Real Estate Q&A
We are considering selling our home and downsizing. We would prefer to sell it fully furnished, as we have purchased furnishings specifically for this house. All our decor has been professionally done, hand selected and is very nice. I am sure that it would add value to our home and then we could leave it in the home it was chosen for. What experience have you had with sales such as ours, fully furnished and what advice can you provide? Thank you.
— Loretta, Grand Junction
Sounds like you have a wonderful home and I would bet you have done it beautifully. To be honest, I have not been involved in many sales of fully furnished homes. Selling a home fully furnished can potentially be a good thing, but do not expect to get any real value from your furnishings. Most people would love to have your beautiful furnishings, but will likely be unwilling to pay any “real” sum of money for them, but this also depends on the price range of your home and frankly, the buyer who is purchasing your home.
Often times when a buyer comes into a home that has been professionally staged and decorated, the furnishings can be distracting, because it is so nice! Most buyers say, “This is beautiful, but our furniture and decor is not near this nice, this looks like it is out of a magazine.” They know once the furnishings are removed the home will likely not look nearly as good and they assume, probably correctly, that it will cost them a fortune to get it looking that good again. If your home fits this description then leaving the furniture could be a great move, as long it’s are not too personalized or will narrow your buyer pool significantly. If everything is done in a western motif, this will appeal to some, but rule out the vast majority.
Remember that if you leave the furniture, you need to be aware that it is considered personal property and the cost of the furniture will not be added into the value of your home. This means that if you are selling your home at market value and leaving what you believe to be $30,000 in decor, the added $30,000 will not be reflected in the appraisal, your appraisal will not be $30,000 more because you left the furniture. The appraisal is used to evaluate the real estate, not the personal property included in the sale. Any personal property included in the sale will have to be given a nominal value as to not impact the real property appraisal value.
A best practice, or one we typically use, is to have your furniture and decor itemized and priced so a prospective buyer can purchase them from you separate from the sale of the home. Keep in mind, if you make the list and make it available to the buyer prior to them writing an offer on your home, many of the items on the list are likely to show up in the offer as part of the deal and given no added value. We suggest letting buyers know that you are willing to sell some or all of the furniture and you will make the list available to them after you come to contract terms. This will help the negotiating of the contract remain centered on the real estate and not the personal property. It is NOT a best practice to have family room furniture with a, used, street value of $1,500 getting in the way of a home sale of $250,000. Adding furniture and personal items to a contract for sale on property often leads down a bad road, where the furniture becomes a problem and all the energy is concentrated on who is going to get the couch or not and not the home! Best practice is to leave all personal items, including furniture, out of all negotiations until after the home is under contract. After the home is under contract and both parties have agreed upon the sale price of the home, you can open the door to furniture negotiations. I hope this advice helps make your decision easier and provides some clarity. Best of luck.
The Kimbrough Team,
RE/MAX 4000, Inc