With more people keeping a tighter hold on their finances in the recent years, the traditional estate or garage sale has become a popular resource for homeowners getting rid of their belongings and hopeful consumers looking for a deal.
It’s what we like to call a win-win: getting good deals and unloading excess clutter while making a little bit of cash is something that seems to benefit everybody. Although having a estate sale can be a great idea if you’re looking to sell your home, there are some people who don’t want to go through the process of planning.
Don’t let the hassle and other stress inducing experiences prevent you as a seller to make some fast cash. That negative understanding of a garage sale induced headache may deter you, but remember successful, hassle-free garage sale is all in the planning. A system and thoughtful preparation ensures you will have control over the garage sale, and it won’t run you into the ground.
This guide to holding an estate, garage, or yard sale will give you the best tips you’re looking for. Remember, if you are going to do it, make it worth your time.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to find more information on estate sales and finding garage sales in Cleveland near you!
ORGANIZATION IS THE FOUNDATION
To have an effective garage sale, be organized and efficient. This means your garage sale should check off all these boxes:
1) THE ART OF CATEGORIZING AND ARRANGING
Try to stick with selling items that are in working condition and are not parts of something. If you do have these things, consider setting them aside so they can be hauled off with whatever is left at the end of the sale.
Put things near each other that relate to each other. For example, arrange your kitchen items with other household items, while another area can be focused on toys and children’s items. Not only will this be more enjoyable for your buyers, but you will also have a better idea of your inventory and direction. This also gives direction if someone inquires about a specific type of item.
2) A PRICE ON EVERYTHING
Negotiating can be the primarily emotionally draining and time consuming part of a estate sale, so price out everything don’t overprice anything regardless of its condition. You don’t have to cheat yourself, but be reasonable with that you’re offering. You will also find estate sale enthusiasts don’t enjoy haggling either. It’s the deal they’re after and you will have a more successful estate sale if you play to that.
3) SCHEDULING THE FIRST WEEKEND OF THE MONTH
If you are a strict budgeter, you know there is more money in the bank at the beginning of the month than the end. You’re more likely to get your things swapped up fast when deals are good and the money is there to spend.
4) “ONE DAY ONLY!” VS. “3 DAY GARAGE SALE”
Remember, our goal is to keep the irritation to a minimum, so we recommend to limit the garage sale to one day only, then get rid of your belongs that don’t sell. Also consider that garage sale enthusiasts typically don’t bother with second day sales because the deals and desirable items and are already gone.
If you are experiencing low traffic, bad weather, or still have a lot of items available, it may be a good idea to hold the sale an extra day.
5) START AND END AT REASONABLE HOURS
Research when other estate sales start. Typically you will find most estate sales start at 8 am, but enthusiasts get the jump start and come as early as 6:30 a.m. Never start too late, because your buyers might be lost to your competition. If they get too far down the road, you’re likely to be forgotten.
6) ADVERTISING WITH PURPOSE
Some local media charge a small fee garage sale listing, some don’t. Remember, most people are searching everything online, so consider posting your sale in online resources dedicated to garage sale listings free of charge. Once you decide where you want to advertise, jump on placing an ad ahead of time to get the maximum exposure.
Some details you might include in your ad are the date, your address, time range, and a very brief description of what will be available. Visuals such as pictures and maps are also helpful and grab the attention of the visual audience when placing an ad online. With all the talk of going digital, it can be easy to forget about more traditional methods. Make a compelling flyer with all the details listed above and post on local bulletin boards.
Lastly, you will want to have proper signage for your garage sale as well. Make your sign visible and durable by using anything from thick poster board to a weighted cardboard box. Make the lettering big and readable to passing cars, so they can read the sign. A garage sale sign should be simple and neat but branded with extra-large bold letters. Your address and arrows are also good indicators.
7) CAN’T SELL EVERYTHING?
The organization doesn’t stop when the estae sale is over. Having in mind a day and time a local second-hand store, such as Re-Use, can pick up leftover items will help make sure your unwanted belongings are gone for good. Have all your things organized per the instructions of the pick-up service.
OTHER GARAGE SALE TIPS
Don’t be afraid to engage your customers in friendly conversation. Not only is this a good way to meet interesting new people, but your customers will feel even more welcome and free to look around more. They may even purchase something that weren’t planning on buying.
Offering something for free can be a nice gesture, especially some early morning coffee, or even a smaller item that can be given away for free.
Hold Off and Wait for Everyone Else
Some communities and neighborhoods work together for a group garage sale that lure in crowds from local and surrounding areas. This can be an easier way to create more sales and get rid of stuff fast.
