Difference between personal property and a fixture

Dated: 09/04/2011

Views: 935

Buyers and Sellers in Hampton Roads areas often do not understand the difference between personal property and fixtures. They often want to keep items that are sentimental to them and don't understand why it does or shouldn't transfer. When I am working with a seller it is best to address issues of fixtures vs personal property up front. I tell my sellers - if you want it remove it or replace it before we list. I know it sounds simple but sometimes buyers will ask for some personal item furniture, art work, and nowadays flat screen TVs are often requested in an offer. So what do you do as a seller expect the off the wall request but you do not always have to give in. I advice my buyers to ask if they want but to be prepared if they are told No! Sometimes it is matter of negotiations, or error, and sometimes its stupidity. Wikepedia's Definitions- A fixture is a legal concept that includes any physical property that is permanently attached or fixed to real property. If the property is not affixed to real property it is considered chattel/ Personal property. Chattel or personal propertyis converted into a fixture by the process of attachment. Most states look at the method of how a fixture is attached and the intention between the parties as the greatest test of whether an item is a fixture. However if it was not clearly defined in the contract the purpose of the item and degree of attachment will usually be deciding factors. So if you own wood and nails and its sitting on the side of your house, you might consider it personal property. The buyer may ask for it to transfer so they can build a fence - annexing (using) the wood and nails now makes it a fixture. This may be easy to see but sometimes the buyer and seller have different intentions. Buyer sees a nice mirror bolted down and attached to wall in living room and doesn't note in contract and is mad when at walk thru there is a white wall with holes. If not specified upfront an issue will arise. What was intention? What was method of attachment? In Newport News a Seller wants to take new washer and dryer with them. Since buyer just put washer and dryer to transfer on contract seller switches out with old model before walk thru. Buyer has a fit at final walk thru because they are expecting the washer and dryer that was there when they wrote contract and refuses to close. This will be an issue. What do you do? In Suffolk I once had a seller remove all the toilet paper holders and all the towel bar racks. What was the intended use? and method of attachment? In Norfolk a Buyer sees a nice chandelier in dining room and wants light fixture to transfer and seller sees heirloom from grandma they want to take with them. Existing Light fixtures to transfer was written and agreed to in contract. Seller removes light fixture before closing. This is an issue? How should it be remedied??? So as you see this is not always clear to buyer and seller. If you use a good agent the problem can usually be avoided and if it arises it usually can be remedied quickly. "I can dream alone, build alone and strive alone, but true success always requires the help and support of others. Please send me your referrals." Visit my website today, The Hampton Roads Real Estate Lady! Deandrea "Dee Dee" Jones Associate Broker Blu Skyy Realty Virginia Beach, VA [email protected] http://DJonesRealEstate.com [email protected]
Blog author image

Alycia Jordan

Having lived in other cities, such as Cleveland and Idaho Falls, I only appreciate Hampton Roads that much more. Why? Because from almost anywhere in our area, a beach is only about a 20 minute dri....

Want to Advertise on this Site?

Latest Blog Posts

US Mortgage Rates Of Less Than 4 Offer A Happy New Year

What makes Christmas and New Year’s better than friends, family, and savings? How about owning a home? The holiday season is a cheerful time spent with family, but for those of us with families

Read More

How To Avoid Shock At Closing When Buying A Home

First time homebuyers often think the sale price of a listed home is the only cost associated with the purchase. However, many additional fees are associating with the real estate purchasing

Read More

What Is A Good Faith Estimate

Real Estate Terms: What is a Good Faith Estimate?The good faith estimate (GFE) is an important document for potential homebuyers. It can be acquired for free, but it’s likely you will incur a

Read More

10 Tax Tips For Homeowners

When it comes to tax kickbacks for homeowners, first-time buyers have it made. Not only can they nail whatever they want to the wall for the first time ever, but they also have some of the most

Read More