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Living in a small town has many advantages and a few disadvantages. Being a real estate broker allows me to experience many things others don’t. One has to do with furnished versus non-furnished home sales. And I have experienced it all!

When I list someone’s home in Highlands or Cashiers, typically it is a second or third home. It has therefore been furnished, either with new furniture, or pieces from former homes, with care given to create a mountain look.  So upon listing, most sellers are willing to include the furniture or negotiate it into the sale. Sound easy enough? That usually is not the case.

Sellers will tell me, “I will leave the furniture with a few exclusions.” This is where the complications begin. I ask for the exclusion list and am told they will send it. Meanwhile, potential buyers look at the home and want to know exclusions. I contact the seller, still waiting on the list. The potential buyer has seen the home and wants all the furniture. I get the list and it is long, excluding many more items than a “few personal things!”  The buyer feels we have not been forthcoming and gets miffed. This should not happen.

To avoid this, the best advice is to remove any items that you want to keep before listing. You are selling the home and property it sits up on but furniture can create havoc.  I have experienced this over a bowl, a picture, a coffee table. It becomes a struggle for all –including brokers. We don’t want to get in the middle of furniture inclusions or exclusions. Several times we have the exclusion list and the seller realizes at the last minute they forgot something that was in the family. This can cause a deal to fall through.

So my advice for an easy sale and closing…please be thorough when making your list. Staged homes sell quicker that empty homes. It is worth the time to walk room by room and make a thorough list of exclusions. But even better, remove what will not stay.

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