(NC) Finding a new home is always an exciting time, filled with inspiring décor ideas and new neighbourhood plans. But don’t let your enthusiasm distract you from practical financial matters important to a successful real estate transaction.

When you find the home you want to purchase, be sure you know exactly what’s included in the purchase price, advises Ray Ferris, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association.

“Arguments about chattels and fixtures can be one of the most aggravating problems that can arise at the closing time between the seller and a buyer,” he says. “You can avoid any issues by writing in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale exactly what is included and what isn’t.”

A “chattel” is considered to be any movable item which is neither land nor permanently attached to the property or any buildings. Some examples include a detached fridge and stove and a lawnmower.

A “fixture” on the other hand is attached to and forms part of the property. Examples are a built-in oven or counter-top stove, wall-to-wall carpeting and a built-in medicine cabinet. An interesting case is a television that is hung on a bracket attached to the wall — the bracket is considered a fixture, the TV a chattel.

The Listing Agreement is used to describe the details of the property, and terms and conditions of the Agreement. The importance of including details about the property in the Listing Agreement cannot be overstated. It will be used by the Realtor who drafts the buyer’s offer, and may end up forming the basis for the legal Agreement of Purchase and Sale between the seller and buyer.

“If there is something you want included in the purchase, tell your Realtor,” advises Ferris. “You may have to pay an additional amount for anything the seller did not include in the purchase price, but at least you won’t be disappointed if it’s not there when you assume possession.”

More information is available at www.wedothehomework.ca.