What Items Can My Partner and I Expect to Remain in The Home We Are Considering Purchasing?
There are many gray areas when it comes to determining exactly what should stay with the home and what may be removed by the sellers. In general, items that are fixed to the real estate must stay. Sellers may take any personal property that is not affixed to the property unless you have stipulated that it stays in a purchase agreement that both the seller and you and your partner, the purchasers, have signed.
The law of fixtures states that items are considered affixed to a property if it is attached by roots, imbedded, or permanently attached to an item that is permanent by methods including cement, plaster, nails, bolts, screws, glue or other means. Toilets, sinks, cabinets, flooring, and landscaping, fencing and other improvements are considered fixtures. On the other hand, if you and your partner purchase a farm and crops have already been planted, the fruit of those crops are not generally included in the sale unless the seller specifically intends them to be by including them in contract.
Items including stoves, refrigerators and lawn statutes that are not permanently affixed to the home or land are generally considered personal property. Although, in some states, it is normal practice for stoves and refrigerators to stay with the property, it is not a legal requirement since they are not considered fixtures.
How the Courts Determine Fixtures vs. Personal Property
When disputes arise related to a seller removing property from a home after it has been sold, the courts use four tests to determine whether an item is a fixture or is personal property.
1. How was it attached? Although an item may be attached by cement, plaster, nails, bolts, screws, glue or other means, if it can be easily removed without damaging the home, it is probably not a fixture. For example, drapes can be removed by unhooking them.
2. What did the parties agree to? If, for example, a light fixture in the dining room has been attached to the home with the use of wires and bolts, and the buyer and seller did not agree that it would be removed in the contract, the light fixture was included because of the method used to attach it.
3. Has the item been adapted for use with the property? If an item was installed for permanent use with the property, it is a fixture and is included in the sale. For example, solar panels, carpeting, and attic insulation. The final determination of the court in this test can be difficult to anticipate.
4. What did the parties intend? The buyer and seller’s intent will be considered to determine if an item that is personal property has become a permanent fixture.
How to Locate an LGBT Real Estate Agent
You should not assume that everything that you see when viewing a home you would like to purchase will come with the house. If there is a chandelier, built-in dishwasher or other fixture that you would like left in the home, it would be wise to include it in your contract to avoid any misunderstandings. Before submitting a purchase agreement to a seller, buyers should hire a reputable LGBT real estate agent. He or she will help ensure that your contract includes all of the information necessary according to your wishes and will protect your interests through the process of purchasing your new home. The best way to find a reputable agent in your area is to conduct a free search for your locality on GayRealEstate.com.