Chattel – Real Estate Term of the Week

In general terms, chattel, is a personal possession. In legal terms, chattel is defined as “an item of property other than real estate.”

Why is this a real estate term? 

Typically, when purchasing a home, the buyer will ask for certain personal property that belongs to the seller to remain with the real estate. This is often the refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, window coverings, and other appliances. Sometimes though, the buyer would like to keep something of the seller’s like a patio set or the sectional sofa in the basement living room.

The bank that is financing the home will likely allow such things like the kitchen appliances to be in the purchase contract as those are seen as “normal” items to sell with a house. A couch or patio set however is not normal and should not be part of the purchase contract. If the buyer wishes to purchase those items with the house, the buyer and seller typically will have their own agreement separate of the purchase contract.

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