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Plan Ahead: What You Can And Can’t Take With You

The thought of listing your home for sale can be stressful for so many reasons. The sentimental value of your home and memories alone can overwhelm you. Then consider any repairs that need to be made, staging and ultimately packing! Is your head spinning yet?

Well, here’s another item to add to your list: What you can and can’t take with you. Many people preparing to list their home don’t even consider this, but take it from me, it’s important…yes, there’s more tales of woe from my move! When we listed our home, I assumed we had to leave everything mounted in place behind. I didn’t work in my current position yet, so I was a bit naïve, like most sellers. When preparing our listing, there was no conversation about including or excluding items, so when our house went under agreement and the ink was dry on the contract it was too late. The mirror I had searched and searched for was staying behind. I had missed my opportunity to replace it.

When I came across an article covering this topic on, I felt I had to share so others planning to sell their home would be better informed. The article covers 5 rules of what you can and can’t take with you. They are:

  1. If it’s nailed down, bolted, or mounted, it probably stays behind
  2. Leave Mother Nature alone
  3. Hands off anything anchored in the ground
  4. Let go of your lighting fixtures
  5. Window treatments stay, too

The best thing you can do is talk to your realtor. They can counsel you on whether you can remove or replace an item, and even add this information to the home’s listing details if needed. Better yet, they may even have an inclusion/exclusion document for you to fill out with their help. This is an important piece of the listing packet for any sellers we work with.

To be realistic, you can’t keep everything and some things you’ll have to leave behind. As the article notes, “Don’t be petty—or you might tank the sale.” It can’t hurt to ask your realtor though, so have a list of items and at least have the conversation. You may just end up being able to take that “mirror” you love for your new home!

Photo credit: “House, Property, Real Estate For Sale Sign,” Mark Moz / Flickr.