Selling A Furnished Home? Here’s What You Should Know.

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I am absolutely in love with learning and sharing all things real estate. I’m an agent for Jacaranda Real Estate In Harare, Zimbabwe. This blog will be the ultimate resource for all things real estate so subscribe and stay tuned.

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There are certain protocols to selling a home that most people believe are set in stone as basic golden rules. One such example is the basic rule that when you sell your house, your move your stuff out and the new owner moves their stuff in.

But in some not so rare cases, selling your home and leaving every that isn’t nailed to the wall isn’t only just an option but can in some cases be the best option.

This post is going to give a quick rundown over what, who, when and whys of selling a furnished home.

What is a furnished house?

Any transaction for residential or commercial property that includes full or partial furnishings from the previous owner.

What Is Included In A Furnished Property?

Furnished deals come in one of two categories; Fully Furnished or Partially Furnished:

1. Fully Furnished-

A fully furnished property sale involves the sale of pretty much everything in the home as it is when the buyer sees it. This can include the following:

  • Loose (movable) furniture.
  • White goods (Deep freezers, fridges, washing machines).
  • General appliances and utensils.
  • Outdoor decorative furnishings (lawn ornaments, outdoor furniture, pot plants).
  • Indoor decorative furnishes (posters).
  • In rare cases, the property can come with sentimental value items such as clothing, jewelry, and personal images.

When a property is being sold fully furnished with the inclusion of sentimental items, it is usually the result of either a foreclosure or the tenant having passed with no next of kin to inherit the contents of the home.

The above is a particularly unusual case for the sale of a fully furnished home. Below I will be detailing more common reasons as to why selling a furnished home is the best course of action.

Partially Furnished-

Partially furnished properties are loose in definition and are as negotiable as either property buyer or seller is willing to discuss and agree upon.

As long as one or more (but not all of the factors listed in a fully furnished home) is involved contractually in the transaction deal of the property; it accounts as a partially furnished home.

If you were selling your home with the intention of moving all your belongings out but the buyer requested to buy all the contents of the living room along with the home. That would be a Partial Furnishing Deal.

How do you buy a furnished home?

The inclusion of furnishing in the transaction of a home is usually a subcontracting deal which is either initiated by the buyer if they want to buy the home fully or partially furnished as they would have seen it before or the seller of the property automatically has the home listed with a note that it would include partial or full furnishing when sold.

Why would A Home Be sold Furnished?

Do furnished houses sell better?

There are indeed cases when selling a furnished home will not help the property sell faster and at a better value, but there are also cases where selling a furnished home would likely be the only way to sell the property at all; this is most prominent when selling large estate properties like mansions.

Besides that, the following is a list of reasons as to why a home seller might choose to sell their home fully or partially furnished:

1. Owner convenience.

In specific situations, the current homeowner may want to get rid of all or the majority of the furnishings of their home for convenience reasons; such as in the event of having to move to another city, state, country or continent for personal or business reasons.

In such a case, the cost; in time, stress and money needed to move all the furniture across borders or to sell it may be so problematic that having it as an added feature in the sale of the home would just make the entire process that much smoother.  

2. Extra selling feature.

Primarily with selling to new homeowners or buyers of massive estates such as mansions; the convenience towards the buyer of not having to scout for the necessary furniture to make the house less empty could be charged at a premium of up to 30% more of the cost of the property.

3. Lifestyle adjustment.

In the majority of cases, furnished homes are sold as the result of a seller changing their lifestyle towards being more minimalist.

This can be the case for selling a fully furnished home if the seller of the property may be selling a secondary vacation home or for the sale of a partially furnished home; they could be downsizing their accommodation and cannot accommodate all the furniture they had before.

4. May help the home sell better.

This is especially the case for selling high-end properties such as mansions or multi-unit properties. In most cases, the burden of having to furnish the entire property properly could be so bothersome that homes in that specific high-end market have to be furnished to improve their opportunities for a sale.

Finding someone willing and able to buy a property 30 million dollar home already puts your target in the 1% – finding someone willing, able and wanting to buy a 30 million dollar home that needs furnishing in all its 24  rooms further shrinks the target market.  

5. Buyer demands.

In some cases, the prospective buyer may request the inclusion of partial or full furnishing in the contract or a subcontract for the property.

It’s more common that a buyer may want a specific piece of furniture like a table, desk or outside furniture than the entire home as it is; though this is also possible.

