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Buying and Selling Furnished or Turnkey Homes

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Buying and Selling Furnished or Turnkey Homes

Agnes Zak

Agnes Zak is an award-winning Realtor with Premier Sotheby's International Realty who is passionate about helping her clients accomplish their goals a...

Agnes Zak is an award-winning Realtor with Premier Sotheby's International Realty who is passionate about helping her clients accomplish their goals a...

Oct 26 5 minutes read

Considering we’re in the second home market, it’s not unusual to see listings where the property is being sold either furnished or turnkey. What does it mean for a home to be furnished or turnkey? And why would sellers market their homes this way? 

Here’s what you need to know.

Furnished Homes as Second Homes

Why would someone want to sell all of their belongings along with their house? Typically, it’s because this is their second home, and they already have everything they need in their primary residence. In many cases for the sellers, it’s more convenient and easier to include all of the furniture when selling the property rather than trying to sell the furniture and home separately. This is especially true in a market where the consignment shops are already full of merchandise. Bottomline -- it’s less of a hassle for the sellers. 

For the buyers who will use this property as their own second home, it’s also more convenient to buy a property furnished, even if the decor or style aren’t to their taste. Certain pieces can always be replaced little by little over time, especially during extended visits. But whatever is already in the property allows the new owners to use and enjoy their new home right away. They don’t need to spend endless hours and dollars shopping for furniture right away.

What the Terms Mean

Whether you’re selling or buying a furnished or turnkey home, you’ll see and hear terms related to this specific sale that you haven’t heard before, so let’s go over them. 

Unfurnished: This is self explanatory and most common. No furniture is included in the home. New owners will arrive to an empty home.

Furnished: A furnished home refers just to the big items like beds, couches, sofas, and large furniture. The listing price includes these items.

Negotiable: Sellers may be willing to part with some of their furniture. However, they may be expecting additional compensation for it, too. If you see something that you would love to keep, you’ll negotiate with the seller to determine appropriate compensation for the item. In some cases, this is a separate deal negotiated outside of the sales contract

Turnkey: A turnkey property means you can literally turn the key in the lock, walk in, and have everything you need to live in that home already provided. When we say everything, we mean everything. Artwork. dishes, sheets, towels, furniture, everything is included, and it’s also included in the sales price. You’ll pay more for a turnkey property than an unfurnished home but you get everything you need, too. 

Agreeing to the Detailed Inventory

The most important thing when buying a furnished or turnkey property is a detailed inventory that’s agreed to and signed by both the sellers and buyers. In addition to a written list, we also suggest creating a photo or video inventory. This way there’s no question about what’s included and what isn’t.

Sometimes sellers have second thoughts about certain pieces, and sometimes they forget what’s in their home because they haven’t seen it in a few months. All of a sudden they realize that they really didn’t want to include the beautiful painting from a great-grandmother or a photo of a sunset taken during their anniversary at the beach. 

Trying to re-negotiate personal property after an offer is accepted often turns into a much bigger problems that can be totally avoided simply by detailing the items that will remain in the home. We always provide sellers with a blank form to help them categorize items that stay in with the house as part of the listing process. This way everyone is on the same page about what to expect before an offer can even be made.

Buying or selling a furnished or turnkey home doesn’t have to be a stressful process. In fact, by design, it’s meant to make moving in or out easier. To make sure that’s your experience, work with real estate professionals who understand how it works and have the tools to help you through the buying and selling process.

If you’re ready to buy or sell a second home, let’s talk!

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