The weather is warming up and houses are selling like hotcakes, so it must be that time again: garage sale season! Garage or yard sales are a great way to get rid of unwanted junk – ahem – underutilized treasures.
We highly recommend sharing these garage sale tips with prospects who are preparing to move or put their home on the market. You may even want to add a copy to your seller’s take-home package that you give out when you sign a new listing. And who knows, you might find some useful information here yourself. After all, who wouldn’t be happy with a little less stuff and a little more money?
Cleaner digs are just 6 easy steps away. Let’s get started!
1. Timing Is Everything
Hosting a garage sale isn’t hard work, but it can be time consuming. If you’re selling your house, be sure to schedule your sale far enough in advance of showings or an open house to give you plenty of time to clean up afterward. Weekends are the best time to host a sale, with Saturdays being the most popular. Plan to start your sale early, around 8 or 9 AM.
2. Go Big
Once you’ve chosen a weekend, ask your neighbors if they’d like to get involved. A multi-house sale usually attracts more shoppers. Plus, it’s a great way to start – and spread – the conversation about selling your house. They may have a friend or family member who is interested in buying in your neighborhood.
3. Advertise Everywhere
How will people know about your sale if you don’t advertise it? Post an ad on Craigslist with photos of some of your best merchandise. Use social media platforms to spread the word, too. Promote your sale via “word of mouse” by posting on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And finally, don’t forget to prepare street signs for the day of, with large block letters and easy-to-follow arrows to lead people to your sale.
4. Price to Sell
Now is not the time to drive prices through the roof. Yard sale shoppers are looking for deals. Price your merchandise to move by using easy dollar increments. Use removable pricing stickers or masking tape to clearly mark each item; if shoppers have to ask, well, they probably won’t. You can also create a free area for stuff that might not be in sellable condition, like a broken lamp or ripped poster. You never know what people will take off your hands; it might save you a trip to the dump.
5. Assign a Banker
If you want to make money, you’re going to have to start out with some money to make change. Stock up on at least $50 worth of small bills and change. Designate one person as the banker. And never leave your cash unattended. You might also want to have a calculator on hand.
6. Plan Your Exit
Schedule a donation pick up in the afternoon to take care of the items that didn’t sell. You won’t have to drag anything back into your recently cleaned out house, and you’ll be helping the less fortunate. Everybody wins.
Stage Your Sale – Whether you call it staging or visual merchandising, arranging your stuff to be more appealing just makes sense (and possibly cents). Place like items together and make sure everything is visible. Place larger, more attractive things – like a good chair or table – near the front of your sale to catch the eyes of passersby.
Provide Coffee or Snacks – Obviously this is above and beyond for your average yard sale, but offering your customers treats can have some advantages. Spoil your visitors and you’ll have happy customers who are more likely to linger (and buy). And finally, why not bake some cookies instead of lugging that half-used bag of flour to the next house when you move?
Put Your Haggling Hat On – Garage sale shoppers love to haggle, so prepare yourself and anyone else on selling duty with a strategy you’re all comfortable with. This may mean starting with a small set discount that grows larger as the end of the sale draws nearer.
What’s the most money you’ve ever netted at a yard sale? Share your secrets for a successful sale with us!