Does that Come With the House?

Buying a home can be an exciting, yet stressful time. As you walk through perfectly staged spaces alongside your realtor, you may start to wonder if the custom-fit wood blinds you’ve fallen in love with are at risk of disappearing. Fortunately, Texas has standardized contracts to clarify which features actually come with the home if you were to sign on the dotted line.

The Texas Real Estate Commission’s One To Four Family Residential Contract (Resale) lists these type of features as “Improvements” and “Accessories” and defines them as:

B. IMPROVEMENTS: The house, garage and all other fixtures and improvements attached to the above-described real property, including without limitation, the following permanently installed and built-in items, if any: all equipment and appliances, valances, screens, shutters, awnings, wall-to-wall carpeting, mirrors, ceiling fans, attic fans, mail boxes, television antennas, mounts and brackets for televisions and speakers, heating and air-conditioning units, security and fire detection equipment, wiring, plumbing and lighting fixtures, chandeliers, water softener system, kitchen equipment, garage door openers, cleaning equipment, shrubbery, landscaping, outdoor cooking equipment, and all other property owned by Seller and attached to the above described real property.

C. ACCESSORIES: The following described related accessories, if any: window air conditioning units, stove, fireplace screens, curtains and rods, blinds, window shades, draperies and rods, door keys, mailbox keys, above ground pool, swimming pool equipment and maintenance accessories, artificial fireplace logs, and controls for: (i) garage doors, (ii) entry gates, and (iii) other improvements and accessories.

These sections are followed by an equally important section, “Exclusions” which give sellers an opportunity to list improvements and accessories that they intend to remove prior to the homebuyer’s move in day.

The lesson here? Custom-made window treatments are typically considered to be a built-in improvement that is a part of the home and can be included when estimating the value of your home. On the other hand, typical store-bought curtains are easily removed and therefore, carried away and never to be seen again! If you’re on the seller side of things and have custom-made window treatments that you just can’t imagine parting ways with — make this known to your realtor, who can specify what goes and what stays in the contract.

Custom-made window treatments are both a practical and aesthetically-pleasing investment for homeowners. Whether you’re in the process of buying or selling your home, custom-made window treatments have the ability to add value and up the ante!