Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Selling your home is a complex process that often takes a whole team of professionals to accomplish. On top of that, it’s very emotional to let go of the home where you’ve had so many cherished memories. It’s common to have questions about the process. You may be wondering whether your curtains and other fixtures stay or come with you when selling a home. We’ve researched to find the answer for you.
Consider curtains and drapes as personal property because they are are not physically affixed to the house, meaning you do not have to include them in the sale of the home. Because they can slide off the rod, most people classify curtains along with other non-included personal items like loose furniture and clothing.
Based on our findings, there is even more interesting information to share. Be sure to read on to find out how curtains and other personal property are affected by a home sale.
Real Estate Law Regarding Fixtures
In a real estate home sale, determine items that stay or go by default, using their status as a fixture. Real estate defines a fixture as anything permanently attached to the home. Fixtures include any items glued or screwed onto the walls, ceiling, or floors of the property. Curtains might seem attached because they go on a rod usually affixed to the wall by screws. The reality though, is that because curtains slide on and off, and they are interchangeable and considered personal property instead.
There are some exceptions to this rule based on what state the home sale is taking place. In Texas, for example, curtains are included by default. There are always some states that make exceptions to general rules or interpret fixtures differently. You can even make the curtains an item on a contract if you negotiate it with your real estate agent.
What Do You Have To Leave When You Sell A House?
If something is permanently attached to the house, it stays. Natural elements of the property always remain, such as plants, trees, and flowers growing in the ground. Objects permanently anchored to the ground are also part of the property to remain with the home. For example, a cement basketball court in the backyard stays, but a freestanding basketball hoop that is merely weighted down goes. Above-ground pools can go, but in-ground pools or pools attached to the ground by a deck must stay. Other fixtures include built-in bookshelves or desks, hardware in the bathroom, and attached mirrors. Even curtain rods and blinds are fixtures because they are affixed to the windows.
Instead of wondering what you will have to leave, it’s best to remove all your personal items before you start showing the house. That way, no-one can fall in love with your curtains or window treatments and try to negotiate them into the deal. Some people even decide to stage their home and put all new things in it to attract buyers. If you want to make your living spaces look larger and more inviting, you can read an article here about what color curtains will help do just that!
M.A.R.I.A. can Help.
Even with a seemingly simple way to define your things as fixtures or non-fixtures, many questions still arise. Things can become even more complicated if there is disagreement. Use the M.A.R.I.A acronym to identify if something is a fixture that stays with the house. Ask these questions to settle confusion or negotiate during a home sale:
- Method of Attachment – How did you attach the item to the property? Even if something is easy to remove, an item may be a fixture based on the method of installation. Affixing using nails, glue, cement, pipes, or screws classifies an item as a fixture.
- Adaptability – Can the item be removed without damage to the home? If an item has a built-in location or has become essential to a home’s structure, do not remove it.
- Relationship of the parties – Who is asking for the item? Tenants and buyers are more likely to win a dispute than sellers or landlords.
- Intention – Was the item intended to remain attached to the property permanently when installed?
- Agreement – What does the purchase agreement say? All purchase agreements have a section for detailing what is and is not included with the home.
Can I Take Shelves When I Sell My House?
Whether to include shelves with the house can be tricky. You may have loose shelves that sit on screwed-in brackets; arguably, the shelves are personal property. Many houses have bookshelves built into the walls. Built-in style shelving stays with the house because the shelving is integral to the structure. In situations where there may be confusion, it is best to include it in the contract or home listing. That way, the distribution of included and non-included items is evident to buyers before visiting the house.
Do You Leave Shower Curtains When You Move?
Shower curtains are widely understood to not stay with the house. They are commonly low-value, an item sellers typically do not intend to bring. It’s also not likely that shower curtains will leave a big impression on buyers to sway them into buying the house. Still, it’s always best to change out anything you want to take with you as a seller so that buyers see the house as they will receive it. For some shower curtain inspiration, you can check out this article.
Do Light Fixtures Stay When You Sell A House?
Light fixtures are attached permanently, and so always stay with the house. Lighting has screws affixed to the walls or ceiling and a cable connection to the electrical system. Unlike some other parts of the house that are ambiguous, lighting fixtures are straightforward in their permanence. Even still, living rooms chandeliers are often special enough for sellers to add to the contract just to be certain the chandelier can be removed.
The Way of the Contract
All of the details we discussed today, what stays and what goes in a home sale can be altered based on the contract. When a buyer submits a purchase offer they can require that anything they saw is included with the purchase – even those precious antique curtains! It’s up to you to accept that offer or to deny it if it includes something you don’t want to let go. When there are no special requests though, you can rely on the rules and guidelines we showed you today to better understand what stays and what goes.