Living on a Lake: Selling a Home at Fishawk Lake with Furnishings

When buying a vacation or “2nd” home, especially at Fishhawk Lake which is in a remote area in Birkenfeld, quite often buyers want to make an offer that includes much if not all of the furniture. Now, that can mean several things to each buyer. It might mean just the big stuff: appliances (very commonly included in both primary home sales as well as 2nd homes) but also big furniture like couches, beds, etc. 

Let’s take it a step further. There are properties that are listed in marketing materials as being “turnkey.”  This essentially means that you can bring your jammies, your toothbrush, walk in and take over living in the house and not have to bring anything else. (After purchasing, of course!) That would include ALL things, like dishes, linens, artwork, everything that you saw when your first made an offer would go stay the home after closing.

What I like to tell my sellers is this: if you don’t want it included in a potential offer, either get it out of the home or make a list that you then give your realtor that clearly explains what will not be included with the home. There often are heirlooms that were handed down generations ago that you hold dear and you, as the seller, need to make sure you’ve got your bases covered right from the time the home goes on the market.  

LakeDiningRoom-webA common misunderstanding is thinking that if the buyer is paying a higher price, that the furniture should be included. It can send the wrong message to the seller. That can also work against them for loan purposes if they think that the loan will cover those costs. It is of “no added value” to your lender. Sometimes, the loan officer will even ask for an addendum stating that. If it’s a cash offer, that might be different.  But if the buyer offers a rock-bottom price AND asks for everything to be included, that offer may very well be completely rejected, because the owner may have some emotion tied up in those furnishings as well as the home. Or the buyer just looks greedy.

Another misunderstanding is when the seller thinks that because he’s including the furniture then it should list for a higher price than a comparable property that just sold down the street that didn’t include furniture. Once again, it may be valuable to you, the owner, because you paid an arm and a leg less than five years ago for that expensive furniture or sound equipment or whatnot, but it doesn’t matter to the lender. An option would be to buy/sell the expensive furniture/equipment/boat in a side deal, just between the buyer and seller. That would take the realtor out of the equation, as well as the loan officer.

I always suggest to my sellers that they make a list BEFORE the home goes on the market so that the agent can be clear about telling the buyer what stays and what DOESN’T.

Many 2nd homeowners will use this as a bargaining chip. If they get a good price, then they will be willing to leave the furniture. It IS enticing to a potential buyer buying a home they see that they liked with the current decor. And that can also mean an ease in transition for the seller not having to move anything out and the buyer not having to go purchase new furniture.

At Fishhawk Lake, there are also homes being purchased by people to move into full time that already have a whole house full of furniture that they plan to move into this new primary home.  There are many opportunities for current homeowners at Fishhawk Lake to take those things off your hands easily by moving them across the lake; not much fuss if the price is right! There are many pieces of furniture and boats that have found new owners right down the street.

These are all pieces of information I’ve gained over the years in listing and selling homes at Fishhawk Lake and I do my best to ease the process for everyone involved to make that dream come true of living on a lake in the country!


For a private tour of the lovely properties at Fishhawk Lake or nearby, please call: Gayle Rich-Boxman, Realtor® Vernonia Realty Direct: (503)755-2905