Real Property vs. Personal Property

Your home is your castle and you invest a lot of time and money into decorating it to your personal satisfaction. Now you’re getting ready to move and you will need to determine what is being sold with the home, or if some of the personal effects that you bought to decorate the home is personal or real property, now part of the real estate.

Real Property is defined as “property consisting of land, buildings, crops, or other resources still attached to or within the land or improvements or fixtures permanently attached to the land or a structure on it; also : an interest, benefit, right, or privilege in such property called also immovable property – http://dictionary.findlaw.com/definition/property.”. Once you attach something to the property and it cannot be removed without making a hole or disrupt the integrity of the property, you can safely be assured it is no longer personal property, but real property.

For Example:

Chandeliers or light fixtures that are attached to the ceiling/walls

Curtain Rods

Speakers for surround sound or brackets to hang a TV

To be clear with the realtors and buyers, you need to be specific as to what is staying with the property.

Avoid statements on the listing agreement or purchase and sale like:

All appliances

All Window Treatments

Per listing agreement

There may be some items that are considered Real Property that you may want to bring to the new home.  The best solution is to remove/replace items prior to listing the property. There should be no wires exposed or holes left unfilled. If you choose to wait to remove/replace the items, it should be understood and agreed by all parties what will take the place of the items you are taking or what is expected on how that area will be viewed once removed.

Do not rely on what a standard contract specifies as personal property.  Read the listing contract as well as the purchase agreement and specify all items that will be left with the property and list anything you are replacing.  This should eliminate any confusion at the closing as to what “window treatments or appliances” were to be part of the transfer of title.  This will avoid a delay in closing as well as you as the seller buying a new washer and dryer for the buyers since they understood all appliances included your new front load washer and dryer. Everyone reads things differently which results in various interpretations, so being specific will avoid any misinterpretation.