I get this question all the time, “What about my refrigerator, does it have to stay with the house when I sell?” Refrigerators are personal property and as a general rule they are not included in the sale of a home, unless the buyer and seller have negotiated for it to be included. However, there are times when a seller does not want to take a refrigerator with them as perhaps their new house has one or they want to upgrade and buy a new one.
In this case, a seller will want to make sure the refrigerator is listed in the sales contract to be included with the sale, otherwise the buyer may cause a fuss when it comes to do their walk through and they see the refrigerator hasn’t been removed.
One exception about refrigerators being personal property and not being included in the sale would be a custom; a custom designed, built-in refrigerator that is clearly designed for the space in which it lies. A buyer, when touring the home, would clearly assume such a refrigerator would be included in the sale due to it being custom designed and built-in. Built-in refrigerators are expected to stay with the house for obvious reasons.
Most states are pretty consistent with the following standard: if a feature is built-in to the house such as attached to a wall or dedicated space, the item is most likely considered part of the house and would be expected to convey with the house.
If there is any doubt on such an item, you should communicate with your real estate professional before an offer comes in and make it perfectly clear that a certain item is not included in the sale so your agent can have a heads up in advance.
The best practice would be to remove the item(s) that would otherwise convey all together before even listing the home (such as custom curtains or drapes, etc.) in order to completely avoid any misunderstanding with your buyer.
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