What is an exclusion in a real estate contract? What is an inclusion? Both of these refer to fixtures at the property which is for sale.

Curtains and blinds are usually considered to be fixtures

Generally speaking, a fixture is any item affixed or attached to the house, townhouse, condo or property which is installed with the intention that it be there permanently. For example, cabinets in the bathroom, kitchen or elsewhere are fixtures. So are lights mounted from the ceiling, built-in ovens, in-ground (not potted) rose bushes.  The exception to the rule is anything attached solely for earthquake safety.  This would be the case if you have a large hutch which you have bolted to the wall so that it doesn’t topple in the case of a big quake. In Silicon Valley, fixtures are normally included with the sale of the home.

Exclusions refer to fixtures which the seller does not want to include with the sale of the real property (real estate).  For instance, there may be a light fixture in the dining room which is a family heirloom and the seller does not want to leave it with the house.  It would be noted either in the MLS, with a note at the property or mentioned when the buyer’s agent calls the listing agent to ask about offer instructions. Other examples could be a special fireplace screen, curtains in one or more rooms (may match a bedspread or other decor), or even a rose bush in the garden that has sentimental value.

Inclusions refer to personal property (property which is not affixed) which the seller will leave even though it is not required since it’s not attached.  Commonly we see refrigerators, washers and dryers included, even when they are not attached.  Sometimes furniture may be negotiated also, such as patio dining set, a sofa or perhaps a very large dining table that won’t fit into the seller’s new house, but fits where it is perfectly.

It is important to note that if an inclusion is mentioned in the MLS, it still should be written into the purchase agreement if the buyer wants it (and this is written into the contract form as a reminder). Otherwise the seller is free to donate, share or sell those items.

When in doubt as to whether or not something is included or excluded from the sale, always ask before writing or accepting a contract to avoid unhappy surprises or conflicts later!

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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805

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