One of the unexpected hidden costs home sellers may come across when they put their property on the market is moving. When sellers have loads of furniture, the cost of moving can become quite significant, but you can’t just leave your furniture behind and refurnish and redecorate your new place entirely – or can you?
Deciding to sell a furnished home can potentially lead to larger profits when the home is ultimately sold, as the price of a home that comes with all the trimmings will obviously be higher than a property that is empty.
Don’t be too certain that selling your place with all your stuff will definitely lead to bigger profits, though. While a beautifully and tastefully furnished home in the right area rarely spends ages on the market, the way a furnished property is decorated may also the reason for it sitting on the market for longer than is reasonable.
Should you consider selling your home with the furniture in it, or is this a chance you shouldn’t take? What are the prerequisites if you do decide to sell your home furnished? Read on to learn more.
What are the benefits of selling a furnished home?
When staging the home in preparation for the open house, real estate agents usually advise that home sellers decorate the home in a way that appeals to the largest group of potential buyers. This means putting away sentimental items, religious iconography, political décor elements or anything that seems perhaps a little too eclectic for the Average Joe’s palette.
The purpose of staging the home is to have potential buyers envision themselves in the space, and the rule of thumb is that a neutral, but tasteful approach to décor is the one that tends to win with prospective buyers. Should you decide to sell the property with its furnishings included, it could be beneficial to both you and the seller, as both parties will be saving a lot when moving day comes.
Selling a furnished home can certainly add value to the property, especially if it is decorated well. When the price of a property is higher, the profit margin also tends to rise, which can free up extra cash to decorate the new home, or add to its deposit.
The benefits of selling a home with furniture included, thus, are primarily financial – you might be making more profit and will save on moving costs – although sellers will also be grateful for the convenience of moving without quite as many things to drag along.
What are the disadvantages of selling a furnished home?
There’s no accounting for taste, states the adage, but everyone knows that taste can differ and vary widely. If a home is not decorated in a way that appeals to the largest group of buyers, you can be sure that your home will be spending a longer time on the market than you might like. Sellers thinking of selling the property with its furnishings will also necessarily shrink the buyer pool a little, as the group of people looking for a furnished property is definitely smaller than the group of people that want to move with all of their own sentimental items and heirlooms.
How should a home be decorated to appeal to the largest number of people in this niche buyer group, then? That is difficult to answer precisely, exactly because décor tastes vary so widely. Home stagers usually recommend that home sellers that are staging the home prior to the open house put away any items or furniture that make the space seem cluttered. They also advise that sellers opt for neutral colours, although this doesn’t always mean going for white – mid-tone neutrals like beige and mocha also create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
The arrangement of furniture in the house should also be reconsidered. Even if the living room was decorated in a way that made sense to the family that is selling the house, it might not be the most practical arrangement for other families.
Speaking to a professional home stager will help you to make décor decisions that make the furniture currently in the house shine, and spending a small amount on getting this right will prevent the home from spending too many days on market.
Will selling my home furnished affect my asking price?
In short, the answer to this question is “yes” and “no”. Exceptional décor pieces and designer furniture might be worth including in the listing and as a part of the asking price, but many real estate agents will rather recommend that the price of the furniture be negotiated separately from the actual asking price of the home.
How exactly you decide to estimate the price of the furniture and other décor elements is up to you. If you are including pieces of art and other unusual items, you might want to add the price of these items to a broader estimation done on the furniture.
In cases like this, the home will be advertised in line with what comparable properties in the city or suburb are going for, with an additional amount being charged for the furniture and décor. This can then be negotiated as a whole with the buyer, should they express interest in acquiring the property.
Is my furniture good enough to attract buyers?
If you are selling your home furnished and also consider yourself somewhat of a collector, you might already be thinking about how much extra money you’ll make including these items with the property. Don’t get too excited too soon, though – you might think that nineteenth-century lampshade you bought for next to nothing at the pawn shop would appeal to many people because it has the potential of fetching a high price at an antiquities auction, but that doesn’t mean that this item will get the same enthusiasm from prospective buyers. In fact, you might be better off just putting the lampshade up for auction.
Of course, you can’t expect buyers to get excited about a couch that looks like it has seen far too many Friday nights with chips and beer – the quality of the furniture you are selling with your house should be good.
A real estate agent that has experience of selling furnished properties in your city or suburb is the best right-hand man or woman you could ask for. Because they have already helped to sell properties with all their furnishings, they’ll know exactly what buyers love and what turns them off.
Heed this advice, as selling a furnished property that doesn’t draw interested buyers means that your home will be spending far too long on the market, or might be difficult to sell at all. Yes, unusual or rare pieces might grab the attention of some décor and art aficionados – but you aren’t only marketing the property to art and décor aficionados.
Ultimately, you will want to create a space that is warm and inviting with a lived-in, comfortable feel. When buyers decide to purchase a furnished home, it is because they can genuinely see themselves living there – that is what you should aim for.
Selling properties with décor and furnishings included is an especially popular practice in holiday towns. Buyers in search of furnished properties are looking for houses that they can walk into and immediately feel at home.
Selling the home furnished can benefit buyers financially and in terms of convenience, as it leaves them with more cash in hand, post-sale, and also means that they’ll save a buck or two on moving costs. But not every home is meant to be sold furnished. This is simply because taste differs and one person’s “beautiful” is another’s “I-can’t-stand-looking-at-that-for-one-more-second”.
Keeping the principles of home staging in mind will benefit the seller that is looking to sell their home with everything in it. The basic rules of home staging also apply to the seller with a furnished home on the market: aim for a neutral palette, take the sentimental things with you and make sure the furniture is arranged in a way that will make sense to the largest possible group of people. Sellers should ensure that the quality and state of their furniture is top-notch.
Sellers that are thinking of selling their homes furnished should keep in mind that this does make the buyer pool quite a bit smaller than it would be if the house was being sold as is, and that some sellers might be put off by décor that doesn’t appeal to their taste.
Should you sell your home furnished? Let a qualified and real estate agent that has been doing business in your city or suburb for years give you an opinion you can trust. Contact Perfect Agent to find a real estate agent that knows what buyers like.