How to Hold a Successful
sales can be a great way to get rid of clutter ó and earn a
little extra cash ó before you sell your home. But make sure
the timing is right. Garage sales can take on a life of
their own, and it might not be the best use of your energy
right before putting your home on the market. Follow these
tips for a successful sale.
Donít wait until the last minute.
You donít want to be scrambling to hold a garage sale the
week before an open house. Depending on how long youíve
lived in the home and how much stuff you have to sell,
planning a garage sale can demand a lot of time and energy.
Get a permit.
Most municipalities will require you to obtain a special
permit or license in order to hold a garage sale. The
permits are often free or very inexpensive, but still
require you to register with the city.
See if neighbors want to join in.
You can turn your garage sale into a block-wide event and
lure more shoppers if you team up with neighbors. However, a
permit may be necessary for each home owner, even if itís a
Schedule the sale.
Sales on Saturdays and Sundays will generate the most
traffic, especially if the weather cooperates. Start the
sale early, 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. is best, and be prepared for
an ad in free classified papers and Web sites, and in your
local newspapers. Include the dates, time, and address. Let
the public know if certain types of items will be sold, such
as baby clothes, furniture, or weightlifting equipment. On
the day of the sale, balloons and signs with prominent
arrows will help to grab the attention of passersby.
Price your goods.
Lay out everything that you plan to sell, and attach prices
with removable stickers. Remember, garage sales are supposed
to be bargains, so try to be objective as you set prices.
Assign simple prices to your goods: 50 cents, 3 for $1, $5,
If itís really junk, donít sell it.
Decide whatís worth selling and whatís not. If itís really
garbage, then throw it away. Broken appliances, for example,
should be tossed. (Know where a nearby electrical outlet is,
in case a customer wants to make sure something works.)
Check for mistakes.
Make sure that items you want to keep donít accidentally end
up in the garage sale pile.
Create an organized display.
Lay out your items by
category, and display neatly so customers donít have to dig
Stock up on bags and newspapers.
People who buy many small items will appreciate a bag to
carry their goods. Newspapers are handy for wrapping fragile
Manage your money.
Make a trip to the bank to get ample change for your
cashbox. Throughout the sale, keep a close eye on your cash;
never leave the cashbox unattended. Itís smart to have one
person who manages the money throughout the day, keeping a
tally of what was purchased and for how much. Keep a
Prepare for your home sale.
Donate the remaining stuff
or sell it to a resale shop. Now that all of your clutter is
cleared out, itís time to focus on preparing your house for
a successful sale!
from REALTORģ magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag)
with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSģ. Copyright
2008. All rights reserved.