When purchasing or selling a home, occasionally there is some confusion as to what is included in the asking price. Generally speaking, anything that is attached to the home is considered a fixture and is included in the asking price. A handy visual is to imagine taking a home and turning it upside down…whatever is left in place stays with the home as a fixture. Any moveable items that fall out, such as pictures hanging on walls or appliances, are not routinely included and would be referred to as chattels.
When selling a home, your real estate representative will ask you when drawing up the Listing Agreement if there are any fixtures that you would like to exclude. For example, you might wish to take your family heirloom chandelier with you to your new home or the expensive drapes in the formal dining room. The choice is yours. In the case of a chandelier, a buyer may ask that you replace the removed item with a substitute so they are not left in the dark room on closing day.
Alternatively, when making an offer to purchase a home, your realtor will ask if there is anything normally viewed as a chattel that you would like included in your offer. Some buyers ask to have major appliances included or a large piece of furniture that fits a space well. The seller always has the option to decline in this case.
To avoid misunderstandings, verbal agreements are never recommended and inclusions and exclusions should always be detailed in the Listing Agreement and the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (the offer). An Agreement of Purchase and Sale is like a conversation in writing that expresses the buyer's wish to purchase a property and the proposed terms of sale. It only becomes legally binding when everything is mutually agreed upon and signed by both parties. Among many other important details included in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale is specific information about inclusions and exclusions, or chattels. The buyer and seller need to agree on the chattels and/or fixtures included before signing the offer.
For more information about chattels and fixtures, visit www.wedothehomework.ca.