Mint Hill, NC Real Estate Agent and Home Stager: What is the difference between Fixtures and Personal Property?

What is the difference between Fixtures and Personal Property?

What is the difference between Fixtures and Personal Property?  That is a question I get asked a lot during a listing presentation or by a buyer when they want to make an offer.  A fixture is generally considered something that is permanently attached to the home.  There are items that some people consider a fixture that is not and somethings that are fixtures that sellers sometimes want to take with them.  My recommendation to the seller who wants to take a special plant, mirror or light fixture with them, remove it before you put the house on the market and replace it with a like item.   For some strange reason when you dictate that an item is not included in the sale of a home, it makes a buyer want it.

What is the difference between Fixtures and Personal Property?  Below are some examples of fixtures:

Light fixtures, heating and cooling units, garage door openers (and the remotes), built-in shelving units, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, garbage disposals, attached flooring, wall to wall carpet, ceiling fans, shutters, awnings, bathroom mirrors, shower heads, switch plates, door nobs, pulls, fireplace screens, gas logs, mantles, detached storage buildings, invisible fencing (the collars that go with them), landscaping, swimming pools (above and below ground), fences.

What is the difference between Fixtures and Personal Property?  Below are some examples of personal property:

Furniture, area rugs, refrigerators, washer and dryers, window treatments that are not permanently attached (the rod pocket may be considered a fixture, the fabric is not), Flat screen TVs (again the bracket that mounts it to the wall a fixture, the TV is not), potted plants, BBQ grills (unless they are built in).  

As technology changes and new products come out it seems we are constantly  challenged by new items and trying to determine if they are Fixtures or Personal Property.  My motto is when it doubt, write it out (on the contract that is) that way there is no misunderstanding on What is the difference between Fixtures and Personal Property?

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This article was written by:  Jennifer Manchester.   If you want to learn more about Staging your Charlotte, NC home to sell contact Jennifer Manchester at  and make an appointment to give your home a competitive edge and use the ultimate  home seller's  marketing tool to beat out your competition and get your home sold faster.

If you would like to search homes for sale in Charlotte, NC or search homes for sale in  Matthews, NC or search homes for sale in Mint Hill, NC and surrounding areas, you can see for yourself what is available.  If you would like to meet with Jennifer Manchester to discuss buying  or selling your home in the greater Charlotte, Matthews, Mint Hill area visit her at to schedule an appointment today!

Comment balloon 4 commentsJennifer Manchester • May 24 2011 10:06PM


Hi, Jennifer.  I've had buyers include in the contract my staging props, though the agents know they weren't the sellers' personal property.  lol

Posted by Yolanda Hoversten, Broker - O Fallon, IL Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties) almost 7 years ago

Hi Yolanda:

Buyer's these days think sellers are so desperate that they can get anything if they ask.  I actually put signs in my listings that are staged with rented items that they are for sale and can be bought separately.  Another stager friend of mine suggested it.  The only problem is they want it at yard sale prices!!  She also indicated to make the price high and not negotiate especially if it is an item that is popular because you have to go out and replace it.

Go figure.  Thanks for the comment.


Posted by Jennifer Manchester, GRI, ePRO, ASP - Broker/Home Stager (Suburban Properties of Charlotte, LLC ) almost 7 years ago

Jennifer~ I agree that especially meaningful fixtures should be removed prior to marketing, such as an heirloom chandelier. Replace that precious item with a new one. Putting an exception in the listing just puts a "target on the back" of that item.

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) almost 7 years ago

Jennifer - Excellent information and tips about the difference between fixtures and personal property. Thank you for the detailed quality blog.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) almost 7 years ago