Here’s what you can expect to stay with a house when buying or selling.

What should stay and what goes with you when you’re buying or selling a house? This topic comes up in almost every transaction we do; it’s really important to think about. Most real estate contracts in Alabama say that the property is being sold with all fixtures, improvements, plantings, shrubberies, and appurtenances. There can be some differences between contracts, though.

Appurtenances are stuff like easements and right of way, but those are a little too complex to cover quickly. Improvements are stuff like a new roof or HVAC system. Plantings and shrubberies are pretty simple: if it’s planted in the ground, it’s expected to stay with the house. Fixtures are anything that’s permanently attached to the house: refrigerator, microwave, stove, window treatments, etc.

“It’s very important to review the real estate contract and specifically the personal property addendum.”

Beyond these, we get into a grey area. Buyers might walk through a house and think they will get items like security systems or TV wall mounts, but the seller may be planning to take those with them because they were bought later and are easy to remove.

It’s very important to review the real estate contract and, specifically, the personal property addendum. That section should list everything that’s commonly expected to come with the house and whether or not it is actually staying. Other items can be detailed there as well to clear up confusion.

As a seller, if you want to take something that is usually expected to stay, make sure you list that up-front. You might also want to take it down before you start showing the house, just so there’s no confusion. As a buyer, if you see something that’s not expected to stay, make sure you detail it in the personal property addendum.

If there’s anything you’d like to see a video on in the future, please shoot me an email or send me a text. If you want to talk to me more directly, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d be more than happy to help.