REAL PROPERTY vs. PERSONAL PROPERTY - Coastal Florida Real Estate


Is it Real Property or Personal Property?

One question that comes up often in residential real estate is this: Is it real property or personal property?

The question is traditionally answered this way:  If it is attached to a wall or ceiling, it is real property.

Real property

Real Property

Once an object is attached to a wall, for contract purposes it is no longer considered your personal property but rather personal property.  What about the case of attaching something to a wall for stabilizing purposes?  This could get tricky.

Suppose there was a large wall unit that was attached to the wall only to help stabilize it.  Is it real property or personal property?

What about the mounting bracket for the flat screen TV shown below.  Technically, it is a part of the TV but it is also attached to the wall.  So is it real property or personal property?

real property

Personal Property

Personal property would be everything else that is not permanently attached.  Clearly, the TV used with the bracket above is personal property.

Sometimes, a home has things in it that are used to “stage” the home and clearly the home would seem different if they were removed.

A perfect example would be one of these oversize mirrors that sit on the floor and lean up against the wall.  If you were purchasing the house, a mirror like that would certainly be missed when you did your final walk-through.

The Solution

When inspecting houses that you are considering buying, take pictures, lots of pictures.  Better yet, have your agent take them to share with you later.

One perfect place to store and share pictures of the home is the program/app called Evernote.

Why pictures?  Because when it comes time to prepare an offer, you can look at the pictures of each room to determine if there is any personal property in it you want to ask for and better yet, anything that might need clarification such as the TV mounting bracket above.


Because your offer is more than just a “price”.  It includes 5 parts, one of which is asking for certain things to be left with the house or even removed before closing.

Such as an above ground pool.  Should it stay or should it go?

I guarantee that it is easier to ask for something during the initial offer than later because once a contract is signed, both parties will want to squeeze just a little more out of the deal and this will lead to hurt feelings.

Don’t rush into a deal then wish you had taken more time.  Think about your offer and structure it properly.

On the other hand, if you are selling, make it perfectly clear what is conveying with the house and what is not.  And don’t leave strategic items in the house, like a chandelier, only to take it before closing.  Go ahead and replace it now.

Put yourself in the buyer’s position:  They see a beautiful chandelier and then during the walk-through find nothing but wires hanging from the ceiling.  For $100 you, the seller, can make this problem vanish.

If you would like to have a conversation about meeting your real estate needs and moving forward with your plans, contact me directly at 561.762.4073 or use the form below.  Got a comment?  I’d love to hear that too.

Richard Sites, Realtor