Can I sell my furniture with the house?


Dear David,

My wife and I have explored many different locales across Canada. With retirement around the corner, we’ve decided we want to move out east. We feel that current home prices out there offer good value and will leave us with enough cash to travel. Our furniture is up to date, but my wife wants to start fresh in our new home. Should we sell our existing furniture with the house, or is it worth packing everything up and moving it out east with us? – READY TO LIVE OUR BEST LIFE

DEAR READY: It sounds like you’ve had an adventurous few years exploring what the country has to offer. Much like you, an increasing number of people are cashing in on the significant property values they’ve accumulated over several decades, and are moving away from major centres. I’ve often said that a house is a lot like a great RRSP investment. Unlike an RRSP, the gains on your principal residence are non-taxable when you cash out. 

This is a great time to do a cost-benefit analysis. Compare the expense of buying new furniture with the cost of moving what you already have. Leaving your furniture in the house is atypical, to be honest. The vast majority of homes are sold without furnishings, with the exception of cottage properties, where buyers commonly receive a mishmash of stray pots and mismatched end tables along with their set of keys. 

Assuming you have good taste, there may be buyers interested in purchasing your fully furnished home. To sell a furnished home successfully you’ll need to itemize what you leave in it, but as a seller, it’s probably easier to figure out what you’re taking and exclude those items from the sale. You may run into challenges if a buyer assumes the purchase price includes things you consider “personal”, such as electronics. Make a list of what you’re excluding from the sale, and check it twice. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that sellers and buyers be happy when the property changes hands.

I feel it’s optimistic to imagine yourself simply packing a suitcase and locking the door behind you. When selling a furnished home, decluttering is even more important than if you were packing up to move. Every drawer and cabinet will need to be edited or emptied, as buyers won’t be excited about calling junk removal to get rid of the odds and sods you left behind. 

Before deciding how to proceed, ask your agent whether they think someone is likely to purchase your fully furnished home. Get a moving company to quote on what a traditional move would cost, and do some shopping to figure out what it’ll take to replace your furniture at today’s prices. From there, you can decide what makes the most sense.

PRO TIP: The devil is in the details. An idea that sounds good on paper may or may not make good financial sense. Buying new furniture and having it delivered can be a slow and sporadic process. Do the math, check the calendar, and see if your plan holds up. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.