Efficiently preparing for a garage sale can be the one thing that keeps it close to a pleasant experience. Along with planning ahead, take time to briefly familiarize yourself with your local laws and ordinances. Not only are there some items that can’t be legally sold in a garage sale, in some areas, it is necessary to buy a permit to even have a sale.
Now all you will need is a power strip plugged into an outside outlet, a calculator, as well as plenty of change and one dollar bills and you’re ready for your garage sale. One last tip that can make or break your garage sale: Don’t forget to check the weather!
FIND GARAGE SALES NEAR ME:
If you have a bathroom renovation on the horizon, or if you’re looking for an idea to spice up your décor, staying with what the current home design styles will give your house an edge. Whether you’re putting your house on the market or simply delighting guests, don’t miss these hot in the home trends.
Pinterest examined the pinning habits of more than 100 million users to create a highly anticipated list of the housing trends that have dominated so far in 2016. So here is what those 100 million people said:
Playing with the idea of modularity, ceramic companies are designing fragmented patterns on square and rectangular tiles to produce large compositions. By mixing and matching geometric shapes, the tiles pop with vivid, kaleidoscopic effect. The aesthetic is similar to the honeycomb tile, but with a more modern flair.
Everyone deserves to have a little Nordic style in their homes, and here are some of the styles with this theme that we’ve been seeing in some houses.
Copper Globe Lights: Who couldn’t love the globular copper lights common in Scandinavia?
They’re the perfect way to showcase this year’s hottest metal.
Folding-Style Wooden Chairs: They’re rustic without looking over-worn and look great with a sheepskin blanket tossed over their back.
Graphic Calendars: So what’s the benefit of these supersized calendars? You’ll always know the date.
Who needs little itty-bitty calendars when you can just have one massive one that adds character and something different to your space?
Gray Walls: It’s super exciting to see gray walls making a comeback! They provide the same neutral, monochromatic appeal, but dial it back a few notches.
Black and White Stripes: Chevron after chevron, it’s finally time that the black and white stripes come on back. It’s simply, elegant, yet fun to your space.
GRAPHIC THROW PILLOWS:
With these fun, bright colored, and occasionally odd designed pillows, it’s a great way to characterize your space.
WOVEN WALL DÉCOR:
A major trend in boy DIY and Home Décor is woven wall hangings. They add a unique mix of color and pattern to a room without being overwhelming. Since they are handmade, they make great gifts too!
DIY SPACE SAVING HACKS:
Look at these simple space saving ideas to make your home more efficient and much more unique. For example, a cutting board in a drawer you pull out, and there is a cut out hole right next to it leading to a garbage can below. No more messy clean ups, just cut, and swipe off the board directly into a garbage can.
Bold textiles, artwork, and home accessories inspired by the nomadic tribes of Africa. They give a beautiful elegance to the room.
GILDED METALLIC WALLPAPER:
This wallpaper adds a touch of warmth and richness to a space. Whether it’s to create a look that’s funky and futuristic, contemporary and up-to-date, or to add a modern twist to something with a more vintage, old-fashioned flavor, metallic effects can really enhance a wallpaper design.
Have you ever wondered how a home’s value is determined? With online property evaluation tools, Zestimates, and professional opinions, it can be confusing to determine what your home is worth. A property’s value is based on factors such as location, amenities, structural condition, and recent sales of similar properties around the area. To come up with a value, a property appraisal is completed so you can know the exact value of your home.
The most common form of appraisal is determining the fair market value of your property, or what the home should sell for on the fair market. There are other types of appraisals to determine the property’s tax-assessed value, which determines how much tax the homeowner should pay on the home annually.
There are formal appraisals, which can be done by a property appraiser, or they can be done by a real estate agent. If you are buying or selling a property, most lenders will require the services of a professional appraiser, but don’t confuse this with a home inspector. A home inspector is a qualified professional that will tell you about the condition of your home, not the value.
Here are the different reasons for needing an appraisal
- Selling your home
- Buying a home
- Home equity loans
- Cash or business loans
- Tax reassessments
SELLING YOUR HOME
When selling your home, an assessment of the property’s value is an important step in coming up with an initial listing price. This service is typically offered by your real estate agent and looks at comparable properties in the surrounding area.
Comparable properties are those sold within the past year or two that are similar to your home in terms of size, features, and condition.
After finding the “comps,” the agent then adds or subtracts value to your home. For instance, a property fence can add value to your home, but pealing exterior paint can subtract from it.
