Can I Leave Stuff Behind When I Sell My House?

Whether you’re moving home or selling a relative’s old home, there’s no doubt that boxing up and moving all your belongings is an overwhelming prospect. When you realize that you either can’t or don’t want to take most of it with you, the question becomes, “What am I supposed to do with all this stuff?”

While sorting through it all and distributing it is certainly an option, you may be wondering what, if anything, you can leave behind. Today, we’ll answer all your questions so you can make the right decisions for you, without causing trouble for yourself.

Can I leave anything behind when I sell my house?

Yes and no. Some items, like built-in appliances and fixtures, are usually left behind. In fact, if you decide to take down curtain rails when you move, your buyers may be a little disgruntled (though are unlikely to say anything about it, unless it was specifically included in the contract).

When it comes to leaving furniture and other things, it’s generally not done. That said, hearing the phrase, “That was here when we bought the house” in relation to a workbench, trunk, or another historical object is not at all uncommon.

However, if you leave your living room full of junk and try to close, you may find your buyer is unwilling to close on the property until you clear it out.

Can I include furniture in my house sale?

Yes – though selling a home furnished is most commonly done for investment properties and high-value homes where perhaps the furniture has been chosen by a famous interior designer. If your home is likely to attract a first-time buyer, you could sell the home furnished or simply ask your realtor to ask your buyer if they would like any of your furniture, either for free or for an added value in the sale. While mature homeowners will not need this, first-time buyers will often appreciate the opportunity to have all the furniture they need when they first move in, so they can upgrade later as and when they can afford to.

What about personal items, like pictures and clothes?

Unless there is historical significance to an item that would appeal to the new owner, all personal items should be removed from the home before the sale concludes. If there are things you don’t want or need, consider listing them for sale online for collection (so you don’t have to ship anything) or give them away for free if they’ll collect. There may also be thrift stores and nonprofit organizations that are willing to come and take away any unwanted items for free.

What about outdoor furniture and sheds?

Outdoor items tend to be a little more relaxed – sheds and any fixed items stay (they’re a selling point to the home), but if you leave behind your furniture set for the patio, your new owners probably won’t be angry about it. If you want to leave outdoor items that aren’t fixed, ask your buyer whether it would be okay to leave them behind.

What happens if I realize I forgot something after the sale?

Legally speaking, anything that’s on the property after the completion of the sale becomes the property of the buyer. If you realize you left something behind, contact the buyer or your realtor as soon as possible to see if they would be willing to allow you to come and collect the item, or if your realtor can arrange it for you. In most cases, buyers will be understanding, provided it hasn’t been long since they moved in.

I’m moving across the country and I don’t have time to clear out my house before I sell it, what can I do?

If you’re moving across the country ASAP and don’t have any friends or family who can clear out the home for you, you can either hire someone to do it for you or sell the house in “as-is” condition to a cash buyer who is willing to handle all your old belongings for you.

I need to sell a house where a hoarder lived, do I have to clear the home before I sell it?

Yes, unless you sell to a professional investor who is willing to take on the home literally in “as-is” condition. We’ve helped families before who needed to sell a house that was in a hoarding situation to avoid the stress and expense of clearing the home by buying the home in as-is condition.

How to Sell Your House Without Clearing It Out

While there are cases where you can leave your things behind when you sell your home, it’s not common. If you need to move quickly, feel overwhelmed by the number of things you need to sort through, or have inherited a home with things that have no sentimental value to you, we can help.

We buy homes in Massachusetts in as-is condition for cash, and you can take that literally! We can help you take your valuables and then clear out the rest, or deal with the entire contents of the home – we simply need to know what we’re dealing with ahead of time.

We are happy to remove unwanted belongings for you after you’ve moved on. We have even helped families in hoarding situations, so they don’t have to deal with the burden themselves. Selling your home should offer you a fresh start, and so we’re here to help you make that transition as smooth as possible. To learn more about what we do or to get a no-obligation cash offer for your home, click here.

Learn how to sell your house fast without a real estate agent...

Selling a property in today's market can be confusing. Get in touch with us by submitting the form below and we'll get back to you to discuss your options.

Sell My House for Cash

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.