Question: I am thinking about selling my home fully furnished as I will be downsizing and want to buy all new furniture when I move to the new home. What should I consider when doing this?

Answer: You would have two types of sales going on if you sell with all the furnishings included. First, you would be selling your home which is real property and, second, you would be selling the furnishings, which are personal property. They will have to be separated into those two values when the buyer gets a loan. Generally the bank does not include the value of the furniture in the loan so the buyer would have to purchase that directly from you in a separate transaction. The loan amount would be based on the value of the real property (the home). So, is there any advantage to selling the home fully furnished? I think you would limit the number of buyers who would be interested as most buyers have their own furniture and would not want to purchase all of yours. It could present an obstacle to the sale. I would recommend that nothing be said in the sale about the furniture and furnishings being included. Once you have a buyer, then you can ask if the buyer would be interested in any of the furniture and negotiate on the pieces selected as a separate transaction with the buyer. The price of the home is then only the price of the house and does not confuse the transaction. I know your next question could be what do I do with all the furniture I no longer want? Used furniture does not demand a very high price in the market. If your furniture is in excellent shape and is quality furniture, then I would recommend using a consignment store to sell those pieces as they will likely get a higher price for you then you could get for yourself. The consignment store takes a percentage of the sale for their services and then mails you a check for the balance. Second choice would be to put those items on Craig's List or EBay. Third choice would be a garage sale and lastly, give Salvation Army a call and they will pick it up and you will get a tax deduction. I should mention, if you have valuable antiques, then you may consider calling an estate sale expert that may get a higher value for you or be willing to purchase the items directly. Bottom line, don't list your home for sale and indicate that you are selling the home furnished.

Answer: Many Realtors in today's market feel that they are selling real estate AND personal property. This is especially true of those who are moving to this country and don't want to have to find furniture to fill the home. This can become an issue with buyers and sellers. As a result of this recent shift in interest in furniture I would encourage sellers to evaluate which pieces they would be willing to part with at the end of the transaction and make a list. This will take the emotion out of the equation. On the other hand I would not list my property with any statement that all the furniture is included or even some of the furniture will be included. Why? Your primary objective is to sell the real property (the house) and the furniture can be dealt with after a deal is reached with the buyer on the price of the house. The furniture can be a bargaining chip in the negotiation but the personal property must be separated from the real property for the purposes of the loan.