Can I just sell my Lake Sinclair home furnished?

In our local real estate market it is not uncommon to see homes being advertised with furniture included. Many times these homes are a vacation home for the sellers and they have no place to put all that furniture if the buyers don't want it. 

So this is a very common question that people listing homes ask.  There is a lot to consider when selling a home furnished and different people have very different opinions about what what "furnished" means. I've had the following things occur that I'd like to tell you about.

I've had buyers call after the fact and ask "where is the television?" Well the television isn't "furniture", it's a personal item. 

I've had buyers expect boats and personal water crafts when a description said the home was furnished. Nope those items are not furniture either.

I've had sellers who didn't even want to clean out the closets and take their clothing.

I've had sellers who didn't want to take their used linens and coffee pots and dishes either.

There is also of course the matter that banks do NOT want furniture included on a sales agreement because they aren't in the business of financing dining room tables.

So my advice to sellers is "some furnishings negotiable" in the description.  We also include a notation in the private agent to agent remarks that any request for furnishings be made on a separate bill of sale (which is included in our state forms) for the amount of $10 or other sum they want to offer. Our bill of sale in always contingent upon the real estate deal closing.  So if they buyer doesn't close on the real property they can't still have your boat and lawn mower for $10. 

My advice to both buyers and sellers is to be VERY specific when you are negotiating for items other than the real property on the bill of sale. Don't say "living room furniture" and expect the lamps and television to be left. If you are asking for the lamp and television it needs to be spelled out.

Then of course is the "but I don't want to have to move my furniture" sellers we encounter on listings where the buyer says "and I don't want their furniture". So we've compiled a list of local charity organizations that you can have pick up or make arrangements for delivery to and get a tax donation form that you will be able to use if you itemize. 

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Comment balloon 27 commentsTammy Lankford, • June 07 2017 08:37PM

Comments

Nice blog.  Great home..

Posted by Ginger Harper, Your Southport~Oak Island Agent! (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage) about 1 month ago

And you prove why it's so important to work with a local realtor that knows the ins-and-outs of buying and selling on Lake Sinclair, Tammy Lankford, ... and how to address its unique real estate market ...

Great post,

Gene

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 1 month ago

Anyone thinking of buying a home in your area should call you to be their agent

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 1 month ago

I have sold 2 in my time that came completle furnished...One was a lake cabin

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) about 1 month ago

Good morning Tammy. I think it would be really neat to just walk away.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 1 month ago

When furnishings are to convey, it is always important to have a full inventory list that both parties sign off on.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) about 1 month ago

Hi Tammy - I can certainly see that happening.  Usually, your vacation home has vacation furniture that you can't use once you sell the home.  But it can get confusing.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 1 month ago

Tammy all excellent advice for how to handle selling furniture and personal property when it's included with the sale of the home. As you pointed out it's so important to handle this with utmost detail and follow contract law and local customs.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten, CRS, Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 1 month ago

Vacation sales are different in that furnishing are often included - but you've brought up some things that I would have never thought of.  Sellers wanting to leave full closets behind - now that's funny!

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi  certainly real estate is local as are customs and forms.

Thanks Gita Bantwal 

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 1 month ago

William Feela second homes are a different animal.

Sheila Anderson I honestly have lost count of the times that's happened.  Many times I've helped new buyers get rid of things they didn't want that were left behind including family photos.

Brian England oh yes, everything in writing.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 1 month ago

Grant Schneider it's a regular thing with second homes.

Anna Banana Kruchten, CRS every now and then I get an offer with furniture in the offer and generally we counter back with it on a personal property agreement bill of sale. But banks still get "concerned" so it's best never to put it in the P&S agreement.

Margaret Goss they just didn't want to come back and work. There wasn't much there and the buyers were happy for the lifejackets and such, but they didn't want the towels and jackets.  I helped the sellers make it go bye-bye.

 

 

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 1 month ago

nice blog... great home.

;-)

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) about 1 month ago

This information should be very helpful to both buyers and sellers. I'm guessing it could get quite awkward, to say the least, at these negotiations.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 1 month ago

Tammy, excellent points - a bill of sale, with the items named in it, is a great idea, as well as adding the home closing contingency.  

Posted by Steffy Hristova, Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work! (HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353) about 1 month ago

Our mortgage people hate to see anything included on the agreement of sale, we have had a mortgage underwriter complain that the basket ball net was part of the sale because it was movable and needed to be appraised. So always good to put all the personal stuff outside of the real estate transaction.

Posted by Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) about 1 month ago

Sales involving furniture do happen and I have sold many fully furnished and not vacation homes.   They typically are higher priced homes that have either been decorated professionally and specifically to the home and the buyers fell in love with the package.  Typically these are all cash transactions and it's amazing how happy the buyers are that they have a completely move in home and the sellers don't have to deal with too many issues or moving much on the move out.  Happy clients all around.  

Posted by Teri Pacitto, Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty (RE/MAX Olson & Associates, Inc.) about 1 month ago

My father-in-law purchased his current residence, a lake front home, completely furnished.  It was exactly as you stated, somebody's second home who didn't want the furniture.  Good suggestion in your blog for addressing buyers who don't want the furniture.

Posted by Beth Bromund, REALTOR (248) 651-3500 (Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel) about 1 month ago

Like you say, it doesn't happen often, but when it does it is best to handle it in a specific way.  Personal property is best handled outside of escrow.  Otherwise it causes problems with the lender and appraiser.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 1 month ago

I've helped buyer buy houses that came furnished. But I made it clear that it has no value as far as the home is concerned and not part of the contract. Great post. 

Posted by Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA, Providing the integrity and service you deserve. (Future Home Realty) about 1 month ago

Nice home :) 

Posted by Mega Team Real Estate, San Francisco and Peninsula Real Estate Concierge (Realty ONE Group Alliance) about 1 month ago

Alan May looks like you started a trend LOL ^^

 

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 1 month ago

Sharon Tara as crazy as it seems I've actually had a deal not come together for lack of ability to negotiate personal property.  Crazy, but it happens

Steffy Hristova that part just got added a few years ago after... of course a case went to court where buyers did NOT close on the property but wanted the boat for $10.

Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543 and I'm thinking appraisers don't give two hoots about the value of a basketball goal.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 1 month ago

Teri Pacitto cash transactions are a little different and sometimes I have included things on the purchase and sale.  Did that today, but no loan, no problem.

Beth Bromund yes the buyer might be using as primary and not want a sellers furniture, but I can help either party make things just vanish

 

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 1 month ago

Myrl Jeffcoat I'm sure I deal with it more than people who don't do a lot of second homes, but I'm sure everyone will come across it a few times if they stay in the business a few years.

Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA right, but sometimes it's important to the buyer so we do a document on a personal property agreement to assure our buyers are getting what the sellers said they would outside of the real property agreement

 

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 1 month ago

Good morning we have a form that is filled out to detail what is staying to ensure there is no confusion. List the items on the Non-Realty form and if there is not enough room write it out. 

Posted by Laura Filip RE/MAX UTOPIA | 903-271-4978, Your locally owned RE/MAX OFFICE (RE/MAX UTOPIA , Serving all of Texoma ) about 1 month ago

Working with Senior Adults I am encountering the furnishings question more often.

Furniture is not considered real estate. Appraisers are not affected by the furniture.

I concur with your sage advice: So my advice to sellers is "some furnishings negotiable" in the description. 

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,SFR,PSA (Jones & Co. Realty) about 1 month ago

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