What to Do About the 5′ Tall Fiberglass Statue on the Front Lawn

Should the Buyer of this 1950’s rambler just west of Cedar Lake expect the Lucy statue on the front lawn to come with the home?

Step #1: determine whether it’s a fixture — Realtor-speak for, “is it permanently attached to the home?”

If the answer is “No,” i.e., it’s personal property, the Buyer would normally have no expectation of getting the item(s).**

That is, unless . . .

Step #2: the parties want to contractually agree otherwise — the Buyer and Seller agree to include the item(s) in the sale, either for additional consideration (= money) or not.

Moving Headache

While I wouldn’t want to be the one to pick up and move the Lucy statue, it doesn’t appear to be anchored to the ground, permanently or otherwise.

Verdict: it’s personal property.

Just to be safe, though, in the property’s “Agent Remarks” section on MLS, the homeowner explicitly excludes Lucy from the sale.

P.S.: Just as personal property can be contractually added to the home sale, fixtures can be contractually excluded.

However, Sellers who want to exclude specific fixtures from sale — for example, a crystal chandelier in the Dining Room — are better advised to remove the item(s) from the home before going on the market.

**At least in the Twin Cities, there’s one BIG exception to the “fixtures stay/personal property goes” convention: appliances.

Specifically, the refrigerator, oven/stove, and washer/dry are customarily left in the home — and specifically written into the Purchase Agreement that way.

See also, “And Repeat: “Never Negotiate Furniture,” “Never Negotiate Furniture. . .“; “Fixture Confusion“; “How to Tell if Something is a Fixture“; “Taking the Fun Out of a Deal (Literally)“; and “MLS: “All attached TV mounts shall stay but not TV’s.”

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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