As soon as you begin to plan to sell your Chicago home, you’ll soon find one thing everyone agrees upon: the need to de-clutter.
But where to start?
For any home that’s been lived in for years, it’s easier said than done. Most of us shrink from even thinking about what goes and what stays. But one way to wade into the project is to force the issue by picking a date and (now that you’re committed)—holding a garage (AKA ‘yard’) sale!
For garage sale neophytes, there are a number of tips that veterans agree upon. Here are six that top most lists:
- Inventory as if you are serious. That means making a list of each of the major items you will be offering, then placing a price tag on each. A very general rule of thumb is to price most at 25% of what you may have paid for items that are in “like new” condition—but that is only a guideline.
- Tables—beg, borrow, or steal as many folding tables as possible (maybe the stealing isn’t such a good idea). But most people don’t like to keep bending over to inspect items—and experts say they don’t value them as highly, either.
- Advertise. Use any local Chicago free media, social media, and, beginning a week in advance, put up strategically placed, easy-to-read announcement posters. Don’t forget to include the date, day, and hours (4 to 6 hours will be sufficient).
- Set up at least a half-hour before the sale begins. The most serious customers are likely to be “first in.”
- Get small change: lots of it. If you will be offering a number of pricey items, it could be worthwhile to invest in one of the many mobile gizmos that allow you to accept credit cards (like Square, PayAnywhere, or PayPal Here). If you go that route, practice with a few dummy transactions. On Sale Day, you won’t want your attention distracted with unfamiliar technology. Which points to the last tip:
- Get help! Enlist friends and family to share in the fun…and prevent pilferage!
Yard sales are a time-honored way to recycle the usable stuff we all accumulate. It’s also a way to fast-track the clutter elimination process that leads to success when you are preparing to sell your Chicago home. And when you list with me, you can bet I’ll have “coming soon” fliers ready to pre-market your home at the sale, too!