Should You Sell Your Home Furnished?

Should You Sell Your Home Furnished?


Preparing your home to sell requires a lot of time, energy, and difficult decision making.

One decision you need to make if you are selling your home is if you would like to sell your home furnished or unfurnished. There are a variety of reasons to consider selling your home furnished with one of the most notable factors being the price range of your home. In general, homes that are sold as furnished are high-end luxury homes or vacation homes. These types of houses cater to buyers from out of town or those that don’t have the time to furnish a home. However, even if your home is not a luxury property you can still sell your home furnished to the right buyer. Consider these pros and cons of selling your home furnished before listing your property.

Pros of selling a furnished house

Part of selling a home is displaying your property in a way that buyers can envision themselves living in it. When sellers remove all of their furniture prior to selling, the home can look bare and uninviting. This can make it harder to sell. However, a home that is furnished and staged correctly makes buyers feel more welcome and comfortable in it. Fully furnished homes also detract from possible flaws in the home. For instance if your home has small nooks that are unusable, adding a small sitting area can make the area more appealing. A final benefit of selling your home furnished is the convenience of not having to move furniture. If you are selling a second home or simply downsizing and have no use for the furniture that is left behind, then selling your home furnished will make those processes easier for you.

Cons of selling a furnished house

Keeping your home furnished and staged to sell takes more time than clearing out the house and moving to your new home. Furnishings need to be cleaned and kept in peak condition during the selling process which can take several months or more. Furnishings aren’t for everyone. Some buyers want to move into a blank canvas that they can make their own. Finally, the biggest drawback to selling your home furnished is that you will need to purchase all new furniture for the new home. If new furniture is going to cost more than moving costs and you do not get a very high return on the furniture you are leaving behind you could be out quite a bit of money.

Financial Considerations

Financially, selling your home furnished will only benefit you if you have the right buyer and furnishings that are valued high enough to help with your home sale. Determine the value of your furnishings by determining their original cost as well as how long you have had them. If you have had your furniture for longer than ten years you will more than likely only receive 25% of the original cost. Even if the furniture is newer, you will most likely not recoup the full price. Furniture loses its value almost as soon as it is placed in a home. In general, homeowners receive less than 50% of their furniture’s original price.

If you decide to sell your home furnished you should consider how you structure the sale. One option is to include the furniture as a package sale with the property. Your realtor can list the property as turnkey, with all furnishing included in the sale. This means the furniture will be assigned a zero value which will eliminate the sales concession reduction. The second option is to itemize the furniture as a sales concession. This means the cost of the furniture would not be covered by the lender and would need to be purchased by the seller with cash. Finally, you can sell the furniture as a separate transaction apart from the home sale. Doing this will keep the two sales completely separate. The furniture transaction will not show up on the final settlement statement at closing and you and the buyer could negotiate the sale of the furniture privately.

You may get a better offer for your furniture if it is an antique or one of a kind piece. If you believe your furniture may be unique you should contact an antique dealer or a furniture appraiser. Your furniture’s condition will be a major factor in pricing. Worn pieces of furniture that have nicks or scratches will be worth less.

In the end, the decision to sell your home furnished will need to be made with your real estate agent. While some factors such as price range and furniture quality will influence the decision, so will others like market trends and buyer enthusiasm.