Three Tips On Selling Your Personal Property With Your Home

Three Tips on Selling Your Personal Property With Your Home

There are many reasons sellers might want to sell some or all of their personal property to the buyer of their home.  It’s usually because they’re downsizing and don’t need all the furniture, but it might be they just want to buy furniture for their new home.  They might be moving to a furnished apartment and have no need for furniture.  Rather than going through the laborious process of selling their furniture online, selling it all at once to the buyer makes sense.  

Buyers can also have good reasons to purchase the seller’s personal property.   The furniture might perfectly compliment the home so why go out and buy new?  If the home is on acreage, the buyer might want to purchase the seller’s riding lawnmower or tractor rather than buying new.

Selling personal property with a home can be a win/win situation for both the buyer and seller, but it should be done the right way or it could lead to big problems.  Here are some tips from someone who has negotiated home sales with personal property addendums countless times without issues.

  • TIP #1 – The agent(s) should highly recommend that the buyers and sellers not even discuss the sale of the seller’s personal property until the “option period” has expired.  You don’t want the buyer and seller haggling over the price of the personal property at the same time the buyer is trying to decide if they even want to buy the home or not.   They should be focused on the big picture, the home.  Negotiations on personal property can lead to hurt feelings, bruised egos, and can even kill a sale. The seller might think he’s “giving the property away” so they want fair value for the personal property.  At the same time, the buyer might think they’re paying “top dollar” for the home so they want a big discount on the personal property.  The best idea is at least wait until the buyer has committed to the property before starting another round of negotiations on the personal property.  
  • TIP #2 – Never make the personal property addendum part of the contract.  If the buyer and seller decide to come to terms on a separate bill of sale for the personal property that’s entirely between them.  No-one needs to know about it except them.  If it’s an excessive amount of money, it can raise red flags too. 
  • TIP #3 – Agents shouldn’t get involved in personal property negotiations between the buyer and seller.  That’s not considered a part of our responsibilities to our clients, but I’m happy to provide advice to my sellers on how to handle it so there are no misunderstandings or confusion.  Again, after the option period has expired, I advise my sellers to take some sticky tape and mark the price on every item they want to sell both inside and outside the home.  Then take a picture of every item with the sticky tape on it.  Create a sheet with every item with tape on it along with the price.  Now the buyer can work through the list striking the items not wanted.  Have the buyers and sellers initial and they’re done.