Special offer

Personal property and real estate

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

This week we got an offer on a listing.  That offer included some personal property.  That offer also included a finance clause.  Although it was a great offer we had to take the time to counter it because signing it would have created problems down the road for the buyer/borrower.

Now if a buyer is a cash buyer, then saying "the porch swing and chairs and the dock furniture to be included" can be okay.  However, in my 32 years experience in real estate I have yet to find a lender who was okay with financing patio furniture for 30 years.

In Georgia we have a form for that.  It's called a bill of sale or personal property agreement.  The agreement to sell the personal property is contingent upon two things.... 1. the real estate transaction actually closing.  So if you are buying some of the personal property in a home, even for a price of $1.00 you ONLY get to buy it if the real estate transaction actually closes.  So if you don't buy the house you don't get the living room furniture or the dock furniture you also want for that $1.00 or $100.00 or whatever price agreement you came to for the personal property.  The 2. contingency is that the personal property is free from any liens.  So you don't have to worry about "Rooms to go" coming to pick it up because the seller is guaranteeing it is owned free and clear or they will be paying it off at closing as part of the payments the attorney is collecting and paying at closing. 

So many times we've had to amend a contract to remove personal property because the agent doesn't understand that personal property is NOT real estate and NOT part of a real estate transaction that underwriting is NOT going to give clear to close if they are financing a sofa for 30 years. 

In my market of a LOT of second homes there are lots of times when sellers will agree to sell/give a buyer some of the furnishings in the home because they aren't "moving" from the home and don't need to take the furniture and frankly don't have a place to put it in their primary residence that is already furnished. On several listings in my MLS right now it says "home is being sold with furniture", that's fine and good, but those items belong on a personal property agreement (Bill of sale), not in the real estate contract.

So if your agent writes information in your contract to purchase real estate that furniture conveys, you might need a new agent because it might just screw up your loan. And if they don't have the knowledge or the oversight of a broker who is teaching them the property way to deal with personal property, you have to wonder what else they might not know about that could harm your transaction and keep you from getting the home you are trying to purchase.   

Posted by

706-485-9668  us on facebook


(Click on Lane Realty Logo for web site)

Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner


Broker License # 169695  Lane Realty License # H-11420

Real Estate Instructor License # 355089

Call me today for all your Lake Sinclair real estate needs.

 Search for homes on Lake Sinclair now

For readers who are not members of ActiveRain feel free to also add your comments or you can click on the EMAIL me link to the right of this blog and email me.  Thanks for reading.

All content belongs to me unless otherwise stated.  Do not use without permission.  Logos and photographs may also be copyright registered. Please do not use without my express written permission.



Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Tammy- When we sold our home in Delray Beach, the buyer wanted us to "throw in" our 30-foot boat. The agent I had said we needed to take it because she didn't think we'd get our asking price. We did sell the boat separately as well as the home. 

Apr 06, 2024 01:28 PM
Tammy Lankford,

Kathy Streib we get a lot of that as well on the lake.  Please "give" us the boat with the house.  Recently it was a $160,000 boat they wanted "thrown in"... uh, no.

Apr 06, 2024 02:20 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Tammy,

What a great post about personal property being included in a sale. Lenders DO NOT WANT to see this....separate bill of sale always!

Apr 06, 2024 04:07 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Right now, I'm more concerned about a gigantic, out of tune,  old grand piano with a broken sound board that is the only thing sitting in the living room of a coop I'm trying to sell. I have no idea how the seller will get it out. I think she might offer to pay the buyers to take it! That will be an interesting addenda, whatever happens.

Apr 06, 2024 06:12 PM
Tammy Lankford,

oh yikes.  Recently had an organ in an estate that had to be donated to get it out.

Apr 07, 2024 09:56 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Apr 06, 2024 06:36 PM
Tammy Lankford,


Apr 07, 2024 09:56 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Lenders certainly don't like seeing personal property negotiated within a real estate deal, so it is definitely best to have a separate bill of sale.

Apr 07, 2024 05:38 AM
Tammy Lankford,

really couldn't believe it was in an offer recently.

Apr 07, 2024 09:57 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes indeed, personal property is different than the real estate and needs to be treated as such. Good point!

Apr 07, 2024 06:13 AM
Tammy Lankford,

you would expect brokers to be telling agents this.

Apr 07, 2024 09:57 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Tammy - real estate and everyday life continue to show us that situations present themselves with many possible reverberations.  Understanding the far-reaching consequences helped both your seller prevent a transaction roadblock.      

Apr 07, 2024 06:40 AM
Tammy Lankford,

Exactly.  I don't need extra headaches down the road.

Apr 07, 2024 09:58 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

This gets even more difficult when selling fully furnished Shore Properties ! …………….

Apr 07, 2024 07:37 AM
Tammy Lankford,

what makes shore properties more difficult?  I mean we have a lake shore and that doesn't affect personal property being on a bill of sale.

Apr 07, 2024 09:59 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

It has been very rare that I have handled a transaction where personal property was an issue. I can see where it might be common in an area with a lot of second homes or vacation rental sales. I like your clause for handling these situations. I don't think we have anything like that in our standard forms.

Apr 13, 2024 07:42 PM
Tammy Lankford,

It's certainly always been important in our mostly second home market. And the people at GAR that write our contracts have been great to be helpful to all of us.

Apr 14, 2024 02:01 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Tammy Lankford, - this is great information! Buyers, especially those relocating really need you to help guide them through the process from beginning to end. 

May 02, 2024 11:44 PM
Tammy Lankford,

We just listed a house that turned out to be "not the right house" for buyers who bought last year.  

May 04, 2024 10:09 AM