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Selling a home with the furniture, how to proceed?

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In most real estate transactions, the sale of the property is carried out when it is empty. But it is sometimes interesting to sell a home with its furniture. For this, it is necessary to know the difference between movable property and immovable property, to know the procedure for such a transaction and to know how to write an inventory for the real estate advertisement . If this is not your case yet, this article can help you.

Distinguish between movable and immovable

To understand how to differentiate between these two types of elements, the civil code is clear: only furniture can be moved. Buildings therefore correspond to buildings and land. Perhaps you find this rule logical and very clear. However, it includes exceptions and special cases for certain movables which are considered as real estate under the law.

They are then called “buildings by destination” (as opposed to buildings by nature for land or buildings, for example). This is all furniture that is considered permanent and/or that cannot be removed without being damaged or without damaging the building. This is the case for certain woodwork, an integrated kitchen, custom-made storage, exterior blinds, fireplace, mirror sealed to the wall, a bathroom, etc. These elements, considered as buildings, are therefore subject to the legal regime of the latter.

Why is it interesting to choose to sell a home with its furniture?

Now that you know how to differentiate furniture from buildings, you are probably wondering about the relevance of such a sale. To do this, you need to take an interest in the registration fees due during the sale if you are the buyer, and the possible taxation on the capital gain that you will have to pay as the seller.

All of these sums are calculated on the value of the “immovable” property, once the furniture has been removed. If you consider that some of them constitute a non-negligible part of the sale price, you will have to remove it from the value of the property. You will then only pay fees on the remaining part of the sum, the one that corresponds only to the real estate and will probably be able to save a few hundred euros.

It is estimated on average at 8% of the value of the property the amount of notary fees to be paid during a real estate sale. By selling your furnished accommodation, this percentage is applied to a depreciated and therefore less significant value.

Another non-negligible advantage of the furnished sale: you capture the interest of investors. This is all the more true for small surfaces in tight areas. By choosing this type of sale, you offer your property a strong appeal to these investors who most often opt for accommodation intended for students or young workers on the move.

Take inventory of furniture

If you sell your property furnished, it is imperative to carry out an inventory and an assessment of the value of these elements. You must then list precisely all the “furniture” that will accompany the property during the sale. Each of them must also be accompanied by a value. To set it, proceed as for a second-hand sale by removing a depreciation coefficient from the new value of each item. You can also call on a professional, such as an auctioneer, to appraise each piece of furniture and rely on reliable and indisputable expertise.

Also, be specific when writing this document. By bringing precision to your descriptions, you will avoid any risk of dispute on the day of the signature (materials, styles, condition, etc.). Once established, this list is appended to the sales agreement and then to the authentic deed during the final sale. It may be subject to discussion with the buyer so that you can agree.

For its part, the tax authorities can choose to control you once the sale is finalized. You must therefore keep all the documents related to the purchase of the furniture (invoices) to justify your various assessments.

Good to know: once the inventory is completed, be aware that the list drawn up commits you. Attached to the sales agreement, it becomes final and requires that each item listed be present on the day the keys are handed over.

Some furniture is not part of the furnished sale

If you wish to opt for a sale of your home with the furniture, be aware that some of them alone do not allow you to obtain this qualification. Some must indeed remain in the accommodation in any situation and are considered to be inseparable elements of the good. These are so-called immovable movable assets by destination.

The Civil Code (article 524) considers that these buildings by destination are “attached to the perpetual residence fund”. And if the exhaustive list dates from the Napoleonic era and is therefore difficult to apply today, case law considers that all the elements which cause damage are considered as buildings by destination.

This rule also applies to outdoor spaces. Flower boxes, a pergola or any other sealed element cannot be removed before the sale. They are therefore considered as buildings by destination. If, on the other hand, you have an above-ground jacuzzi or a barbecue and you wish to sell them with the accommodation, you can consider them as furniture and remove their estimate from the price of the property.

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