Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Home Seller Tips: Where is the light fixture?

When viewing a home prospective buyers will sometimes ask their real estate agent "What is staying with the house?"    In my experience buyers are usually referring to items like a washer/dryer or perhaps a shed in the back yard.

The easy answer...Personal property goes, Real property stays. 
Disclaimer:  This article I am referring to real estate transactions in Florida only. I am not an attorney.
What is personal property?   Simply put personal property is something that is easily move-able (like a washer or dryer). 

Personal property can become real property once attached to a house like a light fixture or ceiling fan.  When in the box sitting in a closet or garage these items are personal property.  Once attached they become real property.  The same goes for trees and plants permanently in the ground. 

What should a seller do?  I recommend sellers prepare a clearly identified "stays with the house" list that can be provided with the listing documents to help the buyers and their real estate agent answer the question in sentence one above.

If something like a ceiling fan or chandelier will go or be replaced I suggest the change happen during the preparation phase.  It is better for a prospective buyer to see a basic light fixture rather than a hole in the ceiling!

And if some personal items (like furniture) will be sold to the buyers, handle that as a side transaction outside of the real estate purchase.   Besides, lenders do not want to see personal property on a purchase agreement.

In the home purchase process the last thing a buyer does is a walk through inspection to make sure the property has been adequately maintained and to ensure everything that is staying with the house is present.  

The key to a smooth transaction is open and clear communication.  The last thing a seller or buyer needs is an avoidable crisis because something is gone or has been replaced.


 Chandelier Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net