In real estate speak, if something "conveys," it's included in the sale.
Any of a home's "fixtures" are expected to convey with the purchase price of the home.
What is a fixture?
Basically, it's an item that's permanently attached.
"If it is screwed, glued, nailed to the wall, set in concrete, it is real property and it conveys," says Homer Tyre, owner of Greenville, NC's Tyre Realty Group.
Everything else -- the items that are movable and aren't built in -- is classified as personal property, and it moves with the sellers.
Sounds simple, right?
Misunderstandings about items that convey with a property often cause contention during contract negotiations, Homer says.
For instance, window blinds and shades -- which are screwed or nailed in -- should be left in place for the new homeowner. But Homer says a seller can take the curtains and drapes.
"A curtain is hung, the hardware is mounted," he says. "You can remove the drapes from the curtain rod, but you have to leave the rod."
Most refrigerators, washers and dryers aren't built in -- so they aren't considered a fixture. They're personal property, to be taken by sellers when they move. But buyers often expect these large free-standing appliances to be included in the purchase price. If you don't want to take these appliances with you, ask your Tyre Realty Group agent to include them in the MLS listing for your home -- it may be a selling point for a prospective buyer.
Some sellers may consider expensive items they purchased for the house -- like a fancy chandelier or a top-of-the-line gas stove -- to be their personal property. Well, those are fixtures. They stay -- unless you make sure prospective buyers know they aren't staying.
"The No. 1 issue we have is with mirrors," Homer says. "When people go out and spend $500 on a bathroom mirror, they think they can just take it with them when the leave. But if it's screwed to the wall, it's a fixture that should convey with the house."
Homer says sellers should look carefully at all the fixtures in their home and decide if each item should go or stay.
"We suggest that if there is any fixture in your home that you intend to keep, remove it before anyone comes in to see your house," Homer says. "If they see it, they want it."
The best rule of thumb is to put in writing, very clearly, everything that will -- and won't -- be included in the sale.
Tyre Realty Group agents go a step further: They use a GoPro camera to record the walk-through of the property, dictating on the video what goes and what stays.
"When Sarah (Hicks, with Tyre Realty Group) does the MLS, she watches the video and lists everything that will and won't convey. Then, we keep the video in the archive."
So, if you have an heirloom rose bush that you'd like take with you to your new home, you can. You must either tell potential buyers that it won't convey -- or go ahead and dig it up before your house goes on the market.