One of the hardest parts about selling your home is the hassle of moving all of your furniture out before a new buyer moves in. Sometimes it might seem easier to just leave everything behind, walk away carefree, and buy new stuff—especially if you’re not particularly attached to your furnishings in the first place.
Well, as it turns out—you can do just that. But should you?
We’re not gonna lie: It can be a tricky line to toe. Selling your home furnished could increase your home’s value—or it could actually cause it to plummet. In fact, your furniture could be the reason your home flies off the market, or lingers indefinitely.
What are the benefits of selling a furnished home?
In many cases, selling a furnished home can be mutually beneficial for you and the buyer. Not only can it make the entire moving process easier for both of you, but it can also help prospective buyers envision the property as a livable home.
“Selling a furnished home can sometimes maximize the value and, if furnished well, can act as a no-cost staging of the home to help the home sell faster,” says Elizabeth Kee, a licensed associate real estate broker at CORE.
Plus, if a buyer is moving into a new town and doesn’t want to spend the time decorating her new place, a furnished space can be a selling point.
What are the disadvantages of selling a furnished home?
Of course, while you might love all of the pieces in your home, potential buyers might not.
“Oftentimes, furnishings can deter a purchaser, as tastes vary greatly and undesirable furnishings can turn off buyers—especially if the buyers are burdened with the task of removing unwanted furnishings after closing,” Kee says.
That also means that your furniture could very well delay how long your listing is on the market, says Jaime Watts, a Realtor® at Compass.
And before you decide whether to sell your home furnished, consider what kind of home you’re selling, and where it’s located.
“Resort and vacation rental areas usually sell properties furnished, and it doesn’t affect the time on the market since most people are looking to lease it out right away to a short-term tenant,” Watts says. “Luxury high-end homes with custom designer furniture can also help sweeten the deal for a buyer.”
Do keep in mind, though: Regardless of whether it’s a vacation home or suburban space, furnished homes will typically narrow your candidate pool.
How will selling my home furnished affect my asking price?
In some situations, great furniture can improve the value of your home. But for simplicity’s sake, you won’t want to factor in your furniture when settling on your list price.
“Since there are no real comparable sales for [furnished homes], it can be difficult to negotiate,” explains Johannes Steinbeck, a Realtor at Compass in Los Angeles and Orange County. “It really depends on the quality and value of the furniture.”
“In all of the furnished sales I have done, we negotiated the price of the furnishings separate from the sales price,” Watts adds. “Once we agreed on the price of the furnishings, we included a bill of sale with the purchase contract that was handled through escrow.”
Is my furniture good enough to attract buyers?
Maybe you think the fact that you’re throwing in your replica leg lamp from “A Christmas Story” should have buyers lining up at your door. Or maybe you can’t imagine someone not wanting the 18th-century armoire that would fetch a pretty penny at auction.
But before you start dreaming about all of the dollar signs, consult with your real estate agent.
“Any good real estate professional will help you to be able to determine if selling your home furnished is a good strategy in your market,” Kee says, “and what furnishings should stay, go, or be supplemented.”