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Selling Your Home? A Warning About Attachments

Before you list you home for sale, determine what you don't want to leave behind.

Our friends sold their home for full price and moved out a few days before closing.

The next day they received an angry call from the selling agent telling them that they had to bring a mirror back before the sale would close. When the home buyers did their final walk through, they refused to make their down payment because a large mirror had been taken down.

This mirror, an antique family heirloom, was never considered by the sellers as part of the sale. The seller refused to give her grandmother's mirror back.

However, their sales contract, a standard Home Purchase Contract with Terms and Conditions, included all attachments. The mirror was considered by the buyers and their agent as part of the sale. The mirror did not hang like a painting on a nail. The heavy mirror had been screwed into the wall with the screw heads covered with fancy wooden circles cut to match the wood frame.

The buyers refused to budge. Our friends refused to budge protesting that their listing agent knew the mirror had belonged to the seller's grandmother. (Their agent was a family member.) The sellers pointed out that their agent should have told them that the mirror was considered "attached." After three days of quibbling and negotiations, the listing agent agreed to forfeit $3,000 of her commission and the sellers dropped the price by $2,000.

Decide what goes to your next home and what you agree to leave behind, before you offer your home for sale. Take down any attachments that you don't want to part with, such as any item screwed into a wall or a light fixture permanently wired. What a home buyer doesn't see, they won't expect to buy with your home.

Copyright 2005 Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Jeanette Fisher teaches real estate investing and interior design college courses. She is the author of "Sell Your Home for Top Dollar--FAST! Design Psychology for Redesign and Home Staging" and other books. For a free report, "Design Psychology for Selling Houses," visit

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