BUYING A HOME
When an offer on a home is accepted, the lending company will need a professional appraisal to be completed on the property. The lender requires this so they know the proper amount given on the loan. This also ensures that the amount you agree to pay for on the property is priced correctly.
For this reason, most buyers will include a contingency clause in the purchase agreement which states that the sale is contingent upon the approval of lender for the mortgage loan. This is contingent upon appraisal.
REFINANCING YOUR HOME
Refinancing a home means replacing your current mortgage loan with a completely new one. You can do so with the same lender you took out your first loan with, or you can find a new lender. Either way, it essentially means starting over with a brand-new loan term, which is why you don’t want to make the decision in haste because rates are low.
Refinancing also requires a property appraisal to make sure the collateral value offered by the property justifies the refinanced loan amount you ask for.
So, why do people refinance their home?
- To shorten the term of their loan
- Lower their interest rate
- Lower payment
- Adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed loan
- And cash out some equity
- A home equity loan
A home equity loan is basically a line of credit secured by your home. When the line of credit is drawn down, the lender providing it places a second mortgage loan on your home until the loan is paid off, then you can use the loan to finance other purchases. However, if the loan is not paid off, your home could be sold to pay off the remaining debt.
You want a property appraisal for this because it could help you secure a loan. Also, it’s great thing to know if your property has increased in value or decreased.
CASH OR BUSINESS LOANS
You can use your home as the primary collateral source for other types of loans. This requires a current valuation of the home made by a professional appraiser and put in writing. You would then bring that written document with you when you got speak to lenders about the loan you’d like.
Many states base property taxes on the fair market value of homes. If your property has decreased in value, then you can request a reappraisal for it. This might lower your annual property tax, and who wouldn’t love that?
Having your home appraised will either add money to your pocket, or it is an eye opener to make changes. Or, if you’ve found your dream home and the asking price is $300,000, it’s always good to double check that the house is actually worth that amount.
How Much Can You Afford When Buying a Home?
This is it, the moment you have been waiting for. After years of waiting and saving your money, you’re finally ready to buy a home! Whether you are a first time home buyer or you’re looking to purchase a different home, the process can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking at the same time. It’s difficult to fully prepare for your home buying journey or know exactly what to expect, so by knowing a few key details, you will be able to assess how much you can actually afford with less of a hassle.
How Much Does a Home Actually Cost?
Start your process of buying a home by knowing how much a home costs. Yes, all homes have different price tags, but knowing that there are always upfront costs can help set a buyer on the right path of purchasing a home. Some of the costs when buying a home include:
- Down payments, and earnest money deposits
- Property taxes
- Home inspection
- Closing costs
- And while not as upfront, cash reserves
3 Easy Steps to Affording a Home
1) Check Your Credit
First time home buyers tend to have the most credit built up, with less than a third of it used. And if your credit is not up to par, begin the process of fixing your credit at least six months in advance to starting your home search. Fixing a credit score is a lot like losing weight, it takes time, discipline, and patience.
2) Evaluate Your Assets and Liabilities
Evaluating your assets is having a good understanding of what you owe and what money you have coming in. A great way to do this is by tracking what you spend, and knowing how much money you have left over. Start by listing all of your local bills (rent/mortgage, car payment, phone bill, credit card, utilities, etc). Then track your out-of-pocket spending for one month (groceries, gas, meals, entertainment, etc). After one month, review the numbers, and look for ways to save.
However, if your money-management system required sifting through piles of receipts and retrieving cash from various pockets and purses, there are apps to help make budgeting organized. Apps like Mint, GoodBudget, and Expensify, can help you put away the paperwork and get a better understanding of your daily, weekly, monthly, and annual spending habits. There is no such thing as enough saving.
3) Organize Your Documents
Homebuyers will need to have available records of their income and their taxes. You will need to have prepared:
- Two recent pay stubs
- The past two years W-2s, and tax returns.
- Bank statements for the past two months.
Once this is done, you’re ready to move on to the next phase of calculating how much you can afford.
Determine Your Loan
With all your information and research gathered, now you can figure out if you are qualified for a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan to finance the purchase of your home. The easiest way to determine this is through an online mortgage calculator. Simply click on the link given, input some short information, and quickly know if you are qualified for a mortgage. If you are not qualified, these calculators allow buyers a great stand point of what needs to be done in order to be approved for a mortgage. (link)
A down payment is the money you give to the home’s seller, while the rest of the money owed comes from your mortgage. For example, let’s say the home you decide to buy is $100,000. If you pay a 3% down payment, that means you will pay $3,000 and you borrow (loan) $97,000. Or, if you pay a down payment of 20%, you would pay $20,000 and borrow $80,000. If you need help with down payments, there are programs to assist buyers with qualifying incomes and situations. There are commercial programs like Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) or Piggy Back Loans. While those programs are fairly easily to qualify for, they can cost a lot of money. If those programs to not work for you, there are government aid programs like FHA and VA that can help you make and decide your down payment.
