Picture Hooks and Repairing the Damage


Property is purchased while staged, once de-staged during buyer visit, buyers realize that all artwork on the walls was hung with screws and plugs plus additional nail holes. Also, while being de-staged the walls under the art and staircase/doorways are scuffed quite badly.

1. I realize that to a buyer and a buyer’s agent they would have seen that art was hung on the walls, and I suppose reasonably assumed that there was anchors for each piece. In my experience when I move from my own home, I always remove screws patch and paint because I don’t want the first thing our buyer has to do to be paint the entire place and patch holes.

I guess my question is, is this more of a courteous thing to do or would it be expected ? Is there a line somewhere, if there were gaping holes from multiple tv’s being hung would this be the same ? Buyer should have known that would happen as there were tv’s hung during the showing ?

2. Marking of the walls during de-staging should be remedied correct ?


The items were chattels. The hooks took their identity from the items and were therefore also chattels. The key date is the date of the APS. So, if the stager had not removed them by then, and does so after the APS date, then, they have to remove the items, remove the hooks and repair any resulting damage. That was the opinion of Bora Laskin when he was teaching real estate, but he passed away before there were wall mounts for TV’s, however, I assume that his answer would be the same. Due to the extremely small financial impact, I am not aware of any cases where this particular issue went to Court.

I should also note, that if the Stager removed the items, left the hooks in place, and then, the APS was signed, we have a different result. The items indeed were chattels, but they have been removed. The hooks which previously took their identity from those items are now fixtures themselves, so they can remain and there’s no obligation to remove them or repair any damage. So, the obligation is placed upon the real estate agent to know the status as of the APS time.

While the question posed is rather theoretical in nature, it does go the the fundamental difference between chattels and fixtures.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker


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