Profile picture for user325742

can you assume that decorative items not listed as staying in the listing would not stay with home?

We have a bird bath statue in the back yard that will be there when people view the home.  If we do not mention it in the listing, is it safe to assume that it would or would not stay with the home.  It weighs less than 50 pounds and is not set in concrete or anything of the kind.  Just trying to decide how to write the listing.  thanks
  • July 29 2012 - Phoenix
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Answers (8)

Personal property, unless it has been somewhat permanently attached to the property, does not convey unless otherwise stated in the contract.  But just so there is no confusion or problems with potential buyers down the road, I would openly disclose, or remind people that the decoration does not convey.
I see listings all the time that specifically state what certain items do and do not convey.  I don't think it hurts your marketing at all to say upfront in the MLS that it does not convey.
  • August 23 2012
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It should be understood that the birdbath is not a fixture and wouldn't convey with the property.  But, I would err on the side of caution and make it very clear to all potential buyers that it will not convey.
  • August 05 2012
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Other than appliances, the personal property does not convey unless stated in the MLS write up / listing agreement. Fixtures or anything attached such as light fixtures, ceiling fans etc. will stay with the property. It is always best to remove any items such as your bird bath that you do not want to leave and avoid a conversation about them later. Should purchasers ask for personal items and you'd agree on a price, it should be written on a Bill of Sale outside the Purchase contract so that the mortgage company will not have a problem with financing anything other than real estate. 
  • July 30 2012
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
Patio tables, chairs and umbrella's I consider as the seller's personal furniture.  Benches can often go either way, as in many cases they "appear" to be more permanent.  If it has the appearance of being "attached", and one wants to keep it, it is best to remove it ahead of time.

I guess one can have a similar question regarding gazing balls, wind-chimes, bird feeders, bird houses, wind ornamentations,  owl decoration squirrel chasers, scarecrows, flower pots, decorative wheel barrows, and small storage sheds.  If in doubt, either leave it with the property, or remove it ahead of time to minimize confusion and future disappointment and disagreement.

Perhaps it is not that much different than "window treatments" in a house?  Though not a "fixture" and not technically "attached", people often assume the draperies and blinds "come" with the house and are "fitted" to the specific windows, and their offers often state to include the "window treatments".  Yet a seller that doesn't know may assume the buyer doesn't want them and remove them anyway.
  • July 30 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
If I had a yard ornament that I wished to take with me, I would move it before putting the home on the market.   If the landscaping is designed around the bird bath feature, then perhaps you could put in a replacement.

  While as a consumer I'd consider most bird baths, benches etc as removable objects that don't go with the house, some buyers may have a different mindset.    If the bird bath means a lot to you, pack it away before that "for sale" sign appears.  
  • July 30 2012
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
Anything "attached" is consider a "fixture", and no casual person walking by during a 15 minute "showing" is going to know that a birdbath in the garden is not "attached".

Besides, the cost of most of those is so low, that it would probably be pointless to try to relocate it.

Rocks in the garden are not attached either.  Are you planning on relocating all of those?  What about flower-bed trims?  Are you just going to pull all those out because they are not cemented in?

Don't bother mentioning the birdbath in the listing since it is not attached.  But don't bother trying to take it without the buyer saying they don't want it either.  The garden they see is the garden they expect if they make an offer.  If they are planning on re-landscaping after purchase, that assumption should not be made by the seller, nor would the buyer necessarily know the timing on such things.

If the birdbath has personal sentimental value to you and you plan to relocate it for another home, then relocate it ahead of time and replace it with something similar before buyers see it.
  • July 30 2012
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Although only household items typically stay, to be on the safe side, I'd mark the birdbath as not included. That way there are no misunderstandings.
  • July 30 2012
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Profile picture for skh12
only fixtures are assumed to stay, not lawn ornaments
  • July 30 2012
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