When homeowners sell their homes, they often take things that their buyers thought would be left behind. For example, doorknobs or light fixtures can go missing. The last thing that a new homeowner wants to deal with is replacing these “permanent” fixtures in the home, but people have differing opinions on what constitutes personal property.

Common Items of Contention

1. Window Air Conditioner:

It may not seem obvious whether or not a homeowner should take the air conditioning. A good rule of thumb is that you should not leave any gaping holes in the walls as you leave. If it is a window unit, go ahead and remove it. If it is installed in the wall, leave it be.

2. Landscaping:

Landscaping can be expensive, but it is also a selling point of the home. If a buyer views the home with beautiful shrubbery and colorful perennials, they should move into a home with a similar appearance. If there is one plant that has sentimental value to you, dig it up prior to showing the home and put it in a pot. This will eliminate confusion.

3. Basketball Hoop:

Basketball hoops are not always personal property. If they are permanently mounted on a post cemented into the ground, it stays. But feel free to take mobile hoops.

4. Window Treatments:

If your curtains match your couch or other interior items, change them prior to showing the home. If you have blinds, leave them be. How you show your home is how the home looks in which the buyer expects to move.

5. Light Fixtures:

Light fixtures stay. Again, if you really are in love with one fixture and want to take it with you, remove it and replace it prior to showing the home.


1. It is illegal to remove some items from the house after showing it and agreeing to sell it as the buyer saw it. Therefore, if something needs to be removed, do it prior to showing the home.

2. Get over little things like how you will afford another air conditioner or find a fixture like the one you previously had. This is petty, and the items don’t really matter in the whole scheme of things. Is it worth losing a sale?

3. Lastly, communicate. If you are going to take a fixture, make sure the buyers know and have it in writing. There is nothing better than getting it in writing. This avoids conflict and allows you to take cherished items without fear of recourse.

It’s hard to let go of some things, but selling a home is a fresh start. Let it go, and move on to your new adventure.