What constitutes a "fixture" when selling or buying a home?

By
Real Estate Agent with Red Door Realty Ltd, Brokerage

What constitutes a "fixture" when selling or buying a home?
 
A "fixture" generally refers to anything that is attached to the property buy glue, screws and nails such as lights fixtures, wall to wall carpeting, mirrors, built-in dishwashers. A good rule of thumb to use is " a fixture is anything that needs a tool to be removed."  Fixtures are included in the sale of the house unless expressly excluded. So, if you have an antique chandelier from your grandmother, you must state that it is excluded in the agreement of purchase and sale. 
 
"Chattels" are all other items not affixed to the house and are not included in the purchase price unless stated so in the listing. Chattels include items such as fridges, stoves, washing machines, etc.
 
Sometimes there can be confusion with the distinction between chattels and fixtures. For instance a central vacuum is obviously a fixture, it is attached to the home, but what about the attachments and hoses? Shelving is also an item that can cause some confusion. It is attached to the home, but is it a fixture? Nowadays with wall mounted tv's and built-in microwave it is so important to have chattels and fixtures clearly defined in the agreement of purchase and sale.
 
Your Realtor will help you clearly define which items in your home or on your property are chattels and which are fixtures that will remain with the home. When you are purchasing a home you want to know which chattels are included in the purchase price of the home, you don't want to assume the appliances are included, only on closing find out they were not included at all. 
 

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