Downsizing sale: Getting the biggest buck for your bang

If you’re gearing up for a move down into a smaller home, then you know the downsizing process can be overwhelming – especially if you’ve lived in a large house for many years. Clearing household clutter and deciding the fate of used furniture, artwork and other items can be a challenge. You want to maximize the value of your stuff by holding a contents sale, but how do you ensure you’re getting the biggest buck for your bang?“You’ll be surprised as to what people will actually buy. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Others will try to sell the items on their own, while still others will hire a firm to assist with the process,” says Laura Convery, manager of Senior Services at Transition Squad, a turnkey company specializing in helping seniors downsize their homes, from organizing, cleaning and clearing the home, to contents sales, online auctions and Transition Squad’s consignment store.If you’re considering holding a contents sale to help lighten your load, Convery offers these five steps to downsizing success.

downsizing saleDownsizing stuff, maximizing profit:

1. Think like a buyer and set up your downsizing sale accordingly. What is most pleasing to the eye? Success will depend on three things: marketing to attract people; selection; and attractive prices.

2. Priced to sell. Whether it’s fine furniture, appliances or clothing, remember that these items may not be worth to others what they are worth to you. A stranger won’t pay extra for sentimental value! Remember, the goal here is downsizing.

3. Be prepared to negotiate. Negotiating prices is the foundation of every contents sale. Buyers expect it, and a lack of willingness to negotiate may cost you a lot of unsold items by frustrating buyers.

4. Advertise in the community paper and on social media forums, and tell as many friends, family members and neighbours as possible to spread the word. Last but not least, 40 to 50 per cent of your buyers will come from road signs, so ensure they’re large, with proper messaging and strategic placement.

5. Hand out tickets starting an hour or so prior to the sale to allow access on a first come, first served basis. Make sure to only allow enough people in at a time to follow fire department regulations.

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