Personal property is anything that is not part of the real property. The real property includes the land and all improvements that are attached to it aka the real estate. It has been said that anything glued screwed and/or nailed to the real estate is part of the sale. Sounds more like a bad date.
So are the window treatments included? Normally the hardware & blinds are but the cloth is not. How about the kitchen refrigerator? If it is built-in like a Sub-Zero then yes. If it is a stand-alone, then no. How about the range/oven that slides in just like the refrigerator? Well this is a different story.
In order for the home to be considered habitable there are several items a home needs. In Pennsylvania a cooking source is one of them. This means the slide-in electric range/oven stays…Unless otherwise stated.
Many Berks County home buyers ask that the kitchen refrigerator and/or the clothes washer & dryer remain as part of the home sale. I understand the desire but fail to understand why real estate deals sometimes fall apart due to disagreements over these items. I have teenagers and there are times I don’t want my own refrigerator after peering inside. I certainly question the rationale of not buying a home you want to live in for a decade over someone’s used refrigerator not staying behind…Sorry for the rant. I feel better now.
One thing Berks County home sellers should be aware of is that if they do include what is considered as personal property in a real estate sale they are actually warranting the items. This is stated in Paragraph 17 of our Pennsylvania Association of Realtors Agreement of Sale. Also, many lenders do not take kindly in having to adjust the appraisal value of a home because it is loaded with personal goods.
There is a solution to this conundrum suitable for both the home seller and buyer. Create a subparagraph in the Agreement and list the personal property there. Include the items as a gift and exclude them from Paragraph 17. Better yet…Call me to list your home. Sorry for the selfless plug.
One of the best things to do is make sure all the items in the home are accounted for and classified as personal property or not. This reduces any ambiguity and leads to a smoother transaction. Things like flat panel televisions, mounted surround speakers & wall shelving have confounded transactions. Most times the confusion is not even discovered until settlement day.
As a seller, you do not want to leave things behind that the buyer may have no interest in. A common culprit is old paint cans that match the wall colors. Make sure the buyers actually agree that you can leave them or you will be running back to the home to remove them.
Berks County home sales have become complicated enough. Turning your real estate agent into an auctioneer during the transaction is not a great idea. At least wait till all the heavy lifting is completed (home inspections & mortgage contingencies) before you start negotiating personal property. I have seen real estate deals turn sour over much less.
Keep your real estate deal real and it won’t get personal.