Should You Sell A Furnished House? Pros and Cons:

Advantages of Selling a Furnished Home.

1. Hides the defects.

Furniture does an outstanding job of hiding all the little (and sometimes large) imperfections a home might have built up over the years. Cracked tiles or a burnt carpet? Move a couch on top of it, drill holes, chipped or cracking walls? A good large portrait will cover that right up.

This isn’t to say that all homes being sold with furnishing are part of some nefarious scheme to hide the defects and trick buyers; it’s just a fact that when you selling an empty home, the defects and flaws are the only things that now stick out.

2. Makes the home more homely.

The most influential method of getting a buying offer from prospects is through open houses and private viewings; they give a sense of comfort and allow the prospect to imagine living in the home.

Walking through a continuous series of empty rooms doesn’t do much to help the prospect imagine living happily in the property.

When the home is sold furnished; the prospect has the majority of what they need to see the living environment; there are no worries about considering which room should be which and how they interconnect. They are given a good template from what the previous owner did and a good foundation to make tweaks from.

3. Helps with listings.

Almost all properties are advertised through a form of MLS (Multiple Listing Service); where details of the property such as neighborhood, structural specifications and images, and videos are made available to interested parties.

Properties on an MLS are typically competing with one another for attention and property with empty rooms is often less attractive than one which has great occupied images of the rooms.

Empty rooms are often ironically too busy for most buyers as they make them try to work out which room is which, how big are they, how do they connect, how would they look with furniture, etc.

4. Attractive to first-time buyers and vacation home buyers.

These two groups of individuals potentially benefit and would be willing to pay a premium for a furnished home because of the convenience and potential savings that would be made from not having to purchase all the brand new furniture needed to fill the home.

5. Saves the owner and buyer on moving costs.

A full or partial furnished deal over a property potentially reduces or completely negates the costs needed to transport both the furnishings of the seller out of the property and the furnishings of the buyer into the property.

Disadvantages of Selling a Furnished Home.

1. It requires good dressing.

When compared to a fully empty home; furnishing can both potentially lead to a significantly improved or worsened perception of the property.

When done well, furnishing will make the home seem more open, comfortable and warm environment that can better influence prospects to make a faster and higher offer for the home.

When carried out poorly, rooms can seem small and cramped as well as hide the architectural designs.

It is always best to get assistance from a third party; be it a real estate agent or an honest friend on how to improve (window dress) the way your property looks with furniture in it if you intend to sell it furnished.   

2. It can make the closing process longer.

For legality sake, each furnished item that is to be a part of the sale of the property would have to be listed and graded on its quality.

It is also important for the seller and buyer to be aware that most mortgage companies are not willing to provide loans that cover furnishings because they are harder to reclaim and sell in the event of the buyer being unable to make their mortgage payments.

As such, the buyer would have to take out a different load or fund the purchase of furnishings alone. If the buyer enters a credit agreement with the buyer; the seller takes the full risk of not being paid by the buyer.

3. Not attractive to established buyers.

Though furnishing is almost always a benefit for new homeowners and individuals looking to buy a vacation home. But it is also almost always a negative for both the buyer and the seller if the prospects interested in the house are an established home buyer; looking to upgrade or downgrade into your home with their furniture.

This is because the issue of handling and discarding the furniture becomes an additional cost whereby the seller wants to sell the furniture but the buyer does not want it.

Unless the seller decides to miss out selling to established homeowners, they will likely have to discard of the furniture themselves in some form or the other or discount the furnishings heavily to sell them with the property.

There is also the factor of how furnishings would result in buyers having to pay a larger down payment on the property to account for the additional value of the furnishings. this can potentially kill a deal if buyers were not prepared or willing to pay that large a cost.

Conclusion.

There are many considerations that a seller needs to evaluate when selling their home. The inclusion of furnishing requires a lot of consideration especially when a seller is leaning closer towards selling the home fully furnished.

What do you do if the furniture is wanted by a prospective owner? How much can you value the furnishings? and can you afford a longer selling process?

When evaluations and considerations are properly done, selling a furnished home could be just the tactic you need to make the transaction of your home that much more efficient.

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I am absolutely in love with learning and sharing all things real estate. I’m an agent for Jacaranda Real Estate In Harare, Zimbabwe. This blog will be the ultimate resource for all things real estate so subscribe and stay tuned.