When selling a home, you have to decide which appliances and fixtures you intend to include in the contract, and which to take with you to your next residence.
NJ Association of Realtors’ Standard Contract of Sale contains a section where these items, called “inclusions” and “exclusions,” are listed. Many fixtures are deemed included in the sale unless otherwise specified. Notable exceptions are washer, dryer, and refrigerator. Since they can be unplugged and removed, and can vary greatly in cost, sellers must decide if they want to keep those appliances.
It makes sense to be clear up front, when advertising the home, whether appliances are included. Some sellers like to reserve items like washer, dryer, and refrigerator to be negotiated at a later point. For a closing to go smoothly, and to avoid violating lending regulations, all questions should be resolved well before final figures are calculated.
Practically speaking, large appliances are expensive and difficult to move. The probability of damage is high. Consider this: when a new appliance is delivered, it comes in a custom carton with ample protective packaging. Items are secured both inside and outside, to keep interior parts from jostling and breakage. Installers know how to remove interior attachments, such as drum bolts inside a washer, and properly connect appliances for immediate use. When you hire a moving company, they should do their best to protect your possessions, but they don’t necessarily have the knowledge or the custom materials that a major appliance manufacturer has. Also, the expense of packing and moving heavy appliances may exceed their value. In my experience, large appliances are a wild card in the moving process. It’s a common and disruptive occurrence to reconnect a washer in a new home, and then find that it no longer works. Check your warranty: it may be transferable to a new owner, but not valid if you move.
Every moving situation is unique, and like anything in a property purchase or sale, individual circumstances must be considered. If appliances are in good working condition, I usually advise they be included in the sale of a home. Your refrigerator is not as excited about the prospect of moving as you may be! With so many time-consuming tasks to accomplish in any move, leaving major appliances in place is likely to create the best outcome for both buyers and sellers.
Local expert Johanna Wiseman of RE/MAX Preferred Professionals can be reached at 908-705-0652, or visit www.MyBridgewaterHome.com