When homeowners try to sell their home, they often ask their real estate agents, “Should I leave the appliances in my home for the home buyer, make them negotiable, or take them with me?” The answer depends on each individual situation, since all three are viable options. Appliances are considered personal property, so it’s up to homeowners to choose what they want to do.
Once you make the decision, you must clearly spell out these specifics in the contract and disclose them in the Transfer Disclosure Statement.
Many times, the appliances in the home fit well exactly where they are. They match the look of the home, especially kitchens. In some rare cases, they have even increased the value of the home, but only because they were extremely high-end models.
If the appliances are older and need to be updated, consider what it would cost to replace them with more modern styles and donate the current appliances to a non-profit organization (yay for tax write-offs!). Typically, the majority of sellers include the appliances in the sale of the home.
If the homeowner doesn’t necessarily care where the appliances end up, he or she can choose to make the items negotiable, which usually changes the sale price. The buyer can decide if the appliances should stay or go.
Non-negotiables are things that are part of the house, namely the fixtures. A fixture can be anything “attached,” such as carpets, washer, dryer, water heater, etc. (items may vary, given the makeup of the house).
When the listing for a home is first written, the real estate agent will ask if the homeowner wishes to take/exclude anything that is not considered a fixture. If the homeowner wants to keep the stove, washer, and dryer, the law allows them to do so.
Once again, since appliances are considered private property, the homeowner has the right to take them with him/her. However, if the homeowner wants to take items that fall under “Health and Safety,” especially if the buyer is getting an FHA loan (Federal Housing Administration loan specifically intended for low-to-moderate income borrowers), then those items MUST be replaced by the current homeowner or the home buyer.
In the past, some home sellers have replaced extremely expensive appliances with cheap substitutes from garage sales. As long as everything labeled as “Health and Safety” is replaced, no wrong has been done.
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