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Living in the city it’s not common for a listing to exclude large appliances from the kitchen or laundry room, it seems this is more common in rural areas. What we do see sometimes is smaller exclusions, like the dining room chandelier.

While the object that is a chandelier falls in the definition of Personal Property:

sometimes called personalty, is all property that does not fit in the definition of real property…[Real Property] the interests, benefits, and rights that are automatically included in the ownership of land and real estate.

When the chandelier is attached to the ceiling it becomes a fixture, just as kitchen cabinets and attached bookcases are also fixtures.

A fixture is an item of personal property that has been so attached to land or a building that, by law, it becomes part of the real estate.

Leaving the question, isn’t the chandelier part of the house?
This can become a grey area, but with a few possible solutions.

The best solution for sellers is to replace the fixture, such as the chandelier, that they want to keep and sell the new one with the home.

Of course many sellers only wish the best for the new owners and would rather let the buyer pick something that fits their taste. At the same time the dining room needs light.

Gilded wood chandelier, French Empire, c. 1805...

Image via Wikipedia

This is where the next common solution comes in.
When the property is listed the seller and listing agent should discuss which items will be included in the sale; leave the very long custom drapes, keep the antique chandelier, etc. Then the listing sheet will explain what will be removed, so the buyers will understand up front.

To confirm the buyers should also write on the contract what fixtures they expect will stay, if there may be any doubt.

Legally there are four tests used to determine if an item is personal property or a fixture.

  1. Intent—was the item installed with the intention that it would be removed in the future or no?
  2. Method of annexation—How permanent is the installation? Can the item be removed without damaging the surrounding property?
  3. Adaptation to real estate—How is the item being used, as real property or personal property?
  4. Agreement—Has there been a written agreement between the parties stating whether the item is personal or real property?

As a seller listing a home or a buyer writing up a contract keep these three words in mind; intent, method, adaptation, to help you decide if an agreement needs to be put in writing.

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NOTE: Quotes and facts from Modern Real Estate Practice in Illinois by Dearborn Real Estate Education.