When Selling a House Can You Leave Furniture Behind?
It’s not always common for furniture to be left behind when you sell a home. Each situation is different and knowing what you can and cannot do with furniture during the sale of a home is important. In some cases, you might actually sell the home with the furniture or let the buyer choose what they do and do not want to buy from you.
Make sure that everyone involved in the sale of your home understands exactly what is included when selling, so there are no surprises during negotiations. Your real estate agent can relay this information directly to potential buyers.
How Much is Your Furniture Worth?
For an accurate evaluation of your furniture's value, the first step should be assessing its condition - is it in good shape or does it need work? Next, browse comparable items online; Craigslist ads, newspaper classifieds, and upscale consignment stores all can give an idea of what similar pieces are selling for.
When in doubt about an item's value, try using a furniture valuation tool. Most such tools are online and provide prices for most types of furniture. An appraiser may also be helpful; they can give further insights such as its year, make, and model to further determine its overall worth.
Should You Sell It Separately From the Home?
Home buyers may be more willing to pay more for homes that come furnished, especially if the furniture enhances the property's unique features like an amazing view or backyard patio. Unfortunately, some sellers who are downsizing don't have enough resources available to them in order to bring all their furnishings with them when selling their homes.
Real estate agents recommend selling your furniture independently from the house so you can negotiate an equitable price with the buyer and avoid sales tax obligations associated with combined personal and real property sales transactions.
If you plan to include furniture when selling your home, be sure to clearly note it in both the MLS listing and sales contract. This ensures buyers don't assume it is part of the package sale of the property - and allows both you and the buyer to negotiate an independent transaction if necessary.
Can You Leave It in the Garage?
As long as it's not specified in the contract, items not attached or built into the property typically do not stay behind. This applies to furniture and many other items that the new buyer may not want to deal with. You might be able to leave furniture in the garage when you sell a home if that is the agreement you have reached with the buyer.
Items considered fixtures tend to stay with the property. A home gym that's secured to the wall with bolts or screws would likely remain with any new owners; on the other hand, an outdated exercise bike that isn’t secured to anything will likely need to be removed before the new buyer moves in.
If you don’t want to take furniture with you, when selling your home, consider selling the home furnished. You can also sell the furniture before listing the home or allow the buyer to pick and choose what they do and don’t want to buy from you.