Running a Successful Yard Sale

Online retailers like eBay, Pop Sugar and Bonanza prove that selling used products pays off. They aren’t alone. Consignment stores and charities also realize the worth in used items. These organizations are doing what homeowners who host yard sales have been doing for years. They are taking furniture, clothes, toys, household accessories and other items and making them available, at a reasonable price, to people who find them valuable.

Tips to Make Your Yard Sale a Winner
Host a yard sale and you could use the money to pay for a vacation, your children’s school clothes, concert tickets or another expense. To increase the chances that your yard sale will be successful:

  • Pick the right day and time. Yard sales are often held on Saturdays. Be open to holding a yard sale on a weekday to attract college students, parents and self-employed people who work from home. Schedule a rain date in the event that the weather takes a sudden turn.
  • Get enough help. Solicit the help of family and friends. Assign someone to operate the cash register, someone to field customer questions and someone to help carry large items to customers’ vehicles. Ask two other people to roam the area, answering customer questions and providing security so no one walks off with items without paying.
  • Position art pieces, great values and attention grabbers near corners and curbs, to attract visitors. Colorful items, especially items with bright, large print, attract attention which is exactly what you want.
  • Group toys, clothes, furniture and other items together to make it easy for visitors to find what they want. The easier you make it for visitors to pick up what they want, the quicker you may land a sale.
  • Have enough change and consider accepting debit and credit card payments. The last thing that you want is to watch a potential sale walk off because you didn’t have change to handle their purchase. Keep dollar bills, fives, tens and two to three rolls of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies on hand.
  • Promote your yard sale online and offline. Post information about your yard sale at your social media accounts, places like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Tell your colleagues and neighbors that you’re having a yard sale. Be sure to let them know the day and time of the yard sale.
  • Put signs in your yard a few days prior to the yard sale. Add the date and time for the yard sale to each sign. Make sure that the signs are large and printed in bright colors like red and white.
  • Ask visitors to spread the word about your yard sale. When people visit your yard sale, ask them to tell at least one other person about your yard sale. If they bring two or more people with them to your yard sale, consider giving the referrer a discount on an item that they purchase.
  • Offer great deals but make sure that you generate a profit. Research online prices for similar items that you are selling. Try to beat online and offline deals, but make sure that your yard sale is profitable.

By hosting a yard sale, you’ll be cleaning your home. You’ll also create more space for newness. And you’ll offer household items to people who find the items valuable. Host three or more yard sales a year and you may learn additional ways to yield more success from the sales. With experience and the right amount of advertising, you could generate $1,000 or more off of each yard sale that you host.

Learn About the History of Your Home

Do you know the history of your home? How you respond to this question may dictate whether you’re equipped to maximize the value of your residence.

As a home seller, you’ll want to know when your home was built and other facts about the condition of your residence before you add it to the real estate market. And with the right amount of research, you should be able to find out plenty about your residence and share this information with prospective homebuyers.

Some of the key home history questions that every home seller should consider include:

1. How Old Is Your Home’s Roof?

An old roof could become a costly repair that no homeowner wants to encounter. However, home sellers who understand when their roof has been repaired or replaced can share this information with homebuyers and empower these buyers with additional details to help them make an informed decision.

Remember, an old roof won’t necessarily deter homebuyers from checking out your house. At the same time, you’ll want to account for your roof’s condition when you price your residence.

Also, you may consider completing roof renovations before you list your home on the real estate market, as these repairs may help differentiate your residence from similar homes that are available.

2. When Was Your Hot Water Heater and/or Furnace Replaced?

A homebuyer surely wants a home that is easy to heat. And if you’ve replaced your home’s hot water heater or furnace recently, you likely will be better equipped to optimize the value of your residence.

If you’re uncertain about the age of your home’s hot water heater or furnace, you’ll want to have these items tested by professionals to ensure their quality.

Typically, an average hot water heater will last between eight and 12 years; comparatively, an oil furnace usually will last up to 10 years, while a gas furnace may perform well for up to 20 years. And if it’s been some time since these products have been repaired or replaced, you may want to consider installing new ones before you add your home to the real estate market.

3. What Is the Age of Your Air Conditioning System?

While the hot water heater and furnace are likely to generate concerns from homebuyers, the condition of your home’s air conditioning system probably will do the same.

Like many appliances, your home’s A/C system will start to break down over an extended period of time. This commonly happens after 10 to 15 years, but home sellers who have maintained and repaired their A/C system regularly may be able to reduce the need to replace this unit.

Focus on finding out as much information as possible about your home and sharing this information with homebuyers. By doing so, you are able to be fully transparent about what your residence offers homebuyers. Thus, you may be able to speed up the process of selling your home.

