Thursday, January 3, 2013

What is a Fixture?

With so many homeowners remodeling their homes and adding new hardware it may cause some confusion about what sellers can take and what buyers are entitled to upon the sale of the home. As a general rule, anything permanently fixed or attached to something is a fixture. A thing is considered affixed to real property when it is attached to it by roots, imbedded in it, permanently resting upon it, or permanently attached to what is thus permanent, as by means of cement, plaster, nails, bolts, or screws. If you need tools to take it, the object probably belongs to the house. 

This is not to say that you can't keep the antique mirror you have on you wall... just make exclusion clear in your listing contract as well as the purchase contract. A better option than that is to completely remove the item from the home so buyers don't even have the item on their wish list. As is human nature, when buyers see something like a mirror and are told they can't have it, they will want it even more. Buy a cheap mirror or something else to take the place and then put the treasured item in a safe place to alleviate all confusion.

Another place where confusion could arise is with landscaping. Many homes have expensive landscaping formations and gardens that the sellers have put in place and want to keep. Unless they remove these things before the listing period starts, or specifically exclude them in the listing, they come with the house. So that beautiful trellis of roses you may want after moving out is considered a fixture and part of the sale of the home.

A good way to avoid all of the issues that may come up is to walk through your home with your broker before putting it on the market and look at each item to decide what stays and what goes. If you, as the seller, want to keep something either make a note in the listing agreement or even better, take it out of the home for safe keeping. The earlier you address these issues the better off you will be when a buyer comes in.

If you have any questions about fixtures or real estate in the Vail Valley in general please contact me anytime!

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