Selling a Home - What Personal Property Stays?


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The home selling and buying process can be confusing, particularly when it comes to figuring out what items stay with the home. This is especially true when it is a FSBO (for sale by owner) operation. It’s even tougher when neither the seller nor the buyer is in the real estate business. This article sorts out what personal property stays with the home when it is sold.

Personal Property

Although every state has slightly different rules, there are general guidelines to what goes and stays when a house is sold. Typically, any items attached to the home stay with it while non-attached items are considered personal property and go with the seller. For instance, the seller typically takes personal property such as tools and potted plants.

Certain personal property items, however, don’t always go with the seller. In Virginia, items such as stoves, washers and dryers, refrigerators and built-in microwaves usually stay with the home when the buyer moves in.

If you’re a seller and you don’t offer the items generally expected to convey, you make your property less attractive than the competition. With the red-hot real estate market, it may not matter. You may still sell your property quickly and easily.

Conversely, if you’re a buyer, you can gain an edge with a seller who wants to keep an item of personal property. Allowing them to haul off a particular item is a good way of building good will. When deciding how you want to approach your options here, consider how competitive the situation is and the monetary value of the item. You always want to keep the big picture in mind.

As with most things related to the real estate buying and selling process, keep in mind the relationship between the parties. The buyer and seller are not enemies and all items on the table don’t carry equal importance for both parties. If you are willing to be reasonable, there is almost always a win-win solution.

Selling and buying a home can be an emotional rollercoaster. If the parties work together, it doesn’t have to become a scary one.

Raynor James is with - providing FSBO homes for sale by owner. Visit our “sell my home" page at to list and sell your home for free for one month. Visit to see homes for sale by owner.


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