I read an article in today's Wall Street Journal about Fort Worth, Texas becoming increasingly popular with home buyers. But there was quick mention of a luxury home that was sold with all the furniture and I thought, wow, it's not just a Cape Cod thing.
Half of the homes on Cape Cod are vacation properties. When it's time to sell the house, owners often have no use for the furniture-- they already have a furnished house off-Cape. Or sometimes grown children in far places must sell their late parent's Cape house from a distance and they have no idea what to do with the dated furniture. The luxury house in Fort Worth, TX, had beautiful decor that was gorgeous in that particular home.
More than ever, for many reasons, houses are being sold fully furnished.
The Cape Cod and Islands Association of Realtors doesn't track whether furnishings "convey" with the real estate-- I'm speaking from my own experience as a realtor on the Cape. I've sold many homes with the furniture included through the years. Of the three listings I currently have, and the two coming online in the next few days, the furnishings are included with three of them, and negotiable with the remaining two.
Sometimes a property listing specifies that the furniture comes with the house, but other times, the furniture comes up privately in negotiations between the buyer and the seller. Even later in the process, when the sellers see how difficult it is to clear out a house before the closing date, they often ask if they can leave the furniture behind, even though they insisted earlier in the process that they wanted it.
For their part, buyers love that they don't have to come up with the money to buy everything all at once, either for a first home, a vacation home, or a home they intend to offer to the summer rental market. Some plan to replace the furnishings little by little as their budget and time allows, but the jumpstart of a fully or mostly furnished house is a bonus.
Here are some considerations when furniture sells with the house:
Real estate attorneys are loathe to deal with "personal property"-- furniture, versus "real property"-- the house and land. Therefore,
When handled properly, the sale of a home with all the furnishings can be a bonus for both buyer and seller. Look for more such sales in the future. The days of furniture being more attached to the house than to the people who lived with it, are here.