But, I want to keep it!

Ryan Coffey

A big part of listing your home is making it look its best. A big part of that is putting certain items in view that bring out the better qualities of the home. Something like how a lady wearing the right necklace can be just enough to make her look great. In real estate, we call this ‘staging’.

When people list their home for sale, there is often a large and beautiful item that has sentimental value or is expensive, rare, unique, hard to find etc. that is sitting in plain view that adds appeal to the home. These items are typically things like beautiful new appliances, a fancy light fixture, a stained glass window or a wine rack for example. Something that never ceases to amaze me is how things like this where the value is measured in hundreds of dollars can potentially derail the negotiation over a property that is measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

You see, the dilemma is this: Such appealing items make the property as a whole more appealing as well. As our goal is to sell the property at the best price possible, rather than for ten or twenty thousand dollars less, this is something we simply need to do.

If the Seller doesn’t mind parting with it for the right price, then during negotiations one can say “Well, I really wanted to keep that item… but I’ll include it if you give me x amount more than you just offered.” This sort of thing is done quite often. However, beware that it may turn against you as once included items have been discussed, the buyer will more often than not insist on getting them even if the price you come to later is lower.

So, if you must keep it and you want to make sure that you don’t get caught up in extra drama, then I have a simple suggestion: Put a note on it. For example: “This stained glass window is not included in the sale of the property.” This way, people don’t have a chance to include the item in their dreams before you try to snatch it away. They are more likely to think that the stained glass window, or whatever, is a great thing to put in the house and plan to do it themselves…someday.

Perhaps the follwoing should be a seperate post, but it’s quite closely related so here’s the caveat: As a Seller you need to understand that if it is attached to the property by anything more than its own weight, (screws, nails, glue, or anything) then it is by default part of the property. Also, any kind of window covering is mentioned in the standard contract so curtains, blinds and the like must also be left behind unless it is specifically stateds in the contract that this is not the case.

Ryan Coffey