What Goes With The House When You Buy

Shock and awe:

Imagine this. You are looking through a house that you are thinking about buying. Everything looks beautiful and immaculate. The home has a warm comfortable feeling and you can tell that it would make a perfect home.

The kitchen is spotless; the living room looks like a place where you could just curl up into a ball and spend hours. You can just picture you and your family making a home there.

Then several months later you take possession of the home and as you walk in through the front door you get a chill. Instead of that beautiful cozy place where memories can be formed, you have a cold empty space.

All of those beautiful fixtures are gone. The rugs the 'held the room together' are gone and there is a cold breeze running through the place.

You go to the back yard and notice that the once beautiful garden has been ripped to shreds. All that remains are some weeds and dead flowers.

What has happened? You dream home is now just an empty husk that looks more like demilitarized zone than a place you'd want to take your family. The problem of course is that the family who lived there before had custom designed their possessions to that particular space.

They invested money in fixtures and amenities that just aren't there anymore. Now you have to start from scratch and you feel a little ripped off. This is the risk you take when you buy a home and you should be well aware of what comes with a home before you buy it.

There are some simple rules that you should follow when you are negotiating with a home seller to make sure they don't strip the house of many of the things that attracted you to it in the first place.


In most cases all of the fixtures in the home stay with the home. This includes things like:

Toilets Bath Tubs Fireplace Kitchen Sinks French Doors Garden Spas

Do not take these for granted though. Often the homeowner has invested a lot of money in these things. For instance, if they have purchased a $2,000 fireplace fixture or an antique bathtub, there is a good chance that they will want to take these with them when they leave.

I've even seen people remove entire spas, and large portions of decks and fences because they have financial and sentimental value.

Make a list:

How do you avoid this shock? Well there is a slim chance that you will be able to convince anyone to part with features of their home that they have sentimental value attached to. But if you are prepared for what they will take and what they'll leave you'll at least come prepared when you move into your new home.

First, check the multiple listing sheets. This will have a list of things that are included in the home. If they do not follow this list, they are bargaining in poor faith and you should probably walk away from the deal.

It is also important that you have some contact with the current owners themselves. The agent may be eager to sell the home and would forget to mention that certain things do not come with the home. Those who live there now will know exactly what they want to take and what they will leave.

Other items you should add to your list:

Outdoor storage buildings Window treatments Garage door openers Portable AC units Chandeliers Ceiling fans Basketball nets Playgrounds

Things you don't want:

Of course these are all things that you would be happy if they left behind. There are some instances though where the existing home owners leave behind some nasty surprises that you definitely don't want.

Make another list of things that you would like to see removed. These could include:

Old vehicles Oil storage bins Playground sets Outdoor ornaments (garden gnomes) Basketball nets, horseshoe pits ect- The contract:

Make sure that both parties have looked at both lists and have signed them. It is one thing just to express your concern, but an entirely different thing to make sure that actions are taken to get these things done. If it is not written into the contract there is very little you can do to make sure you get what you want.

The final walk-through:

Once you have made the contract, be sure to do one final walkthrough with your list and assure that all of the fixtures you want are still there and that those you don't want are gone.

If they have failed to do this you will have more bargaining power to lower the price of the home. Chances are they will not want the hassle of getting rid of the stuff you could get a discount for the things that are missing, or that you will have to deal with at a later date.