When a buyer finally finds their dream home after months of searching, sometimes more than just the home catches their eye. When you decorate your home, you put a lot of thought and care into it. Sometimes, you find the perfect pieces of furniture to compliment the space and a buyer recognizes that.
It’s not uncommon to negotiate the sale of select, or all, pieces of furniture during closing. Let’s take a look at what this process looks like and how to negotiate furniture prices.
Whether or not furniture is included in the sale of a home varies from sale to sale. Many buyers will never think to ask to buy furniture from the seller, whereas others may specifically seek out a fully furnished home. The latter is more common in areas where vacation homes or investment properties are popular. That way, the buyer can rent the home out easily with it already furnished, or can pop in for a vacation without having to spend a lot of time and money to furnish and set up the home.
Fully furnished homes are also more standard in the luxury market, as many high-end buyers prefer fully furnished turnkey properties. First-time buyers may also see the appeal, as the process of furnishing an entire home for the first time can be daunting.
Many sellers may not find much appeal in the idea of selling off all of their furniture, but may be happy to part with a few pieces, especially if they were chosen to fit a specific space. To jumpstart the process of selling your furniture with your home, you can let your real estate agent know where you stand and if you will entertain offers to purchase your furniture.
If the sale of furniture with your home is something you hope to achieve, you can let the buyers know during the negotiation process that they’re welcome to adjust their offer to include the sale of select pieces of furniture or all of your furniture. If the sale of all of your furniture with the home is a requirement for you, you’ll want to advertise that up front when you list the home.
These are a few factors you’ll want to keep in mind when you sell your furniture along with your home:
No matter how much you love the decor choices you’ve made for your home, for your furniture to sell with the home, the buyer has to love those choices too. We all have different tastes, so don’t be offended if a buyer isn’t interested in your furniture. If you have newer furniture throughout your home that’s in good condition and is tasteful, it may very well help you sell your home and can bring in extra money if the buyer wants to keep some or all of your pieces of furniture.
Chat with your real estate agent about what decor items are expected to be included in the sale of the home (such as light fixtures, appliances, and window treatments) and what additional elements will count as furniture in the sale (such as tables, chairs, and sofas). Non-furniture items may also catch the eye of the buyer, such as art or electronics mounted to the wall, so don’t forget to think about home goods besides furniture when you negotiate your home sale.
Clarity is key here, so make sure both parties are on the same page about what is included in the sale of the home.
When you spend a lot of time and money to decorate a home, it can sting to sell off your finds at a discount. Doing the math on how much your furniture is worth and how much you should sell it for is admittedly tricky. It’s helpful to start by determining a value for the home without furniture and then pricing the furniture separately. You’re most likely not going to fully recoup what you spent on furniture when you sell it, but including furnishings may help your home sell faster and help lessen your moving costs. Many people pay big bucks to have their home professionally staged, so if you have good taste, you may find you gain the same benefits without any of the additional cost.
Your real estate agent can help you determine how to price your furniture. You may want to bundle all furniture together and ask for a set price or will want to price each piece you’re willing to sell individually.
Start your pricing process by digging up any receipts you can find for your furniture. You won’t be able to charge the full price you paid since the furniture is now used (unless you have a lot of antiques that become more valuable with time), but knowing what you originally paid will help give you an idea of what to charge and back up your prices if a buyer questions it. You’ll need to take the condition of each piece of furniture into account and will have to charge less for pieces with wear and tear.
For really valuable items, it’s helpful to hire an expert to appraise their value.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate if you decide to sell your furniture to your homebuyer. Even if you come up with a price you think is fair, the buyer may want to negotiate a different one. The buyer, with the help of their real estate agent, can negotiate the price of furniture when they submit an offer. The seller will review and accept this offer or choose to submit a counter-offer. Ideally, you’ll both get to a place you’re happy with and will create a contract that includes the sale of the furniture.
Let’s circle back to contracts. It’s extremely important you put the sale of furniture into writing. Even if it seems like a piece of furniture is an integral part of the property (like custom furniture designed to fit a unique space), you need to confirm in writing whether or not the furniture is a part of the sale.
It’s important to note that lenders don’t typically take the value of furniture included in a sale into account when they issue a home loan. Because of this, one option is to negotiate a higher overall price for the home and in the contract will state that the furniture is included at no additional cost. This will help the mortgage approval process go smoother.
If you don’t include any furniture in your contract, you do have the option to create a separate deal to sell furniture after the sale of the home. This is easier to do if the buyer just wants to keep a few pieces of your furniture instead of all of it.
If you’re unfamiliar with how to sell furniture alongside a home, don’t forget to lean on your real estate agent. If you hire an experienced agent, you can feel confident that they’ve likely managed this process before and will be more than happy to help make sure both you and the seller come to an agreement you’re happy with.
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