The spring garage sale
By Nancy Russell, Senior Real Estate Specialist, CBRB
You might be surprised, but football is my favorite sport. The Super Bowl is now a few months in the rear view mirror and teams are getting ready for draft day. So, it must be springtime! Despite being a sport, football is a business, a big business that I often forget. Spring brings changes in football and there are always surprises. However, there was no bigger surprise than Wes Welker’s departure to Denver. Yes, Tom Brady’s favorite target is no longer a Patriot, how sad. My husband told me it’s like garage sale season in the NFL. Yes, true, and spring is also garage sale season in the Housing Market.
Garage sales can be a great tool before listing and selling your home. The very mention of a garage sale can send some people running. However, there are several benefits to garage sales. First, a garage sale is a great way to de-clutter your home. De-cluttering is important for a quick sale. Second, garage sales are a nice way to put a little money in your pocket while reducing the cost of moving and shipping your old household items to your new location that you may end up throwing away anyway. Finally, garage sales reduce the amount of items you would otherwise take to the curb for trash pickup. This reduces the amount of trash headed for landfills, always a good thing. So, here are my tried and true Garage Sales recommendations.
First, garage sales require planning. Pick a day and time then talk to neighbors. There is a possibility that one of your neighbors might be thinking of having a garage sale, too. The greater the number of garage sales going on at the same time, the greater the traffic and the greater number of sales. And, remember the goals, getting rid of stuff and putting some money in your pocket. Once the day and time is set, call your local town hall and see if a permit is required. Also, ensure that you have help whether family and/or friends.
Second, you need to advertise. Like when I sell your home, advertising is the key to success. Announcements in local newspapers and the Community Advocate will reach a vast audience. I also help my clients by getting the word out to my network: co-workers, past and present clients, Facebook postings, etc. Notices on telephone poles a day before the sales is critical to ensure that people know where you live. I have also loaned out my open house signs to clients to help bring in the crowd.
Third, people are looking for bargains. Don’t disappoint them. Remember that what you sell is something you don’t want anyway, so whatever you get is gravy. Place price tags on every item and be prepared to haggle. Items like glasses, snow tires, etc. will always sell better as part of a set. Items like magazines, records, CDs, or anything with a title will sell faster separately. If you have electric or electronic items to sell, like toaster ovens, coffee makers, stereo equipment, or computer equipment make sure you have ample extension cords and outlets so that items can be plugged in to demonstrate that they work. Make sure you can do this in your yard; under no circumstances do you want anyone entering your home.
Finally, make sure you have a lot paper and coin money to make change. You will not have time the day of the sale to go out to the bank and make change. In fact, plan on people showing up early looking for the best bargains!
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