When preparing to sell your home, you’ll probably need to do some decluttering and cleaning out. If you’re using the Sell-Donate-Trash approach, you’ll likely end up needing to host a garage sale. Enter my fantastic friend and Garage Sale Queen Jillan. If garage sale-ing was an Olympic sport, she would take the gold. She attends garage sales almost every weekend, and hosts her own several times a year. I’m admittedly a garage sale amateur, so when it came time to hold one myself I gave her a call. Here are Jillan’s top ten tips for holding a great garage sale:
- BEST TIME – Saturday is hands -down the best day for garage sales. Sunday sales typically have a lower attendance, so make sure you advertise a little more if that’s the only day you can do it. Plan to start early, say 7am, and go until at least 1pm. And if you can combine with friends or neighbors, even better! Multi-family sales are a big draw.
- CRAIGSLIST AD – Post to Craigslist the night before the sale, and then again the next morning. You might need two different email addresses to do this. If selling any of the following hot ticket items, be sure to mention them in your post: furniture, electronics, tools, gardening supplies, craft supplies, and anything unique that might attract buyers. And if applicable, work the multi-family angle too!
- DIRECTIONAL SIGNS – Jillan’s tried-and-true method for signs is seen in the photo. Cut giant arrows out of neon poster board. Write the day and location/address of your garage sale on the arrows, and tape to the side of a box with clear packing tape. Place the boxes around your neighborhood, making sure to hit a few main thoroughfares. Place a heavy rock in the box to keep them from blowing away. Put the signs out at 6am — don’t bother with the night before, as they may not be there in the morning. (Remember to pick up the boxes at the end of the day!)
- PRICING – Your best best is to price low and sell a higher volume. If the goal is to get rid of things, why get hung up on the price? Everything should be priced at least 50% or less of the retail price. Example: If you could buy it new at the discount store for $10, price it at $5 and take $3 for it. DVD’s are usually $1 and CD’s are 50 cents. (You can put these items in a bin.) Clothes are typically sold for $1 or less.
- NEGOTIATIONS – Haggling is part of the fun, so be ready for it! Think about the least you’d take for each item in advance, and price it a little higher to allow for negotiation.
- DISPLAY – People generally won’t dig through boxes, so set everything out on tables. You can borrow folding tables from neighbors, or even use sawhorses with a sheet of plywood across the top. Any elevated flat surface will work. Also, make sure you’ve individually labeled larger items with the price. For smaller items, you can group them — have a $1 table, a $3 table, and so on.
- CASH – Expect to see a lot of $20 bills fresh from the ATM. In order to make change, get $50 in 1’s and $100 in 5’s and 10’s. Remember to do this the day before!
- FILL-A-BAGGIE – Don’t bother pricing things for less than 25 cents. Instead, put all of those items on a table with a box of small zip-top bags. Folks can then fill up a bag with any items from the table and pay a set price.
- DEAL KILLERS – Don’t say, “Well, I paid X amount for it.” It doesn’t help your cause.
- LEFTOVERS – At the end of the day you can either load all the leftovers into your car and donate them to the nearest charity, or post an ad for “Free Garage Sale Leftovers” on Craigslist. If you post an ad, you’ll want to take it down as soon as everything is gone (which will be shockingly fast) in order to avoid having folks knock on your door for the rest of the day!
BONUS TIP: Rain can be good or bad. If all the other garage sales close up shop, yours might become the hottest game in town! If there’s a chance of rain, be prepared to move items into the garage or cover with tarps.
Thanks to Jillan for these great garage sale tips. If your house is feeling a little overcrowded, maybe it’s time to move up? Give me a call to talk about your options!
For more seller tips visit www.KTAustinHomes.com