If the prospect of moving has you wondering how you can possibly pack a houseful of belongings – including many you no longer use or want – then fall garage sale season may provide the perfect solution.
While it takes a little planning and a healthy dose of elbow grease, the results can be worth it. Not only will you clear out some, if not most, of those no-longer treasured treasures, but you can also earn a few dollars to put toward your new digs.
For a few tips on how to host a successful garage sale, we checked in with Cassie Kangas, the recently crowned “Queen of Garagellennium,” she laughs.
“At the top of the list is to be organized,” says Kangas, a realtor with DFH Real Estate.
First, ensure the items you put into the “sell” pile are ones you truly want to sell, since “once they’re gone, they’re gone.”
Approaching the date, you’ll want to advertise –UsedVictoria is a popular avenue– and prepare easy-to-read signs for your neighbourhood. Kangas finds Saturday sales work better than Sundays, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. seems to be a good time. But be prepared for early birds, who’ll likely arrive as early as 8 a.m.
As part of preparation, be sure to have all the items priced, either individually for bigger items or grouped with like items in a box or under a sign – “all pocketbooks 50 cents,” for example.
“Price things realistically,” Kangas advises, suggesting that as a rule of thumb, newer items in good condition might be around one-third of their retail price. Older items, or those in poorer condition, should be priced accordingly.
At the same time, “be willing to negotiate because everyone wants to go to a sale and feel like they’re getting a deal.”
It’s also a good idea to have a box of “free” items that tend to catch people’s eye. Remember also to have enough change on hand, including $10 and $5 bills, in addition to toonies and loonies, and keep the cash on you rather than in a box on the property.
When setting up, ensure the items for sale are clearly identified and not mixed with other items in the garage, and make it easy for people to move around, Kangas says.
If possible, try to have the sale visible from the road and have things elevated on tables and shelves, rather than laying them out on tarps, which can be difficult for people to look at.
For electrical items, have an extension cord so shoppers can be sure the item works. For clothes and toys, make sure the items are clean – they’re much more likely to sell.
If you’re not sure if you have enough for your own garage sale, get together with a few friends or neighbours, since “multi-family sale” can be a big draw.
Finally, remember to be a good neighbour, Kangas advises. If you’re on a narrow street with limited parking, speak with neighbours ahead of time to let them know extra traffic will be expected for a few hours, and be sure to remove signs once the sale is done.
Once your sale is done with and your storage spaces are cleared of many of those unwanted items, it’ll be much easier to prepare your home for sale. Don’t forget, less clutter is a sign of a well-kept home.
GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE » MONTH TO DATE SEPT. 14/15 COURTESY VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD
» 275 / 565 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES / TOTAL, SEPTEMBER 2014
» 412 / 1,099 –NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL, SEPTEMBER 2014
» 3,553 / 4,253 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL, SEPTEMBER 2014