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Home for sale: Rose garden not included

Decoding real estate's law of fixtures

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Editor's note: Robert Bruss is temporarily away. The following column from Bruss' "Best of" collection first appeared Sunday, May 7, 2006. During this peak home sales season, when thousands of houses and condominiums will be sold, buyers and sellers need to be aware of what is legally included and excluded from their sale. Most experienced real estate agents have horror stories about "fixtures," which the seller removed but the buyer thought were included in the sale. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. To illustrate, my mother was a mild-mannered woman. Only once did I ever hear her raise her voice. I was helping mom and dad move into their condominium. As I walked down the hallway to the condo carrying some boxes, I heard her scream as she entered the condo, "Where is the chandelier?" The seller had removed the dining room chandelier. Even my dad was surprised. Fortunately, a phone call to the real estate agent resolved the problem, the seller sheepishly restored the chandelier, and ...