What is included when you buy a home?

Window with curtainWhen you are buying a home, you would like to know what is included in the sale at the time you make an offer.  If you are working with an Arizona Realtor®,  he or she will use the AAR Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract.    The contract has a place on page two where you can indicate whether or not you want the washer, dryer, and/or refrigerator included.  If the home has more than one of these appliances, be sure to describe the one that you want included in the purchase.  It can be helpful to include serial numbers and model numbers of the appliances when possible.


The contract also specifies that all existing fixtures on the Premises and any existing personal property included in this list will be included in the sale:  free-standing range-oven; ceiling fans; attached floor coverings; window and door screens; sun screens; garage door openers and controls; outdoor landscaping, fountains and lighting; gas or wood-burning stoves; storage sheds; light fixtures; towel, curtain, and drapery rods; flush-mounted speakers; storm windows and doors; attached media antennas/satellite dishes; attached fireplace equipment; timers; draperies and other window coverings; shutters & awnings; water-misting systems; solar systems; mailbox; central vacuum; and built-in appliances.


It is important to understand that leased items like solar and satellite dishes are probably not going to be included unless you work out a way to take over the lease of those items.  Also, this only applies to existing fixtures.  If the seller does not have a garage door opener, he is not obligated to provide one.  Many cars now come with built in garage remotes so some owners no longer have separate remotes.


If you are a seller and there is something you want to keep that is currently a fixture, the best thing to do is remove it prior to showing.  If you have a chandelier in the dining room that you want to take with you, remove it and replace it with another light fixture prior to showing.  If you haven’t done this, then you need to make sure that language is added to the contract stating that the particular item(s) do not convey.


One area of confusion comes in when the mls information sheet says something different from the contract.  The contract will prevail.  If there is something important on the mls sheet that you want included or excluded, it needs to be written into the contract at the time of the offer.


Please note:  this information applies to home purchases in Arizona using a Realtor®.