Fixture vs Personal Property – What Stays and What Goes

When you are buying a new house, you will need to understand the difference in fixtures and personal property. A fixture is part of the house and will stay with the house when you sell it. Personal property will not stay with the home and the seller of the home should take all personal property with them. The most common fixtures in a home are built-in appliances but also frequently include window treatments, blinds and pool equipment. When you are looking at houses, how do you know what will be yours if you buy the house and what will go with the current owners of the home? Here are three questions to ask yourself to help you determine if it will stay or go?

  1. Is the item permanently attached to the house? Dishwashers and stoves are normally attached to the property in some way unlike a refrigerator, washer and dryer that are just plugged in. Consider window treatments. Blinds are most likely attached to the house as are some window treatments. However, a curtain rod may be attached while the curtain itself is just hanging from the rod meaning the curtain rod would stay and the curtain would go. Ceiling fans, light fixtures and built-in shelving are generally fixtures. Landscaping and fencing will also generally be expected to stay.
  1. Is it a furnishing instead of a fixture? Common furnishings are furniture, electronics, rugs, potted plants and flowers and grills. These items are most often not attached to the house in any way and can just be picked up and moved to a new location. If the home has an outdoor kitchen, look at how things are affixed. A grill that is sitting on the patio is different than a grill that is built into an outdoor kitchen or installed in the ground and attached to natural gas.
  1. What is the seller’s intent? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Some home furnishings may be negotiable or due to the seller’s circumstances they may be willing to leave something. Did they have something custom made to fit in the house or curtains that coordinate with the wallpaper in the living room? If items really make the house and are unique enough that they aren’t likely to work in other properties, they may be willing to leave them. Another option is to request some personal property as part of your offer to purchase or offer to buy it from them. If you are moving in a house for the first time and don’t have everything you need or just really like the way the home is furnished, this is an option that may help you get settled in your new home faster.

Knowing what stays and what goes can be a tough question, but it is something your agent will be able to help you answer. For additional information regarding the home buying process, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.


Nancy Davidson
Mammoth Village Properties
760 937-2301 mobile
CA Broker’s License #01264041

Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

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