In a sense, then, many furnished homes find buyers through self-selection: If someone doesn’t like the interior decoration, there’s a good chance they’ll buy something else. This is particularly true in a market such as Aspen, where there’s a glut of high-end homes on the market. During the first quarter of 2019, luxury inventory in the area expanded 23.8 percent year over year, according to a report by Douglas Elliman, while the discount on sales increased slightly year over year, to 15.3% off the asking price.

And in the case of a $1.9 million, four-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath house in Banner Elk, NC., from the founders of Furnitureland South (“the world’s largest furniture store”), they would have to find something else. The furniture is a mandatory part of the sale, at an additional cost of $225,000. (That means the actual cost of the house is $2.15 million.)

A buyer, says the listing broker Derek Rowley of Premier International Realty, will be a buyer interested in the furniture. In the meantime, he says, they’re using it as a vacation home and “enjoying all four seasons with their family,” he says.

“They’ve got his very special home with a unique design,” Rowley continues. “And the right buyer will find it.”

One Man’s Trash …
Given the vagaries of taste, though, even when buyers pay for a fully furnished home, there’s a very low probability it will stay furnished the same way for very long.

“Our Habitat for Humanity has to be one of the best shops in the U.S., because so many people here just do away with their furniture,” says Aspen’s Davidson. “I had another penthouse I sold in downtown Aspen two years ago—fully furnished and totally accessorized. But the seller didn’t want it, and the buyer didn’t want it, and so we had Habitat for Humanity come in and take everything, down to the toilets and doors.”

Even the Hawaii mansion might meet a similar fate, though at that $49 million price range, it’s slightly less likely.

“A lot of my clients take a home fully furnished, make the first visit, live in it, and then start decorating,” says Brown. “Then they’ll set up a donation to a local charity for the furnishings they don’t want.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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