Does furniture add value to a house?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Quality furniture will certainly add value for some buyers, and you should do a detailed inventory to show them exactly what they’re getting and how much you’re charging for it all. Don’t expect to get what you paid for your furniture, and even the very best furnished homes will not add much to the overall value. In the context of a home costing £250,000, the value of the furniture inside is really neither here nor there. However, if furniture attracts a buyer who pays asking price, instead of haggling for a reduction, then it will have proved its value in other ways.
“The value of your furniture is insignificant in the context of the price of your home”
It’s worth remembering that the opposite is also true. If your buyer doesn’t want your old stuff, then they could reduce their offer to compensate for the cost of having it all removed and disposed of, and the inconvenience of not being able to move their own furniture in on completion day.
Move in vs clean slate
There will be buyers who are looking for something they can move right into, without having to bring anything. If your home is full of quality furniture, that’s just a few years old, then you may be lucky and not only find a buyer, but also get a little extra for your home to cover the value of the furniture. Understandably though, people who want to live in what is effectively still someone else’s home, are few and far between. Why would you?
“Most buyers will want a clean slate to make their home their own”
Most people won’t even want to keep the décor you’ve worked so hard on, let alone the furniture. They’ll want to put their own stamp on their new purchase and turn your home into their home. And for this, they need a clean slate, not a slate full of your old stuff.
Selling to first time buyers
If your home is in the first-time buyers’ market, then you may be able to sell a house full of furniture fast. With crippling deposits taking every penny from young house hunters, starting out with some furniture included can be a real boost. It means they’ll have one less set of costs when they move, and they can always replace your sagging couch and dated wall units as they go along. That said, with multi-year 0% deals available at most furniture stores these days, even first-time buyers might not want your old stuff in their new house.
Selling to landlords
One group of buyers who are always on the lookout for furnished properties are buy-to-let landlords. As long as your stuff is up to scratch, you can easily sell a house full of furniture fast to a commercial buyer. This gives them a ‘turn-key’ (in other words, lazy) solution to buying a property to rent out.
“A buy-to-let landlord is one option to sell a house full of furniture fast”
By buying a furnished property, landlords don’t have to do anything to get it ready, which means that tenants can just move in and start paying rent straight away! Unfortunately, with recent changes in tax laws and other landlord legislation, lots more people are moving out of the rental game than are moving in, making buy-to-let buyers much harder to find.
What you can and can’t leave behind
If you don’t want Granny’s old drop-leaf dining table and hideously uncomfortable chairs, then you may be tempted to just leave them behind when you go. But this is not such a good idea. Most home sale contracts state that homes should be offered with vacant possession. That means there should be no one living there, and no furniture or junk left behind.
“Simply leaving your furniture is not an option. It could land you with a big bill for removal and disposal”
When you sell, you’ll be asked to complete a detailed form listing any fixtures and fittings included in the price. If you want to leave furniture, you must list it here to avoid complications later. If you just leave your stuff and run, you may get saddled with the bill for its removal and disposal. It’s unlikely, but it does happen, and the more stuff you leave, the more likely it is that you’ll annoy your new buyers enough to chase after you.
Getting rid of your furniture
Most towns have house clearance companies who will come and take everything from a property. If you are lucky, and the stuff has value, you might even make a few quid doing this. However, if your furniture is old and outdated, or past its prime, then you need to be prepared to pay for this service, even though the house clearance company are getting your stuff.
“Selling your stuff, or even giving it away takes time and effort and will slow down your sale”
Local auction houses may also be interested in taking and selling Grandma’s goods and chattels, but again, this will depend on their potential sale value. Even then, after charges and commission, you still might not get much money back. You can also sell your stuff yourself, online, using sites like Etsy, eBay and Facebook Marketplace. This could get you some extra cash, but there’s no guarantee how fast your stuff will sell, or even if it will sell at all.
Freecycle is a good way of getting rid of unwanted furniture. One man’s junk is often another man’s treasure, and it can be good to see old stuff getting a new life. Freecycle has the added advantage that the taker will collect from your home, so you don’t have to hire a van or strain yourself delivering. Once again, there are no guarantees, and you could list your stuff repeatedly and still get no takers.
Selling to a cash home buyer
The problem with selling or giving away your stuff before you sell your house, is the timescale. It can take weeks, or even months to clear a house completely, and this will delay your sale. Even negotiating with potential buyers to take on your stuff as part of the sale can still slow things down, as solicitors redraw their contracts.
“Cash house buyers will buy any house, even if it is fully furnished”
If you want to sell a house full of furniture fast, the best way is to talk to a cash house buyer. A cash house buyer will buy any house, in any condition, even if it’s furnished from the 1950s. They’ll take Grandma’s home, antimacassars and all, with a cash offer in 24 hours and a sale completed in as little as 3 weeks. You won’t have the hassle, or the heartache, of selling off your stuff, and you won’t risk getting sued by your new buyers if you don’t.