What stays, what goes when you buy a home?

By Marcie Geffner - HSH.com

If you're buying a home, you might well be concerned about what's included in the sale and what's not. Do you get the brand-new refrigerator? The potted plants? The area rugs? The crystal chandelier?

The answer: maybe.

"If it's bolted in," says Jim Walker, a realty agent with 1st American Realty in Carmichael, Calif., "it's pretty obvious that it's supposed to stay."Generally speaking, anything that's attached to the property is considered a "fixture," and all fixtures are sold with the property. Examples include window shutters, ceiling fans, track lighting and built-in shelving systems.

Anything that's not attached can be removed by the seller. Examples include furniture, decorative accessories and most artwork hung on the walls.

While the fixture rules might seem straightforward, it can get complicated. Items like appliances, playground equipment, window coverings and big-screen TVs could be fixtures if they're attached or not fixtures if they're freestanding.

Read on: http://library.hsh.com/articles/first-time-homebuyers/what-stays-when-you-buy-a-home.html