How to buy or sell a furnished home


A living room with bookshelves, couch, and floor lamp

Does buying or selling a house without the hassle of moving furniture and appliances seem impossible? For some buyers and sellers, a fully furnished home is part of the deal.

Imagine that you’re standing in a house that you want to buy. Not only do you love the home, you love everything in it. Wouldn’t it be exciting to step into the house after closing and call it all yours? You could.

And if you’re selling your house, would you like to leave without the hassle of moving everything? Just head out the door with your personal items.

Turnkey deals like this are possible.

As a buyer there are many compelling reasons to buy a fully furnished home:

  • You love the décor ­– often the case with high value homes with custom furnishings designed for the space.
  • You’re too busy or don’t like to shop.
  • It’s a vacation home and you want the convenience of moving in quickly.
  • It’s an investment property or for college students.

Sellers have good reasons to strike a turnkey deal, too. A home seller may include furnishings in a sale because they are downsizing. They may be making a long-distance move and it’s too costly to move it all. Or, the owners may be deceased and it’s easier for the family to sell the whole kit and caboodle.

If you’re the buyer …

If you’re paying cash, you can structure the offer to cover the home and furnishings. However, if you’re financing the purchase, you’ll have two separate transactions – one for the home and one for the furnishings.

A mortgage can’t be used to finance the contents. (A home appraisal only covers the land and structure(s).) You can pay cash or obtain a HELOC (home equity line of credit) for the furnishings.

Inventory all the items you would like and include it in a sales agreement for the goods. (This is separate from the sales agreement for the home.)

If the seller accepts, do a walk-through just before closing to make sure the goods listed are in the home.

And, it’s okay to specify items you don’t want, like that overstuffed pink velvet sofa or giant exercise machine.

If you’re the seller …

Don’t over-value your furnishings because of sentimental value.

Make a list of everything you want to sell. Be sure to exclude any items you wish to keep.

This list will come in handy later. If the buyers agree to purchase your furnishings, on moving day you know exactly what gets left behind. If they don’t, you’ve got an inventory to use when you talk to a consignment shop or an estate company.

Be flexible. If a buyer wants the house without the furnishings, give yourself enough time to sell or donate them.

Consumers helps more than 1,000 members finance their homes and home improvement projects each year. When you need a mortgage or home equity line of credit, call us at 800-991-2221. We’re here to help you get the home of your dreams!


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