Monday, June 8, 2009

Planning a Perfect Garage Sale

Garage sales are a great way to clean out your house of things you aren’t using, and make a bit of money in the process. Garage sales are an earth-friendly form of recycling, and fulfill the mantra “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” They are an easy way to move things you no longer need out of your house, while offering them at a great price to someone who can use them.

If you’re preparing your Ann Arbor home for sale, once you’ve booked your Ann Arbor realtor, take a day or two to de-clutter and simplify your living quarters. Having sleek, open spaces makes your house look roomier and more appealing to potential buyers. You’ll be thankful you took time to de-clutter your home, giving you less things to pack and unpack after you sell your home.

Planning is key for a smooth garage sale. Here are some tips to make your garage sale a success:

1. Find out if your town or neighborhood is having a community garage sale, and plan your sale for the same day. The more sales being held one centralized area, the more likely you are to attract a large crowd. Plus, community garage sales are usually well-advertised, saving you from having to do all the advertising on your own.

2. If your community isn’t holding sale, team up with some friends to hold your garage sales together. Choose the house that has the greatest street traffic. Buy colored stickers to use as price tags- each person has one color sticker. Peel the price tags off the items and save them as items are sold. You’ll be able to easily calculate the proceeds at the end of the day.

3. Advertise your sale for free on Craiglist and Facebook. See if your community newspaper has a “notices” section where you can place a small notice. Create signs to post near your sale directing motorists to your home. Recycled political yard signs work well for this. Remember - more signs = more traffic.

4. Organize the sale items by category- all house wares together, all clothes together, all children’s toys together, etc. Grouping like items together will make your sale look tidy, and will help buyers quickly find things they’re interested in.

5. Understand that buyers may want to negotiate prices, so think about whether you’re willing to bargain, and what your bottom line price is for big-ticket items.

6. Be ready before your advertised start time. Professional antiquers and garage sale hunters always arrive early to scope out the best deals. Don’t be surprised if you advertise a starting time of 8 a.m., and have potential buyers hanging around at 7 a.m.

7. Be sure to stock up on small currency- have lots of one dollar bills and change on hand.

8. Recruit your friends and family to help you on the day of the sale. You’ll want at least two people helping “man” the event- that way, if one needs to run into the house for a break, the other person can keep on eye on things.

Have a great time at your garage sale, and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping keep things out of landfills, while beautifying your home and simplifying your life.
Photo courtesy Flickr: John Beagle

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