If you’re like most people selling a multifamily property in Silicon Valley, you probably already know that some items in the property you’re selling are going to remain in their respective units. But what do you have to leave behind when you sell a multifamily property? This guide explains.

What Do You Have to Leave Behind When You Sell a Multifamily Property?

In real estate, some things are considered fixtures. Fixtures remain with the home when you sell. Buyers expect certain fixtures when they move in, and some are even guaranteed by law. Here’s a general rule: if it’s nailed down, mounted, or otherwise attached to the property, it most likely needs to stay with the property when you sell.

That means fences, sheds and built-in shelves are considered to be part of the property itself. However, there is a little bit of gray area – and it trips up many people. For example, a window-unit air conditioner is generally considered personal property, and when you sell, you can take it with you. However, if you had cut a hole in the wall to support that same air conditioning unit, it’s probably considered a fixture and it has to remain in the property. Because this can be so confusing, you should consult with your real estate agent before you list a property for sale to ask what items are most likely considered fixtures. If you don’t address fixtures before you list the home, you could be in for an uphill battle with prospective buyers; they may want what you’re not willing to leave behind.

Pro Tip: if there’s something you don’t want to leave behind as a fixture, such as a chandelier, you should remove it before you list the home for sale. Otherwise, buyers will assume that it’s going to remain with the home.

What Stays in the Kitchen?

Stoves and ovens stay – and sometimes refrigerators have to stay, too. You should talk to your real estate agent if you don’t intend to leave major appliances in the property.

Related: What all landlords need to know about tech

What About Outdoors?

For the most part, you can’t take parts of your landscaping with you. However, if you note it in your listing description and ensure that it’s very clear to prospective buyers that the tree, bush, flower patch or other component of your landscaping is going with you, you may able to pull it off.

Do Window Treatments Stay?

Generally, window treatments need to stay behind when you sell a property. Often, blinds are custom sized for specific windows anyway; you may not even be able to use them somewhere else. However, curtains are another matter. You can slide curtains off the curtain rods, so they are considered personal property. However, curtain rods are part of the house (and considered fixtures) because they are attached.

Related: 3 real estate deals you should avoid if you have low risk tolerance

The Legal Side of Fixtures

When a person makes an offer on a property, they’re offering money for what they saw that day. They generally assume that everything they see in the home – at least what’s considered a fixture – will be there when they close. Naturally, they don’t expect to keep your appliances (other than those that are hard-wired or connected to the home), but they do expect that they’ll be getting what they offered to pay for.

If you go through the property and remove items after accepting an offer, you could be running afoul of the law.

Are You Buying or Selling a Duplex, Triplex or Fourplex in Silicon Valley?

If you’re selling a duplex, triplex or fourplex in Campbell, Cambrian Park, Los Gatos, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Willow Glen or another community in Silicon Valley, we’re here to help. Call today or fill out the form below to find out about our innovative marketing plans that can put your investment property in front of all the right buyers.

If you’re also looking for a new multi-family property for sale or another type of home, check out our: