Buying or Selling Furnished Property

09.06.2011  |  category: Real_Estate  |  posted by: Joy Mengeringhausen

Buying or Selling a Furnished home or condo can be a little tricky.  Purchasing a property with quality furniture can be a relief to both the buyer and the seller but there are a lot of issues that can arise from this type of sale. Once you know the ins and outs of this type of transaction, purchasing a furnished home or condo will be a breeze.  furnished apartment

Non realty items should be negotiated separately and conveyed via a bill of sale.  However, handling this type of transaction is sometimes unavoidable. This comes up a lot in Florida because a large percentage of homes and condos especially on or near the beach, are sold furnished turnkey. What to do in this situation?

Apart from trying to separate the sale of realty and non realty items, other issues and disputes can arise on the actual personal property

For Buyers - I recommend buyers who might be interested in a home that is offered furnished to take lots and lots of pictures of EVERYTHING, BEFORE making their offer. Over the years I had heard countless stories from associates until one day it happened to me,  tv's, linens,  and appliances etc had been switched out for lesser quality items with nothing for proof other than he said / she said. I felt terrible and became determined to never allow that to happen again. My solution: Open up anything that contains items included in the sale, kitchen cabinets, linen closet etc and snap away. Any discussion or dispute post sale over personal property is then immediately squelched or resolved because as the saying goes, a picture tells a thousand words.

For Sellers - If you are selling your property furnished but want to keep a few of the items, pick up some little round neon colored stickers, go around your home and place stickers on items you want to keep which are NOT included in the sale.  The time to do this is within the first couple of days listing the property and before the home is shown to prospective buyers.  The correct place to display the sticker is facing out so it is obvious at a glance and is displayed if a photo is taken.

furnished home

The best way to handle a transaction which includes furniture is to negotiate the furniture separately and convey it via bill of sale. When the seller does not want or need the furniture nor move it all back to their home state, the furniture must convey with the sale.

This is where the challenge comes into play, if the property is advertised as furniture negotiable, the seller could get stuck with the furniture. Yet it would be misleading to advertise the property as furnished and add furniture negotiable in the marketing comments. This could also deter potential buyers from even looking at the property. The only reasonable choice is offer the home furnished, period.

Financing with furniture could provide it's own challenge, the property might not appraise at the amount negotiated to include furniture. The furniture must then be separated and sold via a bill of sale.  At this point, if the furniture is dated the seller might have to accept his losses and renegotiate the whole sale at the appraised price and haul off the furniture if the buyer refuses to negotiate for the furniture. To save time should this occur, make sure the furniture is listed in an addendum to the contract in your initial offer, not directly in the contract.

The best way to handle this type of sale is to cover all of these points with the buyer or seller prior to an offer. After reviewing closed sales in the area,  a price is established  based strictly on Real Estate. On a separate paper the furniture is itemized with  REALISTIC prices for the personal property.  I ask sellers to check e-bay and craisgslist to get an idea of what used furniture sells for, adjusting price for age and condition. This way everyone buyer and seller alike, are prepared once an offer is received for your listing that is advertised as furnished turnkey. Ego's are less easily bruised and there is a strategy in place to handle a situation should one arise.


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