Friday, November 7, 2014

Declutter NOW for your 2015 Home Sale…and make a few bucks too!


Step one in selling a home isn’t calling a REALTOR®. It is decluttering your home.  Let’s face it. Most people don’t live in a perfectly “staged” home.  Homes are lived in and full of clutter.  And do you really want to pack and move all that accumulated STUFF to a new home? Probably not.  So if you want to sell a home next spring it might be time to donate unwanted items.  Or better yet, sell all those extras.

I know, I know. It’s hard to have a garage sale at any time of the year. But in Minnesota in the middle of winter, it can be next to impossible. No one wants to have people with their muddy, wet, salt-covered boots tromping through their house and frankly it is too darn cold in the garage! Of course, Craigslist is an option. But did you know there is a new option on Facebook for selling items locally? Many communities have pages for online garage sales. It is a bit safer because it is less anonymous than Craigslist. You see the face of the person on their profile page. (Some people do make fake profiles so be cautious.) There are thousands of people selling and more importantly buying on these boards! I know. I’ve sold a ton of stuff this fall. How does it work? If you have an item to sell, you post a photo, a price and where the buyer would have to pick it up. This can be at your home or a public place. My favorite place is a grocery store parking lot. This way there are lots of people and lights for safety.


Surprisingly, there is a lot a home seller will learn about negotiation and selling a house by selling on a online garage sale site.  Selling is selling after all and people are people no matter how high or low valued an item is. Here are a few similarities that I have encountered.

  1.  The LOWBALL offer   Recently I offered a brand new tool on a local site. Someone messaged “I can buy this online for your asking price so why don’t you sell it to me for half?” Hmmm…It’s brand new and you’d have to pay $20 online plus shipping and tax of around $15. I’m asking $20 and your offer me $10? I said no. I had priced the item right and someone else purchased it the next day at full price.
  2. There will be NO Shows. Just like when there is a showing request for a home, some online buyers will not show up to a scheduled meeting or will have to cancel. Unfortunately, this does happen from time to time with home showings too.
  3. Negotiate the Terms Cash is best in an online transaction. Although there are few cash buyers in real estate, it is important to understand how a buyer will pay for any item.
  4. Condition Affects Value. Something new in the box will always sell for more than something that is well worn.  I clean up all my items before posting a photo online. It sells more quickly if the photos are clear and the item is in its best light. Same is true for a home.  Good photos of a well prepared clean home, will help it sell more quickly too.
  5. Read the Rules Every group has rules to keep things fair for buyers and sellers. Reading and following the rules to selling items on line is very similar to understanding and following all laws when it comes to the sale of real estate.
So if you are planning to move in the spring, there is no reason you cannot start the decluttering/selling  process now. You could even make a few dollars for the upcoming holiday season too!


Looking to Buy or Sell a HomeIf you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

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