What to Leave Behind When Selling Your North County Home

As both a buyer and seller, it’s important to know what is supposed to stay with a recently sold home. In fact, if a seller keeps something that they haven’t negotiated to keep it can potentially cause major problems, including jeopardizing the sale or even prompting a lawsuit. The trouble is – it can be confusing to know what you can and cannot take with you when you move out. Let us help clear up the confusion with this rundown of what you are expected to leave behind when selling your North County home.

Anything permanently attached

If an item is nailed, bolted, screwed, or built into the house, then it typically stays behind. This includes built-in bookshelves, hardware, doorknobs, flooring, and security systems. And yes – it even includes the lighting fixtures. If you have a special fixture that you don’t want to part with, you need to include that stipulation in the contract. Don’t think you can simply swap that chandelier out for something else unless you agreed to that in advance. The buyers will notice. This is also true for window treatments. Although curtains can go with you if they slide easily off the rod, the rods and blinds need to stay behind. If there is a fixture you just can’t part with, then you need to remove it before you show the house.

Anything permanently installed outside

It seems pretty obvious that you wouldn’t dig up your fence and take it with you. But other items might be a little less obvious. For example – should you leave the swing set behind? If it is anchored into the ground, then it should stay. But if it is freestanding, then you can take it with you. The same goes for mailboxes, outdoor lighting fixtures, fire pits, and birdhouses. If you want to take it with you, either remove it before selling or list it as an exclusion in your contract.


While it may seem odd that a seller would make off with trees, shrubs or other plants, it has happened. If you planted special rose bushes or other plants that are meaningful to you, then request to keep them. You don’t want the buyer to show up on moving day and notice a big hole in the ground where that row of bushes used to be.

Items that are specific to the home

There are a few other items that would be nice for the seller to leave behind, though it is not required. This includes the owner’s manuals for appliances like refrigerators, hot water heaters, and furnaces. The new owner will appreciate having easy access to this information. Another item that you might consider leaving behind is leftover paint. This allows the new owner to make touch-ups, which is definitely helpful after the inevitable scratches that happen when moving.

Contact the Clark & Gilman Team

Is it time for you to buy or sell a North County San Diego home? Then contact the Cristine Clark & Jamie Gilman Team at 760-758-1211 or [email protected]. If you have any questions, our team of experts is always available.

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