Column: When you sell your house, know what’s included |

Column: When you sell your house, know what’s included

When you are ready to sell, it may be time to go through the house and really understand what is included and not included in the sale of your home. The general rule of thumb is that if it’s “attached,” it stays with the property. What does “attached” really mean? Well, in real estate, it means permanently connected.

You are safe to assume that it isn’t necessary to go through and spell out what seems like the obvious, such as wiring, plumbing, carpet, garage door openers and other items that make the home livable, as those items are already specified in the language in the contract. However, there are certainly gray areas that should be addressed.

Yes, built-in appliances are on that automatic inclusions list, but what if the refrigerator is freestanding? What about the 65-inch flat panel that is technically attached to the wall? How about the mirror in the bathroom that your Aunt Jane gave you for your wedding gift that was attached with 2-sided tape? What about the washer and dryer? These may all be items you might assume would go with you or could be included in a purchase.

Talk to your Realtor about this before you list your home or make an offer on a property. Take the time to go through the house and exclude items you want to keep, or, if you’re buying, include in your offer the items that may be in question that you want as part of the purchase. Sorry to say folks, but the days of handshake agreements are long gone. Never assume, and when in doubt, get it in writing.

I think you get the gist of inclusions and exclusions.

Moving on, I had something come up this month, and I wanted to take this opportunity to bring to everyone’s attention.

I had a phone call from my mother a few weeks ago … the typical, “So I have a question.” Automatically, I look at my calendar to see when I have time to stop by her house to fix something. But this time her carbon monoxide detector was chirping. Immediately, I told her she was not moving in. She did the right thing to contact me. She should remove herself from the premises right away and to contact the fire department.

Some of you may recall a family visiting in Aspen, all of whom passed away in a rental home back in 2008. It was a horrible tragedy that created the pathway for a law passed on March 25, 2009, requiring homeowners and owners of rental properties to install carbon monoxide detectors near the bedrooms in every home that is heated with fossil fuel, has a fuel-fired appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage.

First and foremost, please make sure your home has a CO2 detector in it. If you are selling your home, it is a requirement to close. What you may not know is that if it starts chirping, it may not just be the battery.

I had to tell my mother that these detectors expire. They only have a life span of 5 – 7 years. Take a look at the back of your detector. There is probably a date that it was manufactured and also an alarm guide telling you what the beeps mean. If yours is similar to mine, it likely has an end-of-life chirp count.

Sean de Moraes’ real estate column appears monthly. He is an agent with Roaring Fork Sotheby’s International Realty.

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