Buyers: If You Want the Plasma TV, Be Sure It's Written In Your Contract!

Real Estate Agent with Broker Associate PenFed Realty 0496522

LaShawn Norden made a very good point in her post.  My hope would be a new agent would read it and spare themselves some grief.

Original content by LaShawn Norden

No one likes personal property disputes. I mean really, closing days are meant to be "happy days" when everyone celebrates, not when you yell or scream because the surround-sound speakers are "missing" or worse...the flat screen TV is no longer mounted on the bedroom wall!

All kidding aside...if you want to avoid an uncomfortable (and potentially deal-breaking) situation, it's very important that you know what "personal property" is being sold with the house and what "personal property" is not....and, if you want the Seller to leave something that they didn't include via the listing agreement or in the Seller's Disclosure, ASK FOR IT by making sure it's written in your offer and negotiated as part of the sale!

I know it can be confusing to determine what is "supposed" to come with the home, but I can tell you from experience that just because a TV is mounted to the wall doesn't mean that it's staying with the house.

As a Buyer's Agent in Seminole County, I often make it a point to identify those items that are considered "personal property" to be sure that the Buyer is fully aware of what they can expect to find remaining when they walk through the property before closing. If the Buyer identifies something specific that they would like the Seller to include with the sale of the house, I make sure to include it in the offer.

Although sales contracts do typically outline the existing appliances, ceiling fans, light fixtures, etc. that are expected to remain with the property when it sells (unless the Seller excludes them from the contract), there are always additional items that can (and do) become areas of dispute if not agreed upon upfront. Here is a list of those items I am most often writing in offers on behalf of my Buyers:

  • Flat screen TV's mounted to the wall
  • Surround sound stereo speakers
  • Pool equipment such as hoses, brushes, vacuums, etc.
  • Wine coolers/sub-zero refrigerators
  • Custom-made closet systems (not mounted to the wall)
  • Tool benches/storage shelving in the garage
  • Extra refrigerators or freezers (possibly kept in the garage)
  • Detached storage sheds
  • Children's playsets and trampolines
  • Decorative water fountains/bird baths
  • Decorative hose reels/artwork mounted to exterior of home
  • Non-permanent landscape lighting
  • Basketball poles/backboards

While this list is not intended to be comprehensive, it is intended to remind Buyers that what they see is not always what they get.

An experienced Buyer's Agent can help you make sure closing day is one filled with warm chocolate chip cookies and a celebratory glass of wine instead of tears or frustration.

If you or someone you know is in need of an agent who is a stickler for details, I'd welcome the opportunity to earn the business. References from happy Buyers who have had the Plasma on the wall (amongst other things) when they closed are readily available upon request!

LaShawn Norden, PA, ALHS, REALTOR, RE/MAX Central Realty, (321) 377-0157,

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Comments (31)

Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Great points indeed, but I always let them deal with it outside the closing. But your totally right if you're going to negotiate these things in the deal.

Dec 04, 2008 12:49 PM
Roland Woodworth
Blue Cord Realty - Clarksville, TN
Blue Cord Realty

Melody.. this is so true.. thanks for the re-blog as I missed the original post

Dec 04, 2008 01:31 PM
John Douglas
Berkshire Hathaway HomServices Partners Realty - Bowling Green, KY


If it is not in writing it is  no good never know this could end up in court so if not in writing

you lose.

Dec 04, 2008 02:27 PM
Brenda Harmon
Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas - College Station, TX


You are right.  Put it in the offer.


You might not think you are selling furniture until there is a dispute.


I can understand a pool table but a car?

Dec 04, 2008 02:48 PM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Good list of items for buyers and their agents to be aware of when writing offers. It's no fun to a nice set of surround sound speakers when you make the offer, and then bare wires hanging from the wall at the final walk through. A little attention to detail up front can alleviate that.

Dec 04, 2008 02:51 PM
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

Thats kind of funny actually........the tv a fixture huh......? they seriously expected it to stay?  Actually the reminder about being specific and explaining the difference between attachments/inclusions and personal property is a great idea!

And..........TEXANS have been wonderful!  I've yet to met one that wasn't sweet and delightful.........I already knew they were one of my fav bunches on a/r.........but in person they're fantastic too! 

Dec 04, 2008 03:38 PM
Benita Gottfried
New Vision Interiors LLC - Hopatcong, NJ

It is amazing what people are unaware of. I think that expecting the tv to still be there on the final walk through was a bit wierd. The only way to be sure is to have it written, even if the sellers verbally agree to leave a specific item behind.

Dec 04, 2008 10:20 PM
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

I don't have a problem with it in the contract as long as it's in writing but I would still rather it be separate from the sale of the property. There can always be a dispute if the condition of the item isn't the same...scratches..etc. I would rather just sell the RE and not look to put a value on a TV or a piece of my experience it can also change the appraisal.

Dec 04, 2008 10:35 PM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

No one likes personal property disputes. I mean really, closing days are meant to be "happy days"

You are so right and it's always best to disclose, discuss and get everything in writing. It's the unprofessional behavior of agents that results in petty squabbles that over shadow the big picture!

Congrats on the "FEATURE"

Dec 04, 2008 11:12 PM
Lauren Krady Lancaster
Keller Williams Realty - Lancaster, PA
PA Realtor

Always get it in writing, better safe than sorry! 

Dec 05, 2008 12:06 AM
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Great point !  These little things can cause a good deal of ogoda if not planned for in the beginning !  No reason to have a "deal-killer" over a TV or something of the like ! 

Dec 05, 2008 12:20 AM
LaShawn Norden
Keller Williams Heritage Realty - Longwood, FL
REALTOR, (321) 377-0157, Your Real Estate Advocate in Central FL

Mel~With your readers & my readers, we earned a STAR! Yipee! Thanks again for the re-blog. It's nice to know others have found this information helpful!

Dec 05, 2008 01:47 AM
Kathy Kooyman
Home Realty - Pella, IA

Melody,  Thanks for your warm welcom.  I look forward to getting to know you better.

Dec 05, 2008 02:08 AM
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,

Hi Melody:

How true - How true. Put everything in the contract!

One of my first deals, I had a situation with a "wall" a/c unit.  That will never happen to me again...


Dec 05, 2008 04:44 AM
Gail MacMillan
Titusville, FL

Hi Mel - Really good reminder, it's so easy to overlook some of these items.  I always ask my customer one last time if there's anything else that should be in the contract...I don't want to be solely responsible.

Hey - you did pretty good with this reblog...very nice!

Gail MacMillan Titusville FL Real Estate

Dec 07, 2008 02:03 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Mel, I've been mostly out of the rain for a while but this caught my eye in going back.  I guess everything should be in writing--I've heard of people arguing over the curtains :)

Dec 07, 2008 08:50 AM
Kathy Kooyman
Home Realty - Pella, IA

Melody, I have a new one to add to the list, I had someone ask for the dog collar that goes with the underground fence.   The sellers didn't give it as it was made especially for their dog.  That was a new one.

Dec 15, 2008 01:12 AM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Why not ask for the TV-  have you ever seen what it takes to get one of those things off the wall.  Talk about a repair list,  just re sheetrock the whole wall


Dec 15, 2008 01:24 AM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Why not ask for the TV-  have you ever seen what it takes to get one of those things off the wall.  Talk about a repair list,  just re sheetrock the whole wall


Dec 15, 2008 01:25 AM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Why not ask for the TV-  have you ever seen what it takes to get one of those things off the wall.  Talk about a repair list,  just re sheetrock the whole wall


Dec 15, 2008 01:26 AM