Before you put your College Station home or Bryan home on the market for sale, one of the first things we advise homeowners to do is declutter. A garage sale is often a good way to help make this process work.
One of the best ways to make sure you follow through with keeping the clutter out of your home is to get rid of it permanently! This may sound scary or like a daunting task, but you will be thankful for no more clutter. It will not be able to haunt you or stress you. You will be taking back control of your life. Selling the excess will earn you a little extra money in the bank and a lot of extra space in your home. You can download a free yard sale checklist and printable yard signs at the following website: Organized Home.
In the following blog, we will discuss the following:
• Gathering up inventory
• Investigate the area
• Set the date
• Throwing out the leftovers
• Promote, present and publicize
• Preparing and pricing items
• Arrange the area
• The big day!
• When it’s all said and done…. Gathering up inventory
The inventory you need for your garage sale is living all around you. It may be those extra coffee mugs that never get used and the spare microwave in storage. Rummage through pantries, cupboards, shelves, cabinets, and under beds, trashing anything unnecessary. Some people use a rule that they must get rid of 10-20 percent of all of their “stuff.” Get the family to participate in this decluttering session and throw in an incentive for your kids. Create a rule: For every toy they part with, they will earn $2. To make it easier to sort through your home’s clutter, find a partner to help you go through everything. Two heads will make more logical decisions and will get through the decluttering process twice as fast. Before you start this decluttering, designate a room or space for your garage sale inventory. You will need a spot that you can store the clutter and price it for the sale.
Investigate the area
Garage sales have certain standards and rules depending on your location. It is smart to spend some time doing your homework by looking up sales in the area. Note how other sellers advertise and how they price their items. It does not make sense to price your inventory higher than the going rate. Check with your area’s municipality and homeowners’ association for specific regulations and requirements regarding yard sales. You may need a permit, or there may be a limit on the number or timing of yard sales in the area.
Set the date
The best time to schedule your garage sale is soon after the first of the month. This is right after payday, and potential customers are more likely to have spare cash on them for spending at your sale. Holidays and weekends should not be your first choice as more people will be out of town during these times. Choose the day of your sale and stick to a one-day sale. Two-day sales double the time you put in to selling. Customers know that after the first day items are picked over. The audience you are trying to attract should determine what day you have your sale on. Young, stay-at-home mothers are attracted to sales on Friday mornings while Saturday morning sales will attract a wider audience. Lastly, set a time for your sale. 8 a.m. is a standard starting time for many areas. Do not forget to set an end time.
Throwing out the leftovers
After you have had your sale, you will want to throw out the things that did not sell. It is crucial for you to decide ahead of time how you will get rid of your leftovers. Schedule for a charity to come and pick up items after the sale, or you can call and schedule a 3 p.m. pickup on sale day. You can also box up leftover items and plan to deliver them to a thrift store or donation center the next day. You can also consider planning a clearance event at the end of your sale to get rid of the clutter. Posting a sign that says items will be 50 percent off after 2 p.m. can attract a sizeable crowd. You could also consider offering one dollar per bag of items toward the end of your sale. Whatever you decide, do not let the clutter find its way back into your home!
Promote, present and publicize
Advertising is key to getting the most foot traffic through your sale, and an increased flow of people means increased sales. Craigslist is one of the most standard ways of advertising your sale. Craigslist listings will also show up on online Yard Sale Treasure Maps, which are real-time service maps that garage sale shoppers use to navigate the sales. If you are selling an extensive inventory, you may want to spend a little extra on a newspaper ad. Make use of your computer or your kids to create garage sale signs (or use links from the site above). Neon poster boards and black markers are excellent for attracting attention.
Preparing and pricing items
Now it is time to look over your inventory. Taking a little extra time to clean up your inventory can result in extra money on garage sale day. Wash all clothing and hang it neatly on hangers. Run dishes through the dishwasher. You can even use an automotive vinyl protectant to shine up small appliances. Group like items together in plastic bags or boxes. Assess your pile of stuff for damaged or broken pieces and throw them out to keep other families from buying or using them. When it comes time to price your items, putting stickers on your inventory can save you a lot of time haggling and will help the shyer seller make a decision. To price items, use masking tape or small stickers and write the prices on them with black marker. You can buy preprinted price stickers at local office supply stores. Do not be afraid to be creative and bundle your items!
Arrange the area
Decide ahead of time where you want to have your sale. Your front yard, or your garage, wherever you decide, make sure it is visible from the road. It is a terrific idea to remove from the area anything that is not for sale. If you cannot remove everything, cover up things that are not for sale with sheets or posters. Set up tables or even slabs of plywood to display your inventory. Leave a space in the forefront for your big ticket items so they will attract buyers to your sale. Items that are displayed in an organized fashion suggest that the inventory was well cared for. Buyers are more anxious to spend money on items that have been lightly worn. Lastly, remove any hazardous cords or items from the area and have a fanny pack or money box handy for you to keep your money and make change for your customers easily.
The big day!
Now it is time for you to create an upbeat, lively atmosphere for your customers. Talk to them and show excitement and enthusiasm. Customers are more likely to make a purchase when they are acknowledged and greeted. Plan to have at least two people at all times out working the sale. One person can handle the money while the other answers customers’ questions. You could even consider setting up a stand for free coffee or selling donuts or cookies to attract shoppers. The longer that people stay the more likely they are to make a purchase.
When it’s all said and done
Close down your sale at the time you initially set. Be considerate of your neighbors and yourself by not overworking. Remove all signs and sale items at the end of your sale and count the money you have rightfully earned!
Then, call your Century 21 Beal agent at 979-764-2100 and lets get your house sold and help you move into your Aggieland dream home!
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