Realtor at the Lake
Your Gateway to Fishhawk Lake!
With 2nd homes, vacation homes, retirement retreats–whatever you want to call it–a common question that comes up for both sellers and buyers is about the personal items in the home or on the property. I have some sellers who just want to walk away and leave EVERYTHING because it’s just easier (also referred to as turnkey, where a new owner just takes over the property with everything already there). Then I have those sellers who slowly move furniture out, give away items to kids, friends, other family members or they just want to remove artwork and those personal items that have emotional value to them. I suggest that what a seller DOES NOT want included be taken out right away so that there is no gray area when it comes time to list the property. Very often, when buyers are looking at a home for sale, they will most certainly ask, “What comes with it?” “Is the furniture included?” It can get very dicey in determining value vs. need in the sale of a property that can possibly include “stuff”. I have often had to ask that a seller keep this part of it outside the “deal” or agreement, because as a realtor it gets so MESSY! You end up writing out all of these personal items, like the grill and dishes and mower, etc., then the homeowner decides they want to give the mower to the kids when initially they had included it in the listing–oh my it can be a paperwork NIGHTMARE!
In a perfect world, you could offer a property truly as a turnkey–bring your toothbrush and your clothes and you’re in!–or use the KISS method, i.e., Keep It Simple Stupid and leave all of that STUFF outside the agreement and deal with it amongst yourselves without involving your realtor. Otherwise, you’ve got all kinds of amendments,crossing out of words then initials, more initials–oh what a potential mess.
I also suggest that the items in your home that you absolutely don’t want a buyer to have need to be removed BEFORE LISTING THE PROPERTY. I had a “sale fail” (an offer that didn’t go through to close) over a darned flat-screened TV!!!! I’m sure there were other underlying issues, but originally the owners said it was staying with the home, then after the sale agreement got started they decided they were going to keep it and all HELL broke loose. It wasn’t even terribly expensive, but it became a much bigger issue than the money.
Up here it’s easy to sell your excess furniture by simply taking good pictures and putting together a flyer and advertising it on the “kiosks” which house our postal boxes as these are somewhat like community bulletin boards and people are always looking for quick and easy buys that are already up here. Just like with garage sales, though, you want to have very reasonable prices or be ready to dicker. You can even make it a Free to a Good Home sort of sale! I’ve often ended up calling a neighbor whom I knew was looking for that certain something and when my new listing is trying to get rid of that very item, I will sometimes make a quick call and get those folks together right away, getting needs fulfilled in one step!