As if limited real estate inventory wasn’t difficult enough to navigate in South Florida, now buyers are trying to negotiate everything and the kitchen sink - well, the sofa at the very least. More and more of my luxury buyers are requesting that sizable amounts of existing furniture be included in the sale of their home. Furniture and houseware shortages are causing increased delays in something we’ve long taken for granted.
As with most things, Covid-19 has impacted the furniture manufacturing and distribution chain severely. At the onset, port closures and container limitations caused a large backlog in the furniture industry. The ongoing Covid-19 spikes continue to close key suppliers including—China and Vietnam—further hindering furniture deliveries.
Mark Schumacher, CEO of Home Furnishings Association, an industry group representing more than 1,500 retailers was quoted in cnn.com explaining that many of his members have already been notified by their suppliers in Vietnam that factories have shut down for at least two weeks. "These closures will cause production to dry up and no new supply coming in. In many cases, customers who are ordering furniture now are being told it can take nine months to a year for delivery."
Even some US-made furniture requires imported components. Additionally, there is a foam shortage due to a confluence of reasons making upholstered furniture among the most delayed of items. This is why that brown leather sofa is looking more and more appealing when buyers are eyeing a new home to purchase.
There are some nuances on how to negotiate and word the inclusion of furniture in a contract. Make sure you align with a knowledgeable Realtor and real estate lawyer to best position yourself to get the best (and perhaps) only seat in the house!