What’s The Difference Between A Fixture And A Chattel When Buying A Home?

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

What’s The Difference Between A Fixture And A Chattel When Buying A Home?

Buying a home can be an overwhelming experience, and there’s a lot to learn when it comes to the various documents and terminology involved. Luckily, your real estate agent can help you navigate the sometimes-confusing waters, like whether something is a chattel or a fixture.
 
A fixture is something fixed within a home that will not be taken by the seller when they leave. A chattel is something moveable that the seller will take when they go. Confusion can arise when one is mistaken for or assumed to be another.
 
Where issues can arise, is when prospective buyers fall in love with certain aspects of a home and don’t realize that these items are chattels – meaning they’ll be gone come moving day. Things can become even more complicated when an item consists of both chattels and fixtures, such as wall-mounted electronics or fishponds (the pond would stay, but the fish might move with the seller).
 
During the home buying process, avoid confusion by letting your real estate agent know which specific items in the home you may be interested in. That way, all included fixtures and chattels can be outlined in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, so both parties are fully informed.