More than one seller has been surprised to find that their favorite chandelier is not theirs to take when they move. First-time home sellers might be especially confused. The first rule of thumb is to consider if the item is nailed, bolted, mounted, or planted. This covers a wide range of items inside and outside the home. This might seem simple, but the debate about what constitutes a fixture has caused many post-sale lawsuits. Fixtures stay with the home unless specifically excluded. This includes light fixtures, shelves, cabinets, built-in shelves, and more. Consider the mount for the big-screen TV. It might seem logical to assume the mount will go with the TV when the sellers leave, but technically it’s likely considered a fixture because it’s bolted to the wall. What about window mounted a/c? It’s its sitting in the window, its personal property (but really…?? Hopefully you are moving somewhere with central a/c). Outdoor items are subject to the same rules. Anything planted stays. Anything bolted stays (think arbor, patio cover). Contrary to everything just outlined, curtains, however, STAY with the home. Clearly it can be confusing. If you are ready to buy or sell, make sure to discuss with you’re a gent what you want to add or exclude from the sale. This is the best way to avoid disappointment at best or forking over cash to replace at worst.
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