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Should I sell my vacation rental with furniture or without?

Should you sell your vacation rental with or without furniture
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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

When it comes time to sell, you must consider whether you should sell your vacation rental with furniture or without. There are pros and cons to both scenarios and you need to evaluate them based on your specific situation. 

Selling a vacation rental property can be a stressful process, especially if the home is large and filled with furniture and decorations. But, it doesn’t need to be. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of selling your vacation rental with furnishings within the context of your needs. You’ll eliminate lots of potential stress. Let’s take a look here.

Understanding Furniture vs. Fixtures: what is the difference?

In real estate there is a clear distinction between furniture and fixtures. In order to avoid any complications during the sale, understand the difference! 


Furniture Bill of Sale

Vacation Rental Property Inventory List (PDF file) or (Google Sheet)


“Fixtures” typically refers to any item that is affixed or attached to the home. Lighting fixtures, built-in shelving and door handles would be considered fixtures. Fixtures convey with the home unless otherwise explicitly written into the contract. For example, it would be odd to purchase a home and walk in to find that the sellers removed all the door handles. 

There are some nuances that vary by location. For example, Michaela Hachtel of Realty Austin in Austin, TX notes that “TV wall mounts are considered fixtures in Texas and therefore, convey with the home. The TV itself, however, does not. The TV is considered personal property and goes with the Seller.”  Consequently, discuss with your real estate agent to make sure that you clearly understand the differences to prepare your vacation rental property for sale.


“Furniture” refers to personal property, like, you guessed it – sofas, TVs, beds, dining tables. Usually this includes anything that is not attached to the home. In other words, if you can move it, it is generally considered personal property. Therefore, a stand alone refrigerator (not a built-in) would fall under the general term of furniture. Again, we recommend consulting with a real estate agent in your area for clarification.

Is it better to sell your vacation rental with or without furniture? Deciding what’s right for you.

What will you do with the furniture after the sale? Do you need the furniture for a new vacation rental property or your personal home? If yes, then selling furnished isn’t the way to go. However, if you don’t need the furniture, it may be easier to sell with the vacation rental. Selling furniture is often time consuming and it’s unlikely you’ll recover much of the original cost.

selling furniture can be time consuming!

Selling furniture can be a time consuming affair!

Advantages of selling your vacation rental with furniture vs. not

There are several advantages to selling your vacation rental property with furniture. First, staging a home during a sale often leads to a better sale price and faster sale. Second, selling a home with furniture and decorations helps buyers visualize the possibilities. Third, many vacation rental buyers want a turnkey transaction. And finally, is the furniture useful to you in the future? 

Staging: the positive effects

Staging your vacation rental property for sale can ultimately improve the speed and price of your transaction. Since it is already fully furnished and decorated for guests, show it off to potential buyers this way! Neighbor.com discusses why staging is so important.

Leverage your decor

The furniture and decorations you selected for your vacation rental home are often indicative of the vacation rental business itself. For example, if you have a cabin in the Smoky Mountains your vacation rental decor likely evokes a cozy, rustic feeling. This attention to detail will attract buyers. While they may not like everything, your furnishings help them the vacation home for themselves.  

Turnkey: the preferred option for many vacation rental buyers 

In the context of vacation rental properties, turnkey properties command strong interest from buyers. While some buyers may prefer to furnish and decorate their vacation rental from scratch, many do not want the hassle. 

Vacation rental owner, Jill, built a custom vacation rental home in Durango, CO and explains “our current vacation home was a custom build and we spent a ton of time on design and furnishings. It was fun, but a lot of work and I’m not sure I want to do that again! If we were to purchase another vacation rental, finding one with an established rental history and furnished would be much easier!”

So, while buyers may ultimately edit and change things in the future, they want to hit the ground running. A turnkey, furnished vacation rental property provides that opportunity.

The vacation rental sales contract: to include furniture or not 

Great! You’ve decided to sell your furnishings with your vacation rental property. Then, the last step is the sales contract. Should you make the vacation home sale transaction and the furniture transaction two separate deals? This is where your local real estate agent expertise comes in handy.

If you’re in a luxury real estate market you can likely include the furnishings in the home sale transaction. If not, consider a separate furniture bill of sale. By making this a separate transaction you’ll rest easy knowing this won’t complicate the appraisal. 

Start by making a complete inventory of furnishings to include in the sale. Finally, be realistic about the price. You want to strike a balance between getting the most value from the sale without discouraging buyers!  

When you’re ready to list your vacation rental head over to our listing tool and get started.

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