Is a HDTV mounted onto brackets onto a wall considered a built in and has to stay when home is sold?

Asked by Henry, Phoenix, AZ Tue Feb 10, 2009

We have a 42" LCD HDTV that is installed on the wall above the fireplace. It snaps into one of those mounting brackets made especially for wall mounting flat panel tv's. Our listing agent says that only the mounting brackets will have to stay when the home is sold, but a real estate agent neighbor says that a buyer will consider the tv to be built-in and we will have to include it with a sale. Which one is right?

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Gracie, Home Seller, Fairfax, VA
Tue Jan 3, 2017
Yes. Everything that is mounted on the wall stays as part of the house. You cannot take it with you.
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Steve Belt, , Scottsdale, AZ
Wed Feb 11, 2009
Hi Henry.

Isn't it great that you've got 5+ answers here already, and none of them appear to provide the same answer? The definition of a fixture seems to be alluding people. Carlos stated it best, however, and plain and simple, a fixture is anything that is attached to the home, and requires a tool to remove it. ANYTHING attached that requires a tool to remove it is a fixture.

That TV bracket is clearly attached to the wall with some kind of screws. Therefore, it is a fixture. The TV, is probably attached to the bracket via screws, probably requiring an allen wrench to separate it from the bracket. Therefore, the TV becomes a fixture. Even if the bracket is a 2 piece kind, with part attached to the wall, and the second part attached to the TV, since the entire bracket is a fixture, it makes the entire TV a fixture. A few TV's are not in any way attached to their bracket, but instead are hung, like a picture, on the bracket. If that's the case, the TV would be treated just like any other piece of art, and you can take it with you. But does the buyer know that? Probably not.

So, assuming your TV would be considered a fixture, what do you do? If you want to take it with you, make sure the purchase contract states that it does not convey. If the original offer doesn't state anything regarding the TV, be sure to counter-offer your intentions. The MLS listing, signs in the home, and verbal conversations all have no bearing over what is or is not a fixture. Only the contract. So put it in writing, and everyone will be happy.

If it's not in writing, I know a lot of listing agents that are buying their clients flat panel TVs. It seems to be all the rage these days...
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Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Wed Feb 11, 2009
Hi Henry,
this is pretty simple to me.... As with everything in real estate....
Open and honest communications....
It is YOUR the Seller's decision what you are going to leave with the house and what not, there are some clear rules of what is generally considered part of the home, like window treatments tucked town carpeting, shelving that is attached to the walls and built-ins for example.... light fixtures...

But all that said, that does not mean that you cannot make decisions that exempt certain items....
It can be written into the mls listing "Call listing agent for exemptions) or mark the exemptions
dining room fixtures excluded....
All those items should be noted on your listing agreement with your listing Agent your Realtor!

Furthermore what I do as the listing agent besides stating it on the multiple listing input and on the listing agreement, I usually do two things
a) I add a list to the property listing sheet which states clearly the items excluded!
b) And so that there is no confusion or mis-understanding I also put a little note on those items that are
Sometimes this happens for a second refrigerator in the basement, or a pool table in the family room
but sometimes it is a little item, like the curtains for a child's room because they match the bed spread.

So you decide and have your Realtor make it clear and obvious to any agent who shows the property and also any potential buyer who looks at the property.

When an offer is presented items included are marked up by the buyers, and it is your Realtor's job to determine that all these are actually included and go back to the buyers agent if there is anything included that either does not exist on the property or is excluded - at the start of the negotiations...

Hope this helps you a bit.
Edith YourChicagoConnection and Real Estate Expert
0 votes
Phyllis JC A…, Agent, Phoenix, AZ
Wed Feb 11, 2009
Lots of controversial, I just finished GRI Classes and this was one of the issues disgusted. I was told by the insturctor, that the TV would convey because it was attached to the wall and the TV is part of the brackets.
I too sold my home back in March with a 42" TV on the wall. I was very luckly that the buyer didn't realize it was attached and he could have required me to leave it for him.

So, if you want your TV and your home is not under contract, remove it for the wall, The TV's come with a stand, sit it on a table beside your fire place.

This is only my opinion,
0 votes
James Wehner, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Tue Feb 10, 2009
Ah, one of the greatly debated controversial issues. Either real estate agent's answer you were told could be correct. It depends what your intention is as well as the buyer's. Best advice would be to eliminate any doubt. Make it clear to everyone what your intention is.

As Randy had stated, you may want to have language not only in the MLS listing stating that the HDTV mounted above the fireplace does not convey, but also have a sign displayed on the TV itself explaining this TV does not convey with the sale of the house.

You may also note that you will repair all holes in the wall where the TV was mounted unless the buyer says otherwise.

Good luck!
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Carlos Ramir…, Agent, Mesa, AZ
Tue Feb 10, 2009

It will all depend on how it is mounted. The general rule is that if you need a tool to remove it, it should be considered a fixture. If can just remove it without the use of any tools, then it is not a fixture.

But that is a very simple issue to solve. Ask your agent to place a note on the MLS requesting all offers to specify that the TV will not be part of the transaction.

Good luck!
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Randy Hooker, Agent, Chandler, AZ
Tue Feb 10, 2009

I can't answer as an attorney, but in my opinion, the way you've described the TV, the TV itself would be considered personal property but the mounts themselves would be considered "fixtures," and thus should convey to the buyer. That's assuming you can easily snap the TV out of the brackets and remove it.

What the MLS sheet says is irrelevant. The purchase contract will prevail. So even tho you may say something like "TV not to convey to buyer" in the MLS listing, if it is NOT written into the contract, then there's room for doubt, disagreement and trouble. Make sense?

Perhaps your best bet is to simply remove the TV until your house is sold.

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