Personal Property vs. Real Property

Personal Property vs. Real Property

In real estate, there is often disagreement between personal property and real property. The rule of thumb is that if the property is attached to the property in a manner that would cause damage to the real property if it is removed, then the property becomes real property and should be left with the property upon sale of the property.

Unfortunately, it is often times not a clear-cut distinction. For example: A child’s swing set in the backyard would undoubtedly be considered a personal item and would be removed upon sale of the property. However, if the legs of the swing set are anchored in cement to prevent the set from tipping over, the swing set would most likely be considered real property and need to stay with the real estate with the sale of the home.

It is important that sellers’ and buyers’ determine what is personal property and what is real property. Items that may be construed as real property may be removed from the property at the time of sale provided that the contract clearly indicates which items the seller will be taking. It is also important to note that the seller is responsible for any repair work to damaged real property. This repair work should be completed before the final walk through.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at



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