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Old 09-18-2012, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
3,156 posts, read 6,871,904 times
Reputation: 2875

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My mom passed recently. Her house was (is) a guest house on my property.

We'll be moving in a few years and my question is should we keep it furnished or not.

In general it seems like main houses are sold unfurnished but if they have a guest house it is furnished. Maybe that perception is wrong and if so please correct me.

The furniture in it is old but decent. It is not sentimental and I have no problems parting with it.

I'm planning ahead for the resale value of it.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:46 AM
 
3,398 posts, read 4,603,623 times
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I would move the stuff out when you move out of your house.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:18 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,375 posts, read 69,780,396 times
Reputation: 37459
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMD3819 View Post
My mom passed recently. Her house was (is) a guest house on my property.
We'll be moving in a few years and my question is should we keep it furnished or not.
If you plan to make the space available to other guests until you sell... then keep it furnished.
If you plan to show the space to future buyers... then keep it "staged".
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
3,156 posts, read 6,871,904 times
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Thanks for the replies.

Does selling-not just staging-the house furnished make it easier or harder to sell?
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,864 posts, read 60,023,560 times
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As a buyer, if I saw useable furniture I would prefer that so I didn't have to spend money immediately to furnish it for guests. Most people don't have enough furniture for the main house AND a guest house unless they are doing some serious downsizing.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:31 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,375 posts, read 69,780,396 times
Reputation: 37459
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMD3819 View Post
Does selling the house furnished make it easier or harder to sell?
Of course it makes it easier.
---

Want to remove all the personal and family items? Of course
Want to thin it out some (sell off the nicest or donate the worst)? Go for it.

I don't see ANY advantage to emptying the guest house of furniture. None.
A **guest house** by definition requires furniture for the guests to use.
It also requires all the common furnishings, appliances and utensils a guest will need.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
7,751 posts, read 12,249,251 times
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Wish I had that problem! I'd be looking to rent it out and make some $$$$$$$
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
3,156 posts, read 6,871,904 times
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I appreciate all the advice.

Let me explain the situation a little better.

In about three years we will be moving.

The guest house is vacant now and will remain vacant. It is actually illegal to rent a guest house where I live, so that means no lease even if we were to rent it. There are also a lot of logistical issues that make renting impractical.
If we have guests we have plenty of space in the main house.

I'm starting now to downsize both the houses to simplify the move in three years.

The largest stuff is the furniture so if it will help resale I'll sell it with the house. If not, I'll get rid of it now to avoid having to deal with it when we are ready to leave. I'm getting the impression here to leave the furniture for resale.

Here is my thought process-somehwere along the lines I got the impression that selling a single house furnished is more difficult since most folks will bring their own furniture, and don't want to pay extra for stuff they don't want.

OTOH I have heard that a furnished guest house is more attractive since, again, most folks won't be arriving with furniture for two places. I could be completely off on my perceptions here.

It is not about the extra money to be made from a sale that includes furniture. It is about which option will make the property more attractive overall and facilitate a sale.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Needham, MA
7,189 posts, read 10,981,848 times
Reputation: 6227
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMD3819 View Post
Here is my thought process-somehwere along the lines I got the impression that selling a single house furnished is more difficult since most folks will bring their own furniture, and don't want to pay extra for stuff they don't want.

OTOH I have heard that a furnished guest house is more attractive since, again, most folks won't be arriving with furniture for two places. I could be completely off on my perceptions here.

It is not about the extra money to be made from a sale that includes furniture. It is about which option will make the property more attractive overall and facilitate a sale.
As you mention, it's not about including or not including furniture in the sale of your home. Used furniture (unless antique) has little to no value. Take a look at Craig's List and see what used furniture sells for. Also, furniture is such a subjective thing. One person's beautiful bedroom set is another person's garbage. Having the furniture in your guest house to include in the sale is not going to make a major impact on whether or not someone decides to buy your house (i.e. they're not going to buy the house just to get your guest house furniture).

Based on that reasoning, here's my advice: if you want to pay to have your guest house staged when you go to sell then get rid of the furniture. If you don't want to pay for a stager and rental furniture then keep the furniture you have now. The big issue here is that generally speaking homebuyers have an astounding lack of imagination. They need furniture in a room to understand how the room sets up and the scale of the room. Sometimes, they even need the furniture to understand the function of the room. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "is this the living room or the dining room?" in an empty house. Without furniture most rooms look the same as they're just four walls.

Having your house staged with furniture will absolutely help your house to sell faster and for more money. It's much harder to sell an empty house than a furnished house with the exceptions of over furnished houses or outlandishly ugly/beat up furniture.

If you're willing to pay for a stager and furniture rental, I would say that's actually the best course of action. In fact, go ahead and start getting rid of furniture in the main house as well if you're willing to stage and rent furniture.
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