The Way You Live in Your Home is Different Than the Way You Sell Your House

March 5, 2000


By Kay Wilson-Bolton

President, Ventura County Coastal Assn of REALTORS®


When it comes to preparing your home for sale, give some serious thought to “separating the personal”.

It is not unusual for a buyer to fall in love with a home because of the antique light fixture in the entry, the water fountain in the garden, or the stunning window coverings in the formal dining room that just happen to match the seat covers of the dining room chairs.

Your REALTOR® is able to explain to you the difference between real estate and personal property.  Learning more could save some of your family’s favorite possessions.

In short for now, real estate is considered to be the land, and any improvements permanently affixed to the land, i.e. a house, drapery rods, built-in range, trees, shrubbery.

Personal property is considered to be everything else; i.e. freestanding gas grill, fireplace tools, refrigerators, washer and dryer—even window coverings.

Once in a while there can be confusion as to whether or not window coverings are automatically included because they are often “made for that window.”

However, the Purchase Contract and Receipt for Deposit, which is copyrighted by the California Association of REALTORS®, specifically includes window coverings as a “fixture”.

The “listing agreement” that you sign with your REALTOR®  is for the real estate only.  If you plan to include any personal property in the sale such as a countertop microwave, you may state that in the listing.

Enter your buyers!  Even though the listing agreement doesn’t include personal items, the buyers might want them anyway and include them in their offer to purchase.  Are sellers obligated to leave special heirloom living room rug?  Not at all…but make sure you counter back to the buyer that it is not included.

Many REALTORS® have seen sales lost over the desire of the parties to own or retain certain personal items.  The best plan, if its possible, is to pack them up and put them out of sight, making them out of mind, before the negotiations begin.  REALTORS® love helping sellers plan for the exciting event of home selling.


When buying or selling your next home, choose a REALTOR® . There is a difference and you can benefit.  For more information, contact Bob Seitz, CEO, Ventura County Coastal Assn of REALTORS® at 981.2100. Our website is



About Kay Wilson-Boltonhttp://www.kaywilsonbolton.netWith a full-time career in real estate, I can add to your bank of knowledge, not only in real estate but in many areas of life that deal with people and relationships and choices. My real estate career has taught me many lessons about planning ahead and looking forward. I believe in helping along the way so that they can be the best they can be in any situation. I serve as a Fire Department Chaplain and Coordinator for the Many Meals Project which serves homeless and hungry families in my community. The event is far more than many meals. As a result of my work with the homeless population in my community, I received the Good Neighbor Award 2017 from the National Association of Realtors and named as a Champion of Homes in 2015 by the California Association of Realtors. I make pastoral visits to the inmates in the County Jail System and offer them what God says about "all things being new" and His remarkable plan for our lives. I have served my community as Mayor and in many volunteer capacities. I serve others by serving God first. My husband is involved in prison ministry and is a graphic artist. We live a simple life in Santa Paula with an office cat named Scout, three rescued poodles and a cat named Tony Diane at home.

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