When you buy a home, items you see during the showing are either included with the property (inclusions), or excluded from the sale (exclusions).
The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) Standard 1-4 Family Residential Contract Section 2d: is designated for exclusions. It states, “the following improvements and accessories will be retained by Seller and must be removed prior to delivery of possession.”
In real estate, inclusions refer to a concept known as “fixtures.” As a rule of thumb, items that are built into or affixed to the home (with the intention that they be permanent) are fixtures.
Items that are not attached to the house are considered personal property and therefore are exclusions. The seller should take them when they leave as a matter of course.
A play-set in the back yard can be either an exclusion or an inclusion, depending on whether it simply sits on top of the ground or if the legs are anchored into the ground.
A wall-mounted plasma television is not a inclusion, but the bracketed wall mount it hangs on is.
If you have one of those large metal racks that hang overhead to store your pots and pans, it is an inclusion. If you want to take it with you when you go, you have to declare that in the contract. The pans themselves though, are exclusions.
Even though something is a fixture, it can be excluded from the sale if it is stipulated in the contract.
Even though a home on the MLS may advertise items as inclusions, I wouldn’t count on it unless it’s spelled out clearly in the contract.
Before you accept an offer, make sure you walk through your home and identify everything you would consider to be inclusions so that you can list them in the contract.