Non-Realty Items & Exclusions

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Buyers & sellers should understand the definition of a non-realty item before going under contract. The Non-Realty Addendum is used for items that are not included in the sa­­­­le of the home. Common examples are refrigerator, washer & dryer, draperies, wine fridge (if not built-in), lawn furniture, potted plants. Anything not attached to the home is not included in the sale, unless included on a Non-Realty Addendum to the sales contract. Conversely, anything attached to the home is included in the sale, unless seller has excluded in the sales contract.  A good rule of thumb to determine whether something is a fixture (attached); if it takes a screwdriver to remove, it’s a fixture and conveys with the home. If it is hung with a nail, it’s not a fixture and does not convey with the home. If it’s only attached by an electric plug, it is not a fixture and does not convey. The most commonly misunderstood items are wall mounted TV’s, speakers, bookshelves, wall shelving, wine fridges (that appear to be built-in), garage work benches, and drapery. The drapery rods are attached so included but the drapery is not so excluded from sale. Same goes for wall mount & TV, mount included, TV, not included. Speaker mounts included, speakers not included because these items can be removed from the fixture, they are not screwed in or attached to the fixture. If you are buying a home with a pool, the pool cleaning equipment, chemicals, accessories, umbrellas, are not included.  As a buyer, anything that isn’t attached should be included in the Non-Realty Item Addendum if you want the owner to leave it. Of course, these items are negotiable, so the seller is under no obligation to agree. It is always better to include items that could be taken by seller due to a misunderstanding of what constitutes a fixture. As a seller, it’s important to exclude fixtures that you want to take. Anything attached that you do not exclude no longer belongs to you once the home closes. If you realize something wasn’t excluded in the contract before closing, hopefully the buyers will be kind enough to allow an amendment to the contract. The buyer can say no to adding the item but, in most cases, the seller buyer will accept a seller credit if it’s something of value. If it’s purely sentimental or not an important component of the home, most buyers will be fine with an amendment to exclude with no seller concession. Be sure your agent includes all exclusions (and anything that may be questionable) in the sales contract to avoid a costly mistake or misunderstanding.

Rod is attached to the wall therefore stays with the home unless excluded by seller. The curtain panels are not atached therefore they do not convey with the home. 
TV mount is a fixture therefore should not be removed by seller (unless excluded). The TV is not attached, therefore does not convey with home. 
Wine fridge appears to be built in but technically, it is not attached, therefore, should be included on a non-realty form. This applies to ranges as well.
Bookshelves & media centers can be very deceiving. If not anchored or attached to the wall, it must be included in a non-realty item. 

If you are unsure about an item, safest bet is to put it in writing. As a buyer, be sure your agent includes a Non-Realty Item Addendum with items specified. As a seller, exclusions should be included in the listing and on the sales contract. 

The key to a smooth transaction is communication, something both sides will appreciate.

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