When you’re buying or selling a home, it is essential that you have a complete understanding of what is being transferred from the seller to the buyer.
Some improvements and accessories convey with the home, and some things must be explicitly specified. While it may seem straightforward, be sure to read your contract thoroughly.
We’re going to dive into what convey means in real estate and what you can expect when conducting a real estate transaction in the State of Texas.
Items that inherently convey.
When you’re buying a home in Texas, some things inherently convey, although they are not specified within the Non-Realty Items Addendum.
These are improvements or accessories included in the house as stated in paragraphs 2B and 2C in the One to Four Family Residential Contract. They are expected to be transferred to the buyer – unless otherwise specified.
For example, all appliances in the kitchen except the refrigerator, convey to the property. What does that mean? The stove, dishwasher, trash compactor, and built-in microwave all go with the home when it’s sold. These don’t need to be written into the contract.
Now, if the refrigerator does sell with the home, it has to be specified, which we’ll cover shortly.
Here are some examples of items that convey-
- Shed built on a concrete slab. You put sweat equity into your backyard shed, but it stays with the house if it’s on a concrete slab. The seller can take standalone sheds without a foundation.
- Curtain rods and blinds. If it’s nailed or screwed into a wall, it goes with the house. You’ll be able to take your beautiful burgundy drapes, but the curtain rods and blinds get left behind.
- Lighting and plumbing fixtures. If you have a family heirloom chandelier you want to take with you, be sure to specify that it does not convey with the property.
- Landscaping and shrubbery. You’d be amazed; some people want to take the bushes they’ve grown with them. However, they’re considered part of the home and must stay.
- Security systems. They are considered permanently installed and naturally conveyed with the property if they’re screwed into the soffit or anywhere else.
Think of it this way. If you could pick up the house, flip it upside down, and shake it – anything remaining would be included in the home sale.
However, there is a way to request those items that end up falling out.
What can you request to convey with your home purchase?
There’s a saying in real estate; everything is negotiable.
Just about everything can be negotiated with the home sale. However, don’t hold your breath. Sellers are not obligated to accept an offer that includes something they’re unwilling to part with.
One of the most common conveyances is the refrigerator. Why wouldn’t you want the matching fridge to go with the rest of the kitchen appliances?
However, I’ve seen it accidentally skipped before.
Other items that are commonly conveyed include furniture, curtains, and televisions. Why? Because when a buyer walks through a home, they realize that these pieces make the house beautiful and want them to grace the home when they take possession.
In one home I sold in Nolanville, the family walked through and loved the barstools at the island. They were beautiful wrought iron and leather. The buyer wanted these and added them to the offer. The seller initially didn’t want to let them go but counter-offered with a price that included the barstools, and the buyer was able to keep them with the house.
Are there exclusions as to what conveys?
Of course! In the Texas One to Four Family Residential Contract, paragraph 2D, sellers can specify what they would like to keep. These exclusions would typically convey, but the seller wants to retain them.
The seller can elect to keep these items, whether it is the stove, security systems, shrubbery, or anything else that would generally transfer with the home.
These non-realty items must be agreed upon in the contract and removed from the property before closing.
Just because it’s listed in the MLS doesn’t mean it will convey.
Anything stated in an advertisement or listed on the MLS is not enforceable like in the contract. This is why I tell my sellers to take down items they intend to keep before taking any photos of the home and any showings.
That family heirloom chandelier I mentioned earlier, my recommendation is to take it down and replace it with another light fixture before photos.
You wouldn’t want to mislead the buyers into thinking they will get it and surprise them when you exclude it in the contract.
As for the buyers, I will draw their attention to anything they might miss in the contract. Please don’t assume anything in this industry; be sure to list it in the agreement or addendum.
This is why both buyers and sellers must have an experienced real estate agent working on their behalf.
Adding chattel to the non-realty addendum.
When buyers want to keep stuff in the home, they must request it using the Non-Realty Items Addendum. It’s a simple form that lists the items and goes to the seller with the contract.
The buyer will include a price and what they’d like to keep. If applicable, the list must be precise, with thorough descriptions and serial numbers. So just adding “couch” isn’t good enough. It has to be clear as to what it is the buyer wants.
Remember those barstools I mentioned earlier? During negotiations, the seller had mentioned they paid $1,200 for them. With that, my buyer offered $1,000 for the stools, and the seller accepted the offer. This was on top of the original proposal, so essentially the seller sold the chairs to my buyer.
The biggest takeaway is that everything is negotiable regarding real estate. Sure, some non-realty items convey, but the seller can specify exclusions, and the buyer can specify what they would like added.
Everything has a price. It’s just a matter of coming together on an offer that both parties are comfortable with. Hopefully, you now have an understanding of what convey means in regards to real estate.