Should a House on the Market Include Appliances?

When the time comes to put their house on the market, sellers must decide which appliances will be included with the sale. As a part of the listing process, real estate agents will ask if sellers have specific items they wish to expressly include.

When the time comes to put their house on the market, sellers need to decide which appliances will be included with the sale. As a part of the listing process, real estate agents will ask if sellers have specific items they wish to expressly include or exclude in marketing materials. Also, the Pennsylvania Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement contains a section on appliances and other equipment. This section must be completed to assist in answering potential buyers’ questions. Sellers don’t need to reach final resolutions about appliances until the terms of the agreement of sale are hammered out, but they should begin thinking about which household items they will leave behind before listing their home.

Including Appliances Helps Sell Homes in a Buyers’ Market

In Pennsylvania, sellers typically leave any appliance physically built into a kitchen. This usually means ovens, dishwashers, and microwaves (if mounted under a cabinet or affixed to a wall). Washers, dryers, and refrigerators are typically not included in a sale unless specifically included by the seller or separately requested by the buyer.

However, if you live in a neighborhood with a superabundance of homes on the market, adding extra appliances to sweeten the deal may tilt a sale in your favor. You may also want to note that appliances are “negotiable” on your listing sheet and let buyers take the initiative to ask for something they would like left in the home.

Custom Sizing

Custom-built or -sized items in your home, such as mini-refrigerators installed under a counter, stools that fit perfectly beneath an island, or a refrigerator/freezer with wood panels matching the kitchen cabinetry are examples of items that may be included in a home sale. Gas dryers may also be left behind if they currently use gas power and the seller’s new home has an electric hookup, or vice versa. Including extra appliances — especially when the buyer is a first-time homeowner — generates goodwill. The end result may also be more efficient for sellers, who can avoid moving an item that will only be taking up storage space in another home.

Sentimental Value

Sometimes, certain appliances have a special meaning to the owner. Possibly your washer and dryer were wedding gifts or were passed down from relatives. Other home items, such as unique antique lighting fixtures or handmade window treatments, may also have sentimental value. If so, it is important to bring these items to your real estate agent’s attention before you put your house on the market. Your agent will ensure that serious buyers understand which items will be excluded from the sale, even if excluding those items is outside the realm of tradition. By doing so, sellers will avoid conflicts in the buying process. Maintaining an open line of communication between buyers, sellers, and real estate agents is the best way to ensure a home sale goes smoothly, so do not be afraid to discuss specific items before all parties reach the settlement table.

 

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Jennifer DiGiovanni is a freelance writer and a partner in a real estate investment firm focusing on residential properties. She previously worked in the financial services industry and has earned an MBA from Villanova University. Jennifer enjoys writing about real estate, home improvement and small business.

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