When putting your home on the market for sale, you may wonder what items you should save and what items to include in the sale. There are some general guidelines, but it is ultimately up to you and your realtor to determine what you leave behind with the house. Just remember to include specifics in the sale contract so there aren’t any surprises at settlement or when the moving trucks arrive.

What to save: Before you put the “For Sale” sign in your front yard, take a look around your house and note any antiques or cherished items that are not furniture, such as your grandmother’s chandelier hanging over your dining room table, any special fixtures or window treatments that have sentimental or great monetary value. Remove all of these items before the first potential buyer comes to look – they won’t know what they’re missing if they never see it! You should replace things like light fixtures and some window curtains so the home doesn’t look barren, but it is OK to leave some empty spaces.

Appliances fall into a sort of gray area – some homeowners like to get all new appliances to their liking, while others consider appliances part of the house and therefore part of the sale. Be sure to explicitly exclude things like your refrigerator and washer and dryer if you intend to take them with you.

What to sell: Again, appliances could fall into this category depending on how you feel about yours. If you’re ready to buy new ones to coordinate with your new home, then write down that you are including some specific appliances within the house’s sale price. Same goes for window treatments, which most people expect to remain intact.

Any built-in shelves, desks or entertainment units should be included with the sale. Some people have spent considerable time and money transforming a spare bedroom into a home office or crafting room and have added custom built features to these rooms. Part of what will make your home appealing to a buyer is special touches like these, so removing them is not a good idea. Plus, the pieces may not fit properly in your new living space and you would have lots of repair work to fix the walls and floors after the built-ins were removed.

It is always a good idea to consult with your realtor if you are unsure about taking or removing anything from your home when you put it on the market. Everything is negotiable when it comes to sales like this, so be prepared that when you receive an offer on your house it may include some items you were expecting to take with you. As you consider each offer, carefully think about what it would cost you, both financially and emotionally, to take or leave certain items in your house.