When touring a home, buyers are often a bit too overwhelmed to ask about certain small details. Then, after they close and are given the keys, it becomes clear that they were expecting certain items to be included with the home sale — and they were not. Read on and find out what are considered fixtures and what is not.
What Are Fixtures?
As the name suggests, fixtures apply to items that are attached to the home in some way. That explanation is not complete, however, and what fixtures are can vary from location to location and house to house. Your best bet is to ask about it if you really want it included in the sale. It will need to be specifically mentioned in the sales contract if it falls out of the usual fixture category. Consider that, these days, sellers may use a home staging service to make their homes stand out and those items go back to the stager after the sale is made.
Some Common Fixtures
The list below comprises what are considered fixtures in most place and should convey with the home without it being mentioned in the contract:
- Dishwasher, garbage disposal, built-in wine cooler, boiling water faucet, and water heater.
- Flooring, including wall-to-wall carpet, vinyl, and other floorings. Room sized rugs and throw rugs are not fixtures, however.
- Light fixtures are included in most cases. Ask about expensive chandeliers, though. Ceiling fans are fixtures.
- Window coverings like blinds and plantation shutters are fixtures. Ask about draperies, however. Some drapes are custom-made to fit the windows and the owner may want to leave them behind if you are interested.
- Other items inside the home that cannot be removed without damaging the home may be considered fixtures. That might include television wall mounts, heavy mirrors, etc.
- Outside the home, grass, flowers, bushes, and trees that are planted in the ground are fixtures. Potted plants are not.
- Fences and pool enclosures are fixtures. Hot tubs may be considered fixtures in some locations, so ask about it.
Some Uncommon Fixtures
Not everything that appears to be attached may be a fixture. For example, refrigerators are attached via an ice-maker or water filtration system but are not always considered a fixture. If you love the shiny stainless steel stove and fridge, be sure to ask about it before you make your decision. These are pricey items, and sellers sometimes take them with them when they move. If you need to buy those items, that consideration should go into your offer price. It should be noted that some government-backed mortgage products require the home have a refrigerator and stove of some kind before the loan is approved.
Don't guess at it — ask a real estate agent about anything that appears to be attached to the house for sale.