Ask Kathy: Appliances and home sales

Posted: January 13th, 2017 | Ask Kathy, Columns, Featured | No Comments

By Kathy McSherry | Ask Kathy

Hi Kathy:

When we moved to California and purchased a brand-new home, we learned that certain appliances were not included with the purchase. This was confusing to us as the practice on the East Coast is all appliances are included in the purchase of any home. When it comes time to replace our appliances, would it be advisable to invest in high end “smart” appliances with the expectation that this will increase our home value, or install medium grade appliances with the expectation that the buyer will replace the appliances.  

Carl H.

Hi Carl:

I am assuming you are referring to refrigerator, washer and dryer. Many new home builders will sell them to you through their design center, but do not include them with the purchase. Those three appliances are considered personal property and you don’t need them installed to receive a clearance for occupancy or for the appraisal if a loan is involved. Depending on the builder, sometimes they will include them as part of an incentive plan.

When you go to sell a home, they do not automatically transfer with the sale. There are norms and customs in every market which is why it may be customary in one state or market and not in another. It’s best to check with your local real estate agent as they would know and ensure that it is noted on the purchase agreement.

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In real estate, do not assume. It is the purchase agreement that any legal entity will defer to if there is any question regarding what conveys with the property. Everything that a buyer wants included in the sale must be in writing. Anything that is of question, make sure that it is specifically written on the purchase agreement.

If you are the buyer, it is always best to ask and not assume. And, if you are the seller, you can specify that the appliances are included or not, or that you are taking a ceiling fan but replacing it with a less expensive one, or perhaps that the custom drapes only go with your furniture so those will not be included in the sale. Television mounts and brackets have been in question and there is a spot on the California Purchase Agreement to check if they are included or if removed and all holes patched. Everything in the sale of a home is pretty much negotiable.

With that being said, SMART homes are on the rise. Not too far away are the days where your alarm goes off and the music starts to play softly for you to awaken as the coffee machine begins to prepare your morning coffee and the aroma of fresh brew glides past your nose. The drapes or blinds mechanically yet slowly let in the light.

Or maybe you have smart film windows which go from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button. You get out of bed and notice that you had eight hours of perfect sleep because your smart mattress has told you and your self-making bed has already begun to pull the sheets up and straighten your pillows.

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You ask “Alexa” what the temperature will be and how the traffic will be on your morning commute.

While your coffee is brewing and you are bathing in your smart tub, you can catch up on the news as the tub will have mood lighting, sound, built-in television and refrigerator – or if showering, your water temperature and pressure will be perfect as it will sense the distance between your head and the showerhead and automate the pressure and temperature the way you like it.

After a long day of work, you will drive home and your groceries will be at your doorstep as your smart refrigerator has already sent a grocery list to the local grocer with the items it noticed you ran out of.

You have told your smartphone to turn on your smart lightbulbs and set the mood with light blue this evening. Then you tell it to turn on your stove so dinner will be ready when you walk in the door. You told your phone to turn on the thermostat and unlock the door and yes, open the garage as you pull up.

Kathy McSherry

Eighty-one percent of homeowners surveyed said they would be more likely to purchase a home that was tech-connected or SMART. This was per a survey by CNET and Coldwell Banker. You cannot go wrong with any upgrades to a home but making your home SMART is proving to be the way to go for a quicker and higher-priced sale.

—Kathy McSherry is a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Email your questions to or call 702-382-9905.

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