How to avoid those bad surprises at closing

How to avoid bad surprises at closingWhat comes with the home that you are buying (or selling) is a huge source of confusion for most people.  That is why it causes so many problems in real estate transactions.

Buyers assume that certain things belong with the home and Sellers do the opposite.  Most of the time no one makes sure that their position is clear and in writing. 

When you are selling your home in Tennessee, you are selling the “real” property only, and not any personal property.  The laws differ in every state, and here is how they are defined in Tennessee.

Real Property starts with the land and includes anything permanently affixed to it.   This includes the structures with permanent foundations or anything that is buried in the ground.   Everything else is considered “personal” property by the state. 

Sounds simple enough right?

However, there are so many grey areas it is best to make sure your intentions are clear to all parties. 

Here are the most common misconceptions about “real” property.

  1. Your real estate contract covers “real” property only.  If you want to include something that is personal property, it is not covered in your real estate contract.

  2. Anything that is affixed to your home becomes “real” property.  This is what we refer to as the “Screwed and Glued” policy.   If it is screwed, nailed or otherwise attached to the home, it becomes real property.   This goes for all light fixtures, curtain rods, blinds, built in appliances, alarm systems, TV brackets and other similar items. 

  3. Things that are not attached or built in remain as personal property and do not transfer with the home.  This is where it gets confusing.  Most refrigerators are not built in and are considered personal property.   The curtains are not permanently attached to the home so only the curtain rods will automatically transfer with the sale.  Flat Screen TV brackets are attached to the home, but the TVs are not and they are considered personal property.  If the shed in the backyard is not on a permanent foundation, it is considered personal property and does not transfer.

It’s easy to see how most people are confused when it comes to personal property. 

My best advice is to take an inventory of any item that you want to transfer with the home and determine if it is attached or not.  In your contract make sure it is abundantly clear what items that you want to ensure stay with the home.  If you want to purchase some personal property with any value, make sure that you have a separate bill of sale for those items.  If you do not want some real property included in the sale of your home, detach it before you offer your home for sale.

If you are concerned about confusion with real property in your next transaction, let’s chat.  I’ll be happy to listen to your concerns and answer any questions. 

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