Dedicate the time and resources needed to learn about the history of your home, and ultimately, you’ll be better equipped to find homebuyers who are interested in your residence.

Increase Your Attic’s Efficiency

Did you know your home could lose heat due to a poorly insulated attic? That’s right, and home sellers who want to maximize the value of their residence will want to improve their attic’s insulation immediately.

You should try to air-seal the attic to minimize your home’s energy loss consistently. However, there are several questions you’ll need to consider before you add attic insulation, including:

1. How much insulation will I need?

Ideally, you’ll want your attic insulation to be above the floor joists. And if you notice your attic insulation sets below or at the floor joists, you may need extra insulation to boost your home’s efficiency.

Furthermore, you’ll want to ensure that insulation is evenly distributed across your attic. That way, you’ll be able to avoid low spots, aka areas where energy loss becomes more likely to occur.

2. What kind of insulation should I install?

Just because there is certain type of insulation already installed in your attic does not mean that you have to use this same kind of insulation in the future. In fact, there are many insulation options at your disposal, providing you with plenty of flexibility to find insulation that fulfills your home energy needs and budget.

Some of the most common types of attic insulation include:

• Fiberglass – Fiberglass batts and rolls can be applied to unfinished walls, along with floors and ceilings.
• Foam board – This type of insulation is valuable for unvented low-slope roofs and offers a high insulating value.
• Blown-in – Perfect for unfinished attic floors, blown-in insulation is installed using special equipment and works well in irregularly shaped areas.

Meeting with an attic insulation expert may prove to be valuable, as this professional can offer insights to ensure you can find the right insulation at any time. Therefore, you’ll be able to rely on this insulation professional to complete your attic insulation project quickly and efficiently.

3. How much will it cost to add insulation?

Adding insulation to your attic can become expensive, particularly for those who choose top-of-the-line insulation installed by insulation professionals.

For many home sellers, it helps to budget accordingly when determining how much to spend on attic insulation improvements. Although you likely want to improve your home’s efficiency, it is important to avoid the risk of overspending. And if necessary, you may want to consider lowering the asking price of your home rather than performing comprehensive attic insulation improvements that may provide only a limited return on investment (ROI).

When in doubt, meeting with a real estate agent can help you determine which home improvement projects are paramount. This professional will work with you to accentuate the positive of your home to prospective homebuyers, and ultimately, ensure that you can boost your chances of a quick home sale.

Attic insulation improvements serve as one of many ways that you can work toward enhancing the value of your home. And after you complete various attic insulation improvement tasks, you’ll be better equipped to help your residence stand out from others in a highly competitive real estate market.

Selling Your Home

If you have ever sold anything, you know that the better it looks, the more likely you will be successful and get more or less what you were asking. The same goes for selling your home. Setting it up to look attractive and worthy of the asking price is known as staging, and, with a little bit of work, you can do it yourself. There are companies that will come in and do this for you, but it may be cost prohibitive and will mean that you will make less money on the overall sale.

First, the inside: walk around, into each room, with a notebook in hand and jot down what you see that could be improved. Do you or your family members have a lot of clothes, papers, and the like laying around? How are the closets? Stuffed and unruly? Closets can be a nightmare to clean, and often take days, so you might want to tackle those first. Downsize as much as you can, and bring the unwanted or unneeded clothes or items to Goodwill or any donation shop. There are many boxes to drop off things, but if you are donating a lot of things, go to the shop itself and get a receipt from them for a tax deduction.

Next, tackle the kitchen. Put away those small appliances that you use only occasionally, and keep the countertops uncluttered and clean. Kitchen cabinets should be washed down and any loose doors tightened and handles replaced if broken. Shine everything up: kitchen sink, windows; clean the screens, wash out the microwave, and clean the oven. Finicky potential buyers will look at everything to see how much care you take of your home.

The living room should be uncluttered and dust-free. Stains on the carpet and couches must be dealt with, as this will immediately turn potential buyers off. Invest in new throw pillows and maybe a coordinating throw to add a fresh, clean look to the area. Again, make sure the windows are clean, screens vacuumed, and drapes or blinds have been dusted.

The bathroom areas should be attended to, also. Clean mildew off the tiles, wash the floor, mirror, countertop and the fixtures. Shine the faucets, using a dryer sheet, for extra easy shine. Put clean towels out. Remove any dirty laundry! Replace the shower curtain and bath mats with new and colorful ones, if needed.
A little bit of elbow grease will pay off, hopefully, so get started. Just think of this as “company’s coming”; you always did clean your house to make it look comfortable and enticing when expecting your in-laws, didn’t you?