Differing opinions and confusing law makes this the cause for many real estate disputes. Generally speaking, anything permanently attached to the property is considered a fixture. This includes items such as: landscaping, lighting, curtain rods (but typically not the curtains), window treatments, and built in furniture to name a few. Major appliances may be hard to move, but are treated as personal property. However, in some cases appliances may be considered fixtures. An example of that would be a built in Sub Zero refrigerator. While it can easily be unplugged and rolled away, some would consider it a fixture.
The best way to prevent a dispute over fixtures is to specifically list what will stay and what will go in the purchase contract. If you are purchasing a home, don’t assume that the beautiful chandelier will stay. While the law says it should stay, the Seller may not know or care. Get it in writing early in the process!
Drew Parker is the owner of The Parker Company real estate in Greenville, SC.