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RISMEDIA, August 6, 2008-With a glut of distress sales having flooded the market, even in the luxury sector, making selling even non-distress real estate a highly competitive and often disheartening endeavor, any competitive edge a seller can garner can mean the difference between closing escrow on a property or it languishing on the MLS in perpetuity.

“One such competitive edge not commonly considered as part of a home’s marketing strategy is to sell a property either fully or partially furnished,” says Robert Jenson, CEO of luxury Las Vegas realty The Jenson Group. “This strategy has been particularly effective in selling million-dollar real estate in the Las Vegas market where many interiors have been professionally designed, but the method could certainly be extrapolated for homes in other pricing categories and regions.”

Consider these findings on sold furnished Las Vegas-area residences: for 2008 YTD 16% of homes $1 million-plus and 20% of homes $2 million-plus were successfully sold fully or partially furnished. When compared to YTD sales data for unfurnished residences, these numbers represent a 10% increase in the incidence of homes sold with contents over those without. In 2007 15.5% of homes $1 million-plus and a whopping 37.5% of homes $2 million-plus were successfully sold fully or partially furnished.

“While bundling furnishings with a home sell is a viable strategy, sellers should not force a home’s contents onto prospective buyers, which can work against them,” says Jenson. “Instead, give buyers the option to procure the property with or without furnishings, and have a pre-established sale price set for either scenario. Also be prepared to put together a bill of sale for the furniture, separate from the home’s sale price.”

“In a marketplace where lenders have tightened their proverbial belts, forcing many home buyers to come to the closing table with more cash, a partially furnished or fully turn-key home can be a very attractive proposition…and the all important deciding factor in choosing one property over another.”

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