What's included with the house?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Plus

Just wondering how many consumers and real estate professionals assume (ugh!) that if something is included in the listing and the brochure, that is is still included if the offer comes in under the offered list price? It seems to me that there are many people that don't understand this and are surprised when an item is countered out, or, if the agent forgot to ask for it, just plain gone at the walk through.

If the appliances are offered with the house at $249,900 and your offer is for anything less, here in Rochester, you'd better be asking for those appliances in your offer - I always include them if offered in the listing no matter what the price being offered so there is no misunderstanding. Same with window treatments and the like.

Point being, if you want something make sure to put it in writing even if it is in the offered listing. If a buyer client wants to ask for furniture in the offer, I usually discourage this as I have had many sellers very offended when offers come in asking for these types of furnishings. I am not a used appliance or used furniture salesperson - please don't ask me what it's worth.

What is typical in your area?



Comments (13)

Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

In our area appliances are always included unless otherwise specified.  Every once in awhile you see someone offering to leave patio furniture behind and I sugges that those be listed on a separate sheet so that we don't confuse an appraiser or loan officer on value.

Apr 07, 2009 12:45 AM
Scott Kniskern
Rogers Realty & Auction - Mount Airy, NC

Nothing is "assumed" included with any home here. Typically, the appliances are left, but that is tated in the listing. Per your advice when I represent a buyer, I always include the items mentioned in the listing as part of our purchase contract. Better safe than sorry!

Apr 07, 2009 12:50 AM
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

Angela, Here in Maryland we do have an inclusion/exclusion sheet that goes with an offer. Makes it real simple. Rich

Apr 07, 2009 12:50 AM
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

In our are, North Carolina, appliances, blinds, curtain rods are a FIXTURE and better be there when we do the walk through. However, the refrigerator is personal property so has to be asked for.  Our Offer to Purchase defines fixtures and personal property and has separate paragraphs, right on page 1, to include or exclude anything. Don't know about NY.

Apr 07, 2009 12:53 AM
Robert Rauf
CMG Home Loans - Toms River, NJ

Angela, I think NY is similar to NJ, if it is not written on the contract... you can never assume.  Verbal is NOTHING in NJ, you need to have it in writing, and the standard contracts have a spot for "included/excluded" items

Apr 07, 2009 12:54 AM
Angela Penkin
RE/MAX Plus - Rochester, NY

It is interesting how all contracts are different. Here if it is ATTACHED is is supposed to remain and we have a huge paragraph in our offer that covers those items - which would cover built in appliances, curtain rods, blinds. But range, fridge, etc which are freestanding can come and go. I just saw a contract from the Binghamton area and all items are listed - and items not included are struck out with a line.

We also have a not included line, which I typically use if I am trying to make it plain we are not asking for something the seller realy wants to keep - or if the buyer wants the old clunker freezer in the basement out of the house.

Apr 07, 2009 01:03 AM
Ross Westerman
Kingwood, TX


I use this analogy: If you pick up the home and turn it upside down and shake it, what falls out is not included.  If you make an offer everything you want should be included after all you made the offer and if the appliances are not in your offer, O'well, you don't get them. 

So, after you make the offer without the appliances you write an amendment to include them.  Then there is a need to extend the closing date so you write another amendment for this but you do not include the language from the previous amendment then you do not get the appliances because a new amendment supersedes the previous amendment.

That is how it works in Texas.

Apr 07, 2009 01:27 AM
Tom Boos
Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Real Living - Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Providing the very best of service to Sellers and

Never assume anything.  Put it in writing to protect your client and yourself.

Apr 07, 2009 01:53 AM
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Nothing is included, unless you put it in writing, on the offer; and even then, they can be struck out, if both parties don't agree on the price.

In a contract, nothing can be assumed. 

Regardless of how many times we go back and forth, and how many times things get crossed out, I keep writing them back in, if my clients absolutely want them, especially the appliances and certain light fixtures (chandeliers), etc.  Yes, even those can get replaced... so if you want to make absolute sure your client is getting the Miele appliances, go as far as putting their serial numbers on the offer (or you may end up with the no-name brand, used one, on closing).

Apr 07, 2009 03:01 AM
Angela Penkin
RE/MAX Plus - Rochester, NY

Sylvie, I have never done that before - but I have said stove/refrigerator currently in the kitchen - that type of thing.

This is so funny, I once did a walk through that the whole house was stripped - every light bulb, drape - everything. While there the seller's attorney called me laughing hysterically - it seems his client was runing around the local hardware store buying replacements for everything his 90 year old mom had packed! She had stripped it bare.

Fortunately my buyer client had a sense of humor and everything was as it should have been the next morning.

Apr 07, 2009 03:46 AM
Angela Penkin
RE/MAX Plus - Rochester, NY

Ross, wow that is so different than here. We use addendums - and they just keep adding to the contract. So, one might add something, the next change a mortgage commitment date, the next closing, etc. And they all are in effect.

Apr 07, 2009 03:49 AM
Ross Westerman
Kingwood, TX


In Texas the refrigerator is not included as a fixture but all built-ins are.  To get technical: the pictures on the wall are not fixtures but the nails the pictures are hanging on are fixtures.  So here if you have a plasma TV attached to the bracket that is attached to the wall you need to remove it before listing or be very clear on paper that it is not included.

We have addendums also.  Addendum- something added, as an attachment to a contract ex: financing, inspections

We have amendments too.  Amendment - change, correction, or extension of an agreement that does not modify the basic thrust of the agreement.

An amendment can modify an addendum to the contract or the contract.

Sounds complicated doesn't it.  That's why folks should use a real estate agent-REALTOR®

Apr 07, 2009 09:30 AM
Marvin de la Vega
Realty Source Inc - Chula Vista, CA

Hi Angela,

I tend to advise my buyer clients to stay away from asking for personal property (like you).  The buyer can ask but sometimes sellers have an attachment to their stuff. If they don't they list it as a conveyance. I agree, if the offer is low, be clear as to what the buyer wants, if anything. But it's still personal property. After all, our title reflects real property transactions, not personal property.

Apr 27, 2009 11:10 AM