Negotiating Home Fixtures: Who Gets What?
May 15, 2018
Before buyers make an offer, they’ll want to be clear on what stays and what goes with the house, as well as what’s up for negotiation.
In general, buyers keep anything permanently attached to the house. However, in some markets, there can be a gray area when it comes to appliances and custom-built pieces.
“People usually put riders in the contract to lay out who gets what, and a buyer should make sure their attorney helps with this negotiation so there aren’t any surprises,” Allison Pennell, a real estate professional with Brown Harris Stevens in Brooklyn, N.Y., told realtor.com®.
Some of the most common house fixtures that stay are built-ins and major custom pieces attached to the home—like window seats, built-in bookshelves, and plantation shutters. Other items that stay include certain hardware such as drawer pulls and knobs, landscaping, light fixtures attached to the home, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and some kitchen appliances. Washers and dryers typically go with sellers, unless otherwise stated.
But anything is negotiable. For example, some home security systems can easily be moved, but others are permanently installed and may be a negotiation point. If the seller falls in love with a dining room table, they can have their real estate agent try to negotiate for it. “Just figure out the fair market value and work out an offer at closing, or an exchange of some kind,” Pennell says.
To avoid a fixture feud from heating up a transaction, ask the sellers if they are planning to leave anything with the home, and make sure buyers are clear on what is staying and what is going.
Read more: The Pain of Fixture Feuds
Source: “6 Fixtures to Keep When You Buy a Home (and How to Negotiate the Rest),” realtor.com® (May 14, 2018)
Updated: August 16, 2018