-wired into your ceiling or walls are permanent. Leave them behind. This includes overhead lighting, pendants, chandeliers, or wall sconces. 

However, if you have upgraded to costly fixtures that you would be heartbroken to leave behind, you have one option. Before you list your home, replace these with the original lights—if you saved them. 

If not, they convey to the home’s new owner.

It can be disappointing to leave behind things that you love when you sell your home. If you find that you struggle with passing a family heirloom cherry tree to a new owner and want to remove it, make sure you are clear on this upfront. 

Or, if you have a priceless blown-glass pendant light you had imported from Europe that you’re attached to, swap it out before listing. 

Otherwise, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. They are viewing your home as their new one, and they fell in love with it thanks to your great taste. Pass the torch. Move on and feather a new nest.


Khalil El-Ghoul

"Thanks for reading! I’m passionate about empowering home buyers and sellers with professional advice and unbiased information, throughout the real estate transaction. Unlike most agents, I always put clients first. When it comes to negotiating, marketing homes, and sealing the deal, I’ve got the experience and knowledge you’re looking for. If you have any questions about moving to VA, D.C., or MD, don’t hesitate to reach out."