Overland Park Home Buyers

buying a home - what stays

Buying a Home – What Stays and What Goes?

When looking at homes to buy in Overland Park, home buyers oftentimes start asking what stays and what goes? They start focusing on the seller’s own personal property and will ask me things like, “Does the mirror stay?” If it’s a huge wall mirror on the landing going to the upstairs, you can probably assume it will stay. To be on the safe side, check with the listing agent to verify.

Does this help or hurt the transaction? It depends. It can send a seller into a tirade if the property is a family heirloom or has a special meaning to them personally.

A few years ago, I was working with a seller who was selling the house after her late husband had passed away. The buyer asked for a chair that the seller’s late husband had bought her for their 40th wedding anniversary. I thought we would never get back to the matter at hand…selling the house.

The best rule of thumb is, if it is attached, it should stay with the house. This includes bathroom mirrors, light fixtures, and built in shelving. The seller’s disclosure should indicate whether or not the sellers are leaving the refrigerator and other items so there is no confusion.

If you are selling and want to keep a certain light fixture or attached bathroom mirror, replace them before you put the house on the market. Buyers can’t ask for what they don’t see.

Years ago, when I sold one of my houses, the buyer asked for the stainless steel work table that was in my kitchen. That was a piece of furniture that the buyer said she had to have if she was going to buy my house.

As a buyer, it’s always best not to ask for personal property when making the offer on a house. Typically, that could make the seller mad and could throw off the whole offer. On the other hand, many lenders won’t allow personal property to be written into the sales contract – even if it’s a refrigerator or washer or dryer.

Typically in the Overland Park real estate market, the refrigerator, washer and dryer usually don’t stay unless it’s indicated in the Seller’s Disclosure. But to ask the seller for things they haven’t offered to leave can be risky – especially if it’s the seller’s own personal property. This should not be part of negotiating the contract. Any personal property should be negotiated between the buyer and seller and only after the contract is agreed upon.

I recently had buyers ask for the bar stools at the kitchen counter as well as the kitchen table be left for the buyer. Unfortunately, I informed the buyer’s agent that these things were on loan to “stage the house” and didn’t even belong to the seller.

The main thing to remember is you are buying a house (not the possessions) and you should also consider the seller’s feelings just as you would expect them to respect yours.

When buying a house or selling a house in Overland Park, it’s an emotional time for everyone and each buyer and seller needs to feel they are winning. It must be a win-win for both parties. If it all goes one way, it could be a very long road to get to closing.

In any negotiation process, all parties need to be treated fairly and with honesty. Remember that when you are buying a house. It will take you a lot further. Respect is still the order of the day and if all parties honor that, everyone will come out a winner and will be happy with the results of the transaction.

Buying a home starts with having a clear plan of how things work. Our next FREE one hour home buyer workshop is on August 23rd in Overland Park. If you are thinking of buying a home soon, this is a must attend event for you. You can sign up by calling me direct at (913) 515-3250 or get your buying process started here.

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