Real Property and Personal Property
When you purchase a property, it usually includes the land and everything attached to it, such as buildings, trees, shrubs, etc. Most buyers are only interested in purchasing the real estate, not the owner's personal property. What happens when personal property has become a part of the real estate? Is it actually a "fixture" which will now convey to the buyer with the real estate?
There are three tests which usually need to be satisfied. Has the personal property been permanently annexed to the real estate? Is it intended to become part of the real estate? What is the local custom? Fixtures may include shades, heaters, ranges, screens, storm windows, lighting fixtures, etc. Furniture, artwork, dishes, small appliances on the counter in the kitchen, and linens for example, are personal property. To save misunderstanding at the closing--and perhaps the sale--it is important that the seller spell out specifically in the sales agreement what will go to the buyer as part of the property.
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