Avoiding Personal Property “Tug of War”

The general rule in residential real estate is that fixtures stay, personal property goes.

Which, I suppose, just begs the question:  ‘what’s a fixture?’  (See, “How to Tell if Something is a Fixture“).

But a good corollary is, “when in doubt, better to be explicit.”

So, the Sellers in a deal that I just closed (I represented the Buyer) wanted to take wall art with them that spelled the word “Fun.”

Just to be sure the Buyers were OK with that, they added language to the Personal Property Addendum providing that the home sale “excluded the letters F-U-N.”

“Ounce of Prevention” Dept.

The classic example of a more problematic exclusion is the antique crystal chandelier in the Dining Room.

A Seller can literally broadcast on a Goodyear blimp that the chandelier is excluded, yet when the Buyer lays eyes on it, the first thing they’ll do is insist the purchase include it.

The solution:  the Seller is well-advised to remove anything likely to inspire a tug of war prior to putting their home on the market.

Of course, if they substitute a too-cheap knock-off, they’re doing themselves — and their selling price — a disservice.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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