What Appliances Stay and Which ones Go?

Question: We are in the process of buying a home and did the day-before-closing walk-through, only to find that the property is missing the appliances. The fridge, stove, washer, dryer and dishwasher are gone. We do not want to buy the house this way. Is there anything we can do? – Ali

Answer: I can understand your surprise. Most home sales include the appliances and fixtures. Your first step is to check your contract to see if any of the missing items are specifically mentioned. Most standard contracts have a section that speaks to what items are included.

The general rule is that anything permanently attached to the house when you went under contract – light fixtures, doors, stoves – should be included in the sale. And the item must be the exact one that was in the home when the contract was signed.

Most arguments I see on this subject involve washing machines and automatic pool cleaners. Some contracts don't include the washer and dryer, and buyers always should take note of any exclusions.

Sellers should be sure to specifically exclude any fixtures they want to take with them, such as an heirloom chandelier hanging in the foyer.

In your case, you may need to postpone the closing. If the missing items weren't excluded in the sales contract, the (seller) must replace them or provide a credit at closing.