Can You Leave Stuff Behind When You Sell Your House?

Can you leave stuff behind when you sell your house

Moving out can be expensive, tiring, and time-consuming. You’ll have to pack everything up, haul it across neighborhoods (or even cities and states!). Then unpack everything again, on top of having to pay for moving trucks and the help required to make that happen. To lighten the load, some homeowners opt to leave some of their stuff behind.

And while you can do that—having some furnishings in a home can even be attractive to buyers—there is stuff that you shouldn’t leave behind.

For some homeowners, their house may be in a significant state of disrepair, making it not worth the trouble of getting the property ready for a traditional market sale. Depending on your situation, you can often find buyers that purchase your house as-is regardless of the condition it is in. That’s why here at Trusted House Buyers we’ve worked with homeowners all across San Diego County to give them a house selling process that best fits their needs.

But it can be tough to know what exactly you should or shouldn’t leave behind in a move, especially during an often hectic transitional time for you. 

What Should You Leave Behind?

Anything in the home that is considered a fixture will usually left behind. These are items that are fixed in the home or the property; this means that they are attached to the floor, the walls, the lawn, etc. These include:

  • Electric sockets
  • Light fixtures
  • Plumbing installations
  • Security alarm systems
  • Built-in shelving
  • Satellite dishes
  • Central heating systems
  • Landscaping

While these items are often assumed to be covered as part of the property sale, it’s still important for both the sellers and the buyers to agree on which fixtures stay in the house and are part of the sale.

What Stuff Can You Leave Behind?

Sellers can leave behind fittings, furniture, and appliances that they don’t want or need in their new home. These items can increase the value of the home, especially if they’re new or recently updated, but also even if they’re just in basic working condition. These items can include:

  • Rugs and curtains
  • Mirrors
  • Paintings
  • Ovens
  • Refrigerators
  • Washing machines
  • Beds
  • Lamps
  • Television sets and sound systems

When a buyer looks at a home, they want to picture it furnished so that they can imagine themselves living in it. And keeping some furniture there can help bring that idea to life; it can even be the selling point of a home, beyond the initial house staging.

Sellers should leave any device manuals or repair instructions, as well as extra hardware (e.g. air conditioning filters, light bulbs, extra floor tiles, etc.) that come with any fixtures or fittings in the home. Although not required by law, it is often extremely helpful for the new owners to have and can be a sign of good faith during the sale process.

All that said, it’s important to clear up which items will be left behind or taken by the seller during the move. If possible, write all these down in a checklist and include it in the contract.

What Stuff Should You Bring with You?

As a rule of thumb, anything else that’s not been previously listed above should be taken or disposed of by the seller, unless otherwise agreed upon. As a seller, it’s important to make the house as clean as possible before the buyer’s moving day. Check every nook and cranny of the place, making sure that you’ve taken all that belongs to you and thrown out anything that may be deemed as clutter. Imagine how you want a new home to be during your own moving day, then do your best to recreate that experience for the new owners of the house.

That said, there are many buyer horror stories where they move in to find that the previous owners have not completely moved out, i.e. they still have tons of stuff left on the property or in the house. These situations can cause a bind and delay closing, especially in terms of ownership and liabilities. It’s best to consult a real estate expert to prevent this from happening.

Conclusion

Selling a house can be stressful, and having to move makes it even more exhausting. Trusted House Buyers can help make this process easier than ever before for San Diego homeowners, where you can leave anything you want behind at no extra charge. We buy all properties as-is and with cash, making the experience stress-free and leaving you with cash in your pocket after a sale.

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