Monday, July 1, 2013

What is Personal Property?? Real Vs. Personal Property

OK, so when buying a home there are items that convey and others that do not. For example, when purchasing a condo, usually but not always the refrigerator stays in MA but this is not the case in single family homes, so it needs to be discussed. 

What is considered fixtures?

Real estate and real property refer to land or any item that is affixed to the home permanently; such as a garage, shed, trees, ceiling fan and light fixtures. Light fixtures, doors and even bathroom hooks all remain with the house unless specifically excluded from the sale outlined in the real estate contract. A rule of thumb to test if an item is a fixture -- any items bolted, nailed or cemented and whose removing would cause damage to the home. If an item is in dispute, seek the advice of your legal expert to try and calmly resolve the issue and not risk upsetting the deal. Another way to look at is to consider what is "fixed", so for example when you go to sell real property, the home and a garage then these both stay as they are "fixed" to the land and transfer with the sale of the land but your car for example does not.

What are personal items?

The sellers' personal items may look fabulous in the home yet these will be removed when the seller moves from the home. You must consider this fact when making an offer on the home. What items can the seller remove? Personal items legally refer to movable items or in legal terminology "chattel". Personal items are basically anything that is not attached or nailed down. This includes all planted pots, area rugs, pictures and curtains. It also includes furniture, etc. If you love the drapes or curtains in the home, make sure that you negotiate for them in the real estate contract. Some items may be questionable as to whether they are personal or fixture. Remember, if an item can be removed without causing damage to the property, it is considered personal property. In recent years, the flat screen TV has come into question. This is something that needs to be discussed. The TV is personal property so some sellers opt to leave the "arm" that is affixed to the wall so not to cause further damage and in other instances it is removed at the buyer's request and the seller makes the necessary repairs.

Hopefully this helps you during your buying process. It is always good to consult an attorney if there are still questions.

No comments: