An acquaintance of mine, upon buying a home in Portland, came to an agreement with the seller that the washer and dryer would be part of the purchase and would remain at the home.

But when my acquaintance took possession of the home, lo and behold, the washer and dryer were gone. The appliances were old and weren’t that valuable, but their absence compelled him to buy a new washer and dryer sooner than he wanted to.

This anecdote illustrates the importance of a buyer and a seller understanding what property stays and what goes when a home is sold. Terms such as “real property” and “personal property” are in play here and are good to keep in mind. The most important thing to remember, however, is to spell everything out in writing.

As this article from the Money Instructor notes, real property goes to the buyer and personal property stays with the seller. Real property encompasses the land and anything attached to it – including, of course, the home. Personal property “includes items that are not intended to be permanently fixed.”

But what about so-called fixtures – ceiling fans, pantry shelving, decorative lighting? Now we’re in the gray area.

From the Money Instructor:

– “If the item is nailed, cemented, bolted, or otherwise attached in such a manner that removal would be destructive to the property, it probably would be part of the real property” and hence would remain with the house.

– “If an item was specifically fitted or designed for a particular location in a home, the argument could be made that this is a permanent part of the property.” That would go to the buyer.

– Finally, there is intent. If an advertisement for the home touted “new washer and dryer,” that is an indication that the seller intended to include them in the sale of the home.

When completing a deal for a house in Bend, Oregon, there can be a mindset among both buyers and sellers that a don’t-make-waves attitude is best, and that all parties involved will have everyone else’s well-being in mind.

Maybe. Maybe not. But understand that with the stakes involved in the purchase or sale of a house, you can’t afford to assume that the other side has your interests in mind. If your satisfaction with an offer is predicated on a certain piece of property, specify in the contract the disposition of the property. Leave nothing to chance or interpretation.

An experienced, ethical Realtor can help make sure you don’t have any surprises when it comes to property staying with a home or leaving with the seller. To learn more about how I can assist you in your transaction, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.