If real estate is meat and potatoes, ‘chattels and fixtures’ are the gravy. Often overlooked and commonly handled incorrectly by sellers and buyers at the correct times. Chattels need to be included in a sale, and fixtures need to be excluded.
A chattel is anything not installed or needing a tool to remove. Most fridges, stoves, washing machines, dyers and curtains (not the rods) are chattels. Your TV and the stand it is sitting on are both chattels as well but when you mount it to a wall, it becomes a fixture. Chattels need to be listed as inclusions, if they are to be left at the property for closing. In Toronto, it's common for all appliances to be included in a sale. If you are looking to leave additional items, it’s important to identify them to your listing agent prior to listing the property for sale, so they can be listed as inclusions in the sale.
A fixture is anything that requires a tool to remove it. Most dishwashers, light fixtures, garage doors, blinds, curtain rods, air conditioners are fixtures that stay with the property and don’t need to be expressly written in the agreement. If a seller wants to keep specific items, they must be written as exclusions.
To Include or Not Include? Keep It Simple!
If you’re selling, it's always better to limit the exclusions on your listing. Don’t give a buyer a reason to feel like they are getting less than what they are paying for and once you start negotiating, don’t you dare change the deal. “Fine, I’ll accept that price, but I’m taking all the appliances and light fixtures!” is not productive. If you want to take your grandmother’s dining room chandelier, take it down and replace it with another before the real estate photographer comes so you won’t have to list it as an exclusion. A good listing has all of these details listed for a buyer to review when offering, hopefully leaving just the purchase price and closing date to be negotiated.
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