Should You Take it or Leave it When you Sell Your Home?

One of the confusing parts of any real estate transaction is what items should stay in the home and what items a seller should take with them when they leave. Sometimes, sellers take things they shouldn’t simply because they’ve spent money on it and feel it’s theirs to take. While this holds true for a lot of things, some things need to stay with the home when you sell it. 

To help you figure out what should stay and what should go, here is a list of things and whether they should stay in the home or go with you when you sell. The key takeaway here is to make sure you spell it out in writing what goes with the house and what doesn’t, so there is no confusion after the sale. 


What is a fixture in a home? Fixtures are anything that is bolted, nailed, cemented or otherwise attached to the home or property. This includes, but is not limited to, light fixtures, medicine cabinets, or anything specifically modified for the house. An example of the last one would be an air conditioning unit that fills a hole made in a wall specifically for that unit. 


While it’s not required that you leave your major appliances (refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, etc.) behind, many sellers choose to do so, and it will reflect in the purchase price. Keep in mind that some lenders may require a stove be installed when selling the home. 

Built-in Yard Items

Anything built-in or cemented into the ground should stay with the home. Swing sets, basketball hoops, above-ground pools, etc. are considered personal property and can go with the seller when they leave. 

Light Fixtures

While light fixtures are considered a permanent item that should stay with the home when you sell, you do have the option of switching out a light fixture if you want to take it with you. For example, if you love that crystal chandelier that hangs over the dining room table, go ahead and take it down but replace it with something decent before you list your house. 

Buyers like to get what they see when they tour your home, so don’t decide to change anything once you’ve begun showing it. In fact, it’s illegal in some states to change something after a buyer has made an offer. 

Window Treatments

This is a gray area that often causes problems after a sale. A good rule of thumb here is if it’s attached to the wall, it stays. This includes curtain rods, pull-down shades, mini blinds, etc. If you can easily slide it off – like curtains, for example – you can take it with you. 

If you want to take the window treatments with you, make sure to put it in writing. 

There are a lot of items in a home that can cause confusion during a sale. While buyers like to get what they see, and sellers often want to take everything because they are emotionally attached, certain things should stay while other things can go. Follow the list above and put into writing what you’re leaving and what you’re taking when you sell.