Sellers Taking Toilets, Appliances With Them

A person lifting a disassembled toilet

© Lana2011 - iStock / Getty Images Plus

Homeowners are selling their homes for high prices in the hot housing market, but many are also reportedly intending to take fixtures including appliances, toilets, and even the backyard fruit trees when they move out.

Pricey toilets, like self-cleaning bidets, are among the most popular items that sellers take when they move, The New York Times reports. They’re also taking high-end Viking stoves and midrange refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers. With an appliance shortage underway, they want to avoid having to shop for replacements. Yorgos Tsibiridis, an associate broker for Compass, told The New York Times he represented the sellers of a $2.2 million home who wanted to keep a pair of six-foot fruit trees for sentimental value. The removal left two large holes in the backyard.

“Sellers have become more greedy,” Chase Landow, a salesperson for Serhant in Manhattan, told The New York Times. “Good inventory is rather tight and they know that they can control the show.”

Landow recently had to inform buyers of a $15.5 million apartment that the sellers wanted to take all of the kitchen cabinets with them. “The question is what the hell do you do with them?” Landow says. “I have no idea, which is why it’s all very odd. … The market is so bananas, you want to do what you can do to keep the sellers happy.”

More fixture disputes could occur as sellers feel entitled to more of a home’s fixtures and take advantage of a bustling sellers’ market. Real estate pros will want to carefully discuss with sellers what they plan to take with them and what stays. Typically, fixtures attached to walls, like cabinets, sinks, and toilets, are considered part of the sale. But buyers and sellers can discuss and agree to modifications in the contract. Read more: The Pain of Fixture Feuds