Real Estate Term of the Day: Fixtures

Real Estate Term of the Day: Fixtures

FIXTURES – improvements or personal property attached to the land so as to become part of the real estate (Barron’s Dictionary of Real Estate Terms)

According to the Colorado Contract To Buy and Sell Real Estate, these items are always considered fixtures of the home:

  • Lighting
  • Heating – venalating and air condition fixtures
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical wiring
  • TV antennas
  • Inside telephone, network and coaxial (cable) wiring and connecting blocks/jacks
  • Plants (in exterior gardens)
  • Mirrors
  • Floor coverings
  • Intercom systems
  • Built-in kitchen appliances
  • Sprinkler systems and controls
  • Built-in vacuum systems (including accessories)
  • Garage door openers including any remote controls

Personal property whether attached or not on the date of the Contract are also included with the sale of the home:

  • Storm windows & storm doors
  • Window and porch shades, awnings, blinds, screens, window coverings, curtain rods and drapery rods
  • Fireplace inserts, fireplace screens and fireplace grates
  • Heating stoves
  • Storage sheds and all keys
  • Water Softeners
  • Smoke/Fire Detectors
  • Security Systems
  • Satellite Systems (including satellite dishes).

The contract further states that if any fixtures are attached to the Property after the date of the Contract, such additional fixtures are also included in the Purchase Price (unless otherwise mentioned as an exclusion).  Attention Sellers – If you are selling your home, a good rule of thumb is to remove all items that you want before putting your home on the market.  It never seems to fail that once you decide you want to exclude that special fixture, the buyer will automatically want it.  For whatever reason, chandeliers seem to be a big item that buyers and sellers battle for.

Chandelier Hanging over Entry Way

How do I know if an item is a fixture or not?  The State of California has a good acronym to determine if an item is considered a fixture (M-A-R-I-A)*:

  1. M – Method of attachment. Is the item permanently affixed to the wall, ceiling or flooring by using nails, glue, cement, pipes, or screws?
  2. A -Adaptability. If the item becomes an integral part of the home, it cannot be removed.
  3. R – Relationship of the parties. If the dispute is between buyer and seller, the buyer is likely to prevail.
  4. I – Intention of party when the item was attached. When the installation took place, if the intent was to make the item a permanent attachment, for example, a built-in custom refrigerator with cabinet paneling that matches the rest of the kitchen cabinets was installed.  It was obviously meant to stay.
  5. A – Agreement between the parties. What was agree upon in the contract?

*source: http://homebuying.about.com/od/marketfactstrends/f/082108_Fixture.htm


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