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First-time Las Vegas home buyer

Elizabeth, a first-time Las Vegas home buyer was thrilled to be finally moving into her new home.

The day arrived, the movers were there on time and, for the first time since the final walk-through, she opened the door to her first Las Vegas home.

Since she had a case of water bottles with her, she headed straight for the refrigerator to ensure they were kept cool for her hard-working crew.

But there was no refrigerator – just an empty space where it stood just weeks earlier during the walk-through. Elizabeth panicked. The stove was there and the built-in microwave above it. The dishwasher was there.

She then ran to the laundry room, only to find empty spaces where that gorgeous washer and dryer once stood. Elizabeth grabbed her phone to call her real estate agent.  Her agent promptly told her that those appliances weren’t included in the sale.

“If you wanted them, you should have said something and we could’ve negotiated with the seller.”

Elizabeth was, again, a first-time Las Vegas home buyer. She had no idea that appliances were something that needed to be “negotiated.”  After all, as a tenant, they were always in the homes she rented.

The tragic fact is that Elizabeth, like many new homeowners, spent all of her savings on the down payment and closing costs.  She had nothing left to pay for appliances. Thankfully, her parents stepped up with an offer of a loan.

It’s the buyer’s agent’s job to educate his or her clients about a process they may find completely foreign. To have neglected to do so, and then blame Elizabeth for his shortcomings, is unprofessional and just plain unfair.

Why aren’t appliances included in the purchase price?

Sometimes they are. Many times, they are not, and here’s why: if they aren’t built-in, they are considered “personal property.”

When you buy a home, you are buying “real property,” which is the land, the home and anything else permanently affixed to either.

A rose bush planted in the backyard is considered a “fixture,” because it is affixed to the land.

A rose bush planted in a pot on the patio, on the other hand, isn’t a fixture, it is personal property and may or may not be included in the sale of the home.

Other examples of fixtures include:

  • Chandeliers that are attached to the ceiling
  • An outbuilding, such as a shed
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting (but not the throw rug that isn’t glued to the floor)
  • Garage door opener

If the item is glued, nailed, bolted or otherwise attached to the home, it is typically considered a fixture and must be included in the sale of the home. But, there’s a “butt.”

The seller can exclude items from the sale by mentioning it in the listing agreement and MLS listing or the purchase agreement. It turns out that the washer, dryer, and refrigerator in Elizabeth’s new home, were excluded in the purchase agreement.

Elizabeth isn’t a lawyer and was depending on her real estate agent to decipher what she was reading before she signed it.  A thoughtful buyer’s agent will always discuss the appliances and what else conveys with the purchase.

Yes, first-time Las Vegas home buyer, you can ask that personal property be included in the sale

Here at LasVegasRealEstate.com, we have heard some pretty funny stories from Realtors about the crazy things some home buyers have asked sellers to leave behind.

From wanting the seller’s family dog to requesting that the entire contents of a home (even soap and toilet paper) be included in the sale, everything is negotiable.

The sellers are under no obligation to include any personal property in the sale of their home.  And, depending on the type of market and how motivated they are, they may hold firm during negotiations. With that said, there’s no harm in asking, right?

Keep this in mind if you’re thinking of selling your home. If you want to hang on to your great-grandmother’s chandelier (or anything affixed to the home), remove it.  Then, replace it with something else before the home goes on the market.

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