The Pros and Cons of Selling a Furnished Home

The right furniture helps buyers picture themselves in a house, or does it? Here are a few of the pros and cons to consider before putting a furnished home on the market.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Everyone wants their house to sell fast and for top dollar, but figuring out the best way to make that happen can be tricky. For instance, sometimes a fully furnished home, complete with couches, rugs, curtains, and accessories, is exactly what your dream buyer wants, and sometimes it’s not.

Selling a fully furnished home has its pros and cons. Your personal circumstances, the location of your home, and the demographic of your target buyer all influence whether it makes sense to fill your house with furniture. Generally speaking, furnishings tend to reduce your buyer pool, but sometimes that’s for the better.

PRO: The buyers can picture themselves living in the house.

Inviting tables, cozy rugs, and chairs that look like they’re waiting for someone to sit down make a house look like a home. If buyers can picture themselves living in the home, they’re more likely to buy it. Furniture creates that magazine-ready look buyers envision for themselves, making them want to stay permanently.

RELATED: 8 Sneaky Ways to Furnish Your Home for Less

CON: The buyers cannot picture themselves living in the house.

While the right furnishings can make a house irresistible to a buyer, the wrong furnishings can have the opposite effect. For instance, some buyers cannot picture living in a midcentury modern home, and others might run for the hills after seeing a house packed with eclectic finds. If you’re trying to sell your home fully furnished, you’ll have to accept that some buyers don’t have the imagination to see beyond the furniture, especially if they have to buy it.

Photo: istockphoto.com

PRO: Furnished homes often sell faster than unfurnished homes.

Furnished homes tend to sell faster than unfurnished homes. Perhaps buyers who are interested in looking at furnished homes are more primed to buy, or maybe they’re irresistibly enticed by a move-in ready home. Either way, if the furnishings are tasteful and appropriate for a home’s architecture and location, chances are the house will jump off the market faster.

RELATED: 7 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping for Furniture

CON: The selling price may not cover the price of the furniture.

Sometimes the right furniture attracts several bids, driving up the selling price. Furnishing the home may also be worth it for a quick sell, which will save you money in other ways. That said, there’s a good chance you won’t get as much money for the furniture as you spent on it. Again, that’s not always the case, but be prepared to take a loss on the cost of the furniture.

Photo: istockphoto.com

PRO: It makes moving out/in easy.

Selling your home fully furnished lets you pack up your clothes and move on to your next adventure. The buyer gets the same benefit on the other end of the deal and is less likely to need movers or have to call in favors from friends and family to help them out. Young couples, people moving from a distant location, or people looking for a rental or vacation home often find fully furnished homes a great money-saving option.

CON: Used furniture may not boost the price.

A high-end home needs equally high-end furniture, which can be pricey. Vacation and rental houses may not need designer furniture, but the cost of fully furnishing the house adds to your selling costs. If your furnishings aren’t in good condition, you could end up spending a significant amount of money on upgrades.

RELATED: The Pros and Cons of Finishing Your Unfinished Basement

PRO: Furnishing a home in a resort or vacation area makes it rent-ready.

Vacation and resort areas are some of the most common places to buy and sell furnished houses. Most buyers want a home that’s either ready for them to drop in and spend a week or ready for rental. In vacation destinations, a furnished home doesn’t stay on the market long, which is a major argument in favor of going the furnished route. But it’s also a pro for the buyer, who can then rent it or use it immediately after closing on the sale.

CON: Furnishings limit the buyer pool.

Yes, a furnished home can sell quicker, but you’re chasing a specific kind of buyer. That reduces the buyer pool and could eliminate some potential buyers who would otherwise be interested in the house. There are always risks involved in selling a house. You’ll just have to decide if furnishing it is one you’re willing to take.