Selling Your Home Yourself

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Denise Byers
C21 Premiere Properties
210 S. Main St
Rutland, VT 05701

Tips to Having a Great Yard or Garage Sale

Before placing your home on the market for sale, consider paring down your possessions before placing it on the market as well as to have less to move. Moving trucks charge by weight so the less you move the lower the cost. Consider the new home and the space it presents if trading for smaller or making a lateral move. You likely cannot start soon enough. Folks have more than they think they have and so sorting, purging and organizing is critical. Organizing for yard sales takes much time and energy to have a successful sale. Here are some helpful tips below.

1. You cannot start soon enough to plan your sale.
How long has it been since your last move? Have you accumulated many items over the years? Start now, even before a move is considered, start going through a room at a time, perhaps starting at the top, end or least used rooms and working your way down to the main active rooms, then out to the garage or shed. Have a place cleared for storage of the items, or create boxes in each room with the goods found to sell.

2. Consider if your town requires getting a Permit.
Some towns or locales will require getting a permit, some do not, but may keep track of how many sales you have and either not allow anymore or charge for it. So do check with your town to see their rules on this.

3. Consider asking your neighbors if they wish to have a sale as well, as oftentimes a larger pool of sellers will bring more shoppers, especially if you are in an out of the way location.

4. Setting the Date, Time, Directions to the Location.
Weekend sales are best with early morning starts, 7-8-9am. Try to check the weather in advance for your date as weather can make or break a sale. If you have good things, Early Birds will find out from the paper in advance and show up at the crack of dawn, 5-6am, wanting to look and see. Do not let them get under your skin, at least they showed up to buy! You may ask them to come back when you are ready. Setting up the night before and covering with tarps can be helpful. Do not forget the directions if it is at all tricky to locate.

5. Advertising the Sale:
Remember to prepare an ad with enough advance time so it will make the papers in time for publication. Consider all free publications such as the local shoppers and penny-savers as well as the local paper and radio spots. Remember to place yard sale signs and directional’s…do not forget to pick them up after the sale is over. Don’t forget to list some of the items that will attract your customers.

6. Think ahead preparations for the customer traffic.
Perhaps move your own cars or lawn furniture out of the way for the sale. Place barricades across places to direct the foot traffic and to prevent customers from driving up onto the driveway or lawn if necessary. People like to drive right up to the goods if they can. Have a door mirror, electrical extension cord, power strip, scissors, tape, price tags and stickers handy as well.

7. Pricing your Goods.
 I advise you to write on the price tag the price and the item name, as buyers will oftentimes swap price tags. It is best to have a partner with you to keep your eyes on the event and distractions. If there are going to be more than one family’s goods, you must also mark the goods with the family name in addition to price and item name. Have a FREE BOX for items that are too inexpensive to price but still useable. Organize the items with all similar items together. Keep prices low to sell them, using simple easy to add pricing, such as rounded numbering like 25¢,50¢, $1,$2,$5,$10 etc.

8. What is worth Selling?
Oftentimes we are not the best judge of what is worth selling or not …junk is junk if there is no other potential purpose for the item. However, so many things are still in demand for purchase and we might not be aware of that. So, before you throw anything away, check online websites such as eBay or others to see what prices have been paid lately for the item. If there is any doubt, call in an estate sales marketer.…they will know what is in demand yet, even what might seem like junk and there is often good money to be had, so better to be safe than sorry. Check it out when in Doubt! Do your homework so you do not lose out to the junk man.

9. Check and Recheck your items for sale.
Make certain nothing in the sale items is really NOT for sale…remove or hide the NOT FOR SALE’s. Cover any non saleable goods with sheets or tarps.

10. Prepare to sell.
Have plastic bags ready for your customer’s convenience and newspapers to wrap fragile items in.

11. Cashier’s Table & Money Management.
Throughout the sale, keep a close eye on your cash; never leave the cashbox unattended. Having a carpenter’s apron is a good way to keep the money on you, coins in one pouch and bills organized high to low in the other. It’s smart to have one person who manages the money throughout the day, keeping a tally of what was purchased and for how much, items and price. Keep a Paper Tape Calculator nearby. Have plenty of small coins, start with a bank of at least $20 and have at least $10 in coin the rest in small bills, ones. Have Scissors, Tape, Marking Pen, Pad, Pencil, Paper, Extra Price tags or Stickers, the plastic bags handy and nearby any Boxes to spare might be good as well. Have a card or picnic table and chair, set with the Power Strip and extension cord, marking pen, Paper Tape Calculator and Pad /Pen handy, Door Mirror for tryouts. Having something to drink with small paper cups on hot days will provide relief to thirsty customers and perhaps have them stay longer looking…the longer they are there, the more likely that they will buy.

12. Prepare for your Yard Sale & Home For Sale.
Perhaps locking the home during the sale is a prudent idea. DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE ENTRY TO YOUR HOME for a restroom visit, at least not unaccompanied. What does not sell still needs attention. Some locale’s also let you leave leftovers at the curb for FREE pick up by crafty or needy folks. If not picked up after a few days, take back up and Trash or Donate any useful remaining items or sell it to a resale shop if there are still good items. Now that all of your clutter is cleared out, it’s time to focus on preparing your house for a successful sale! With the extra money you have just made, you can spend it on repainting or new Welcome mat, or other updates. Good Luck and Happy Sale!

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