Don't Get Excited About Including Your Appliances

In most areas, it's considered normal for sellers to take the appliances with them when they move. Sometimes it's the only way you can afford the move.

Other times, though, you may be going into an apartment, condo or co-op where appliances are included. Or you could be moving across the country and it hardly pays to take things along with you.

But "appliances included" in the listing information for a single house won't do much to excite potential buyers. Househunters seldom say to a broker "show me that house because the appliances are included."

My advice is, when you're listing, leave them out. Don't mention them.

Tell your broker that if the right moment comes along, while potential buyers are considering making an offer, it's okay to throw in the information that you might consider leaving the stove and refrigerator.

Otherwise, save the matter for a bargaining chip while you're negotiating.

Suppose some buyer comes in with a low offer and you want to stand firm on your price. It takes the sting out of your refusal if your counter-offer says "Well, we can't drop our price, but tell you what we'll do, we'll throw in the washer and the dryer."

Then the buyers can save face; at least their low offer accomplished something.

After your sales contract is safely signed, that's the time to ask whether the buyers are interested in appliances or furniture you plan to offer in a house sale just before you move. "You can have first crack at everything!"