Included VS Excluded: Chattels & Fixtures!
By Agent Ally VanderHarst – Real Estate Sales Representative
Many clients are not always aware of what is included or excluded in the sale or purchase of a home. It is important to understand the difference between a chattel and a fixture to avoid any confusion come closing day! So, how do you know what stays/goes with your house? Let’s take a look…
A chattel is a movable possession owned by the Seller which can be removed from the property without causing damage. Examples of these may include your fridge, stove, washer, and dryer. Chattels are usually excluded from a purchase, unless specifically noted in the inclusion section of your agreement.
A fixture, by comparison, is something that is permanent or attached to the home/property and is deemed to be included in the purchase price, unless specifically noted otherwise. While a pool and its necessary equipment appear to be an obvious fixture, items of contention include TV wall-mounts, drapery hardware, shelves, bathroom mirrors, and lighting. If it’s screwed, glued or nailed to the wall of your house, chances are it’s considered a fixture!
SELLERS: It is important for you to clarify what is included with the sale of your home! If you have a sentimental attachment to the light fixture in your daughter’s room and the retro mini-fridge in your bar, make sure they are noted in the EXCLUSION section of your listing and keep in mind that you will need to replace them with something comparable for the new owners.
BUYERS: Never assume that something will be left behind for you. If there is something specific you want the sellers to leave behind, have your Realtor put it in the INCLUSIONS section of your offer to purchase the home. Consider the major appliances, draperies, or anything else you would like included. It never hurts to ask! Your final walk through leading up to your closing date is a great opportunity to take a look around for any missing items that are supposed to be included, and rectify any problems prior to close. Bring along a copy of your Agreement or have it handy on your phone and make sure that all items are present and accounted for.
Avoid the confusion of inclusions and exclusions: when in doubt, spell it out!