When you buy a pre-owned home, how do you know what will come with the house? Today I’ll explain how to know what you’re getting when you buy.

Selling your home? Get a home value report here

Looking to buy a home? Search all local homes for sale here

When you buy a pre-owned home, do you know what will come with the house? Do you get to keep all the appliances? The art on the walls? The patio grill?


In truth, determining what will stay with the home and what will go with the home’s previous owner will vary by seller and by contract. Here’s how to determine what comes with the home you’re considering:


“If it takes a screwdriver to remove, it’s considered attached and part of the home.”


1. Check the listing information. Even though it is in the listing, the MLS information, or on the flyers, it still needs to be on the contract, as well. The main question is whether the feature or object is attached to the home. Here’s the general screwdriver rule of thumb: If it takes a screwdriver to remove, it’s considered attached and part of the home. This includes light fixtures, shelves, gas fireplaces, locks, and even curtain rods and TV brackets. If it’s hung on a nail, it’s removable and likely not a part of the sale.


2. Talk to your lender. If the seller agrees to include big-ticket items that are personal property, then your lender needs to know. Depending on the type of loan you have, it could affect the appraisal or change the value of the property. Some lenders don’t like to see personal property on the contracts; it’s not real estate, and it’s removable from the contract. Unless the seller specified the washer and dryer in their listing and the contract, you should assume they’re not included. As for things like the patio grill, if it’s built into the patio, it’s probably already built into the listing price and included in the contract.


If you have any questions about determining what’s included with a home when you buy it, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to our next conversation.



This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.