There is no question that home-technology has improved tremendously in recent years. As a result of this improvement, we have received a steady increase in questions and disputes regarding whether an item should be considered a fixture or personal property with respect to residential sales. For example, flat screen TVs and built in speaker units have become increasingly hot topics of controversy.

For years, televisions and stereo equipment have been widely considered personal property and not included in real estate transactions. However, as technology has improved and homeowners are more commonly affixing items such as flat screen TV’s and built in speaker systems to their homes, the common question has become whether or not those items should be included in the transaction. Unfortunately, there is no steadfast rule with respect to this issue and the outcome often depends on numerous factors.

At Berlin Patten, we have found that a simple and pro-active solution to this increasingly common dispute will be for the parties to specifically include or exclude such items in the contract. It is advisable to take pictures of the appliances and/or electronics in question to ensure that there will be no dispute. Specifically including items like flat screen TVs and built in stereo equipment in the contract will go a long way in helping to avoid the possibility of a last minute closing controversy.

As always, should you have any questions regarding any of the foregoing, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Berlin Patten team.


Berlin-Patten, PLLC

This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.

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