Buying Advice

Fixtures & Furniture

Featured home: 42 Wainaku Street, Hilo.

Picture this. It’s almost moving day. It’s your first home. Your agent explains the purpose of this last visit is to simply make sure the home has been left reasonably clean and that it has been maintained as it was when you viewed it initially. It’s been a lot of work to get to this point. There were offers, counter-offers, the loan process, escrow; a barely-understandable whirlwind experience at best. You are relieved it’s almost yours! When you open the door, you are shocked that the sellers have removed light fixtures, ceiling fans, one of the medicine cabinets, and even the stair rail! Trust me, it happens!


When selling your home, things attached to the structure (other than personal items) are considered fixtures. They always remain with the house unless specifically excluded in the listing and sales contract. Malibu lighting, yard lighting, outdoor speakers, installed water filtration, and anything integral to the functioning of the catchment system is also expected to stay.


Spas, Jacuzzis, portable saunas, and furniture built to fit specific spaces should be individually addressed. It is critical to be very clear from the beginning what things are EXCLUDED.


While appliances and window coverings are commonly included in a sale, buyers sometimes request that furniture, lawn equipment, and even an adjacent lot be included. Including such items can be tricky, especially if a loan is involved. Appliances are considered integral to the functioning of the home. Including them in a loan is not a problem.


Mortgage companies will not, however, loan money for furniture. Most home mortgage loans only allow a single parcel to be held as security for the mortgage. It is possible to include these extras, but doing so requires special care in drafting the contract. It’s really best to handle these things outside the sales contract if possible. Including them unnecessarily complicates an already complex transaction. Consider, for example, how much worse the situation above might have been if the buyers had also included furniture!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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