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Any Realtor will tell you that a vacant house won't sell as quickly. So most people market and show their home while they, and their possessions are still living in it. This can be nice for the buyer who can't envision what an empty room will look like when furnished, but it can also contribute to some confusion about what's going with the sellers and what's staying in the house.
In general, fixtures stay with the house - these include things like sinks and kitchen cabinets. Some items aren't so clear, however, like decorative mantels or a garden trellis. The purchase and sale agreement will usually list the standard inclusions, but you can add things that you want to stay or go, and the other party can do the same. The more specific you are, the happier everyone will be at closing time.