Want to Sell Your House? Sell the Furniture!
Homebuyers, now more than ever, are buying homes which come with all of the furniture. While it was not unusual for second home or resort community homebuyers to purchase homes including the furniture, the pandemic has brought many homebuyers in general looking not to buy just a home but also its furnishings—even if the furnishings are not for sale. Why? The pandemic created supply chain issues, leaving buyers waiting for months and sometimes years for new furniture and house supplies. As a result, buying a home (which pre-pandemic was delivered traditionally empty) is now often negotiated along with buying the furniture and goods within the house. There are even some potential homebuyers that want to purchase rental furniture that may be used to stage a home on the market, without even being interested in the purchasing the actual home.
Picture illustration by Slate. Photo by Getty Images Plus
What happened to the couch?
We all know that furniture sales exploded during COVID-related shutdowns when most people stayed at home. As a result of increased demand, shortages in lumber and furniture components occurred, along with freight delays (especially for overseas orders). Furniture companies did not have any room to store container orders which further delayed additional orders and deliveries, creating a logistical nightmare.
Along with supply chain issues, rising material prices have increased the cost of home furniture. This is yet another reason for why current homebuyers would rather buy the existing furniture as part of the home deal.
Should the sofa be part of the contract?
Picture courtesy Phixer
In order to avoid the sofa breaking the deal, real estate agents recommend first tying up the deal to purchase the property itself and then turn to furniture negotiations. Of course, you may have a situation where the buyer wants the furniture specified within the contract from the get-go as the furnishings may actually be the motivation for purchasing the property in the first place.
If financing, having a separate bill of sale for the furniture, apart from the contract, may make sense since many lenders do not want to determine the value of the furnishings as part of the deal. Additionally, why increase the purchase price which will only make the tax assessor happy?
What does this all mean?
Delays in the home furniture manufacturing and delivery have led to homebuyers wanting to purchase homes with furniture (and sometimes just the furniture). Sellers have to expect that home furnishings may be a deal clincher for the sale of their home. As the supply chain eases up and inflation slows down, this may change. Until then, you may consider parting with your area rugs and favorite chair!
From The Trenches