When you’re selling your home, you assume that almost everything goes with you, right? Unfortunately, that assumption is wrong. There are two important terms to be aware of when selling a property: fixtures and personal property. What do those two terms mean? Below is an explanation of the difference between a fixture and a personal property as well as everything you need to know about what stays and what goes when you sell.
What is a fixture? When personal property (ie: great grandma’s crystal chandelier hanging in the dining room) is affixed or fastened to real estate (ie: a wall, ceiling, etc), it becomes a fixture. Fixtures become real property when they are attached to the property, therefore, any fixtures attached to the house remain with the house during a sales transaction.
Here are some examples of fixtures:
- built ins: bookshelves, cubbies, benches
- landscaping: anything planted into the ground like trees, shrubs, & flowers
- wall mounts: tv wall mounts
- window treatments: curtains, drapes, shutters, & rods
- alarm systems: physical alarm system stays with the home & the service will be new owner’s responsibility
- smoke & carbon monoxide detectors
- light fixtures: sconces & chandeliers
- thermostats: Nest thermostats or other smart thermostats
*If I am representing you as the seller: before I put your home on the market, please think about any items you’d like excluded from the sale of your home. Even better? If you are emotionally attached to a certain fixture (ie: great grandma’s crystal chandelier in the dining room), I suggest you remove it and, if necessary, replace it with a different light fixture before putting your home on the market. If a buyer never sees it, they won’t want it. If you decide to remove the fixture, be sure to patch, repair, and re-paint any large holes.
What is personal property? Anything you can disconnect, unhook, slide, or otherwise detach from your home with bare hands (ie: your master bedroom set, a piece of art hung on a nail, etc.). Personal property is almost never assumed in a sale but can be included if the seller says so in the contract.
Here are some examples of personal property:
- electronics (not mounted to the wall)
- decor: rugs, wreaths, pictures, artwork
- potted plants
- free standing appliances: fridge, stove, washer, dryer, etc. *Most new homeowners don’t have their own appliances & like to put offers on homes with fully stocked appliances). If you want to take your appliances with you, be sure to let me know so we can exclude them from the contract.
How to ensure that fixtures or personal property will stay or go: sellers and buyers should specifically state in the purchase offer which items will stay with the house and which will go, especially if there could be some confusion over house fixtures. Personal property such as kitchen appliances should be noted in the contract as included or excluded from the sale. Any questions? Call me at (475) 434-0743 or email firstname.lastname@example.org anytime!