After months of checking online listings, popping in at open houses, and working with professionals in property sales in Graduate Hospital and other parts of the city, you’ve found the perfect home. It’s a two-bedroom with gorgeous exposed brick, a fancy chandelier that ties the dining room together, and a garden full of blooming roses in the backyard. When you make your final walk through the home before signing the lease, you see that the rose bushes have been ripped out and the chandelier has been removed. Furious, you march up to the agent, who tells you that the original owner didn’t consider those features part of the deal. Is this legal?
Every first time homeowner needs to understand the difference between real and personal property. Though everything that can be owned can be considered property, the law divides property into two separate categories:
- Real property. Real property describes the land up for purchase and anything attached to the land. Things like walls, ingrained lighting fixtures, outdoor sheds, and shelving are all considered real property because they are considered to be “immovable” from the property. Real property shown during open houses must be included in the sale of the home except in very rare cases. An example of a rare case is that if a tool shelf affixed to the wall is considered essential for the mechanic who is moving out of the home, he may take it along with him, even though once it is attached to the wall the shelf is considered to be real property and part of the home.
- Personal property. Everything that isn’t real property is considered personal property. As a general rule, anything that can be easily removed from a property for sale is considered personal property and will not be included with the sale. Things like furniture, bedding, curtains, and small appliances are considered personal property. Personal property also includes intangible property, such as stocks, bonds, or intellectual properties.
In the example above, it is not legal for the previous owner of the home to remove the bushes and chandelier from the home before the sale, as these features are considered real property and an extension of the home. This example also highlights the importance of keeping representation with you while you search for the perfect home in Philadelphia.
Are you looking for assistance with your property sales in South Philly? DJCRE is here to help! We’ll act as your representation in the City of Brotherly Love, and we’ll help you find the perfect space for you and your family. Give us a call today at 215-720-1097.