This is very important and great advice to home buyers! In order to the get the actual amount you will pay on a home, you need to be pre-approved. Do this by applying to several lenders within a two week period so that the inquiries do not damage your credit report. The lenders we recommend are Cross Country Mortgage or Goldwater Bank. Receive your pre-approval before contacting a real estate agent so you can have a firm idea of what you can afford, and you don’t accidentally fall in love with a house that you cannot afford. If you follow these key details, your home buying journey will leave you better prepared and less stressed!
When thinking about buying a foreclosure, first time homebuyers often imagine a charming house with a white picket fence and rocking chairs on the wrap around porch, and that the house is owned by a widowed mom whom fell on hard times. However, this scenario is generally far from reality.
Homeowners stop making payments for a number of reasons. Few choose to go into foreclosure voluntarily, but it’s usually an unpredictable result from one of the following
- Laid-off, fired or quit job
- Inability to continue working due to medical conditions
- Excessive debt and mounting bill obligations
- Squabbles with co-owner, divorce
- Job transfer to another state
A foreclosure will hurt your credit rating and make it near impossible to buy another a home anytime soon. In addition, if the profits from selling your home do not cover the unpaid portion of your loan, your lender might take you to court for the rest.
But not to worry! There are several ways you can avoid foreclosure.
START BY NEGOTIATING WITH YOUR LENDERS
Lenders have an incentive to negotiate with home loan borrowers so that they too can reduce the number of foreclosures. And the faster you act, the more options you will have.
The minute you realize you are having financial troubles, ideally before you miss a payment, start speaking to your lender about temporary assistance, especially if you are experiencing short term unemployment or reduced income. The Federal Trade Commission notes that your lender might approve you for a form of mortgage suspension or reduction, known as a deferral or forbearance.
The next option is through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), and is most likely your strongest possibility. Most major lenders, according to the Treasury Department, participate in this program. In order to qualify for HAMP you will need to show that your mortgage exceeds 31% of your gross monthly income.
Lastly, ask your lender about how to go into a short sale. A short sale is a house that is listed for sale at a price lower than the amount owed on the mortgage. Ask your lender about this type of sale when you are in such financial turmoil that you don’t qualify for deferral or modification. While you do lose your home by selling it for less than what is left on your loan and transferring the home’s deed over to your lender, you do avoid foreclosure.
Your power to negotiate and be approved for help is at the mercy of your job, income and expense scenario.
FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY
Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows debtors to eliminate or reorganize their debts under bankruptcy court supervision. This will wipe out your personal liability for most types of debt.
HOW BANKRUPTCY WORKS:
There are two types of bankruptcy you can file for; Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:
This is designed to wipe out general unsecured debts. This usually lasts around three months. Chapter 7 is commonly referred to as a liquidation because the appointed bankruptcy representative, or trustee, has the power to sell your unclaimed assets in order to pay back your creditors. In order to qualify for Chapter 7 your disposable income must be low enough to pass the means test.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:
This type of bankruptcy is commonly referred to as reorganization. This is when the trustee does not have the power to sell your unclaimed assets, but since you’re exempt from selling these assets, a plan will be put in place to help pay back some or all of your debts. Chapter 13 is a program that can help you save your home or pay off your nondischargeable debts.
The two steps to bankruptcy
- The moment you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect. This is prohibition of most creditors from trying to collect their debts from you. This includes the stopping of lawsuits, wage garnishments and credit calls.
- After you go through the bankruptcy process successfully, you will receive a discontinuance of your debts. This wipes out your personal responsibility for and obligation to pay back any debts through the bankruptcy. Though, this most likely will not wipe out all debts that were discharged.
Whether bankruptcy is in your best interest depends on your income, assets, and the types of debt you wish to eliminate.
SELLING YOUR HOME
If your home has appreciated in value since you bought it, you may be able to sell it with a Realtor. This is when you simply can’t afford the house you own, and all the options listed above won’t help. If you contact your lender they might allow you to stop making payments until the house is sold.
If you’re looking to sell your home in a timely manner, consider talking to us about our guaranteed sale program. We will make sure we get your home sold in 120 days, or we’ll buy it.
At this point, it may be difficult to get your house ready for the real estate market, however there are a few things you can do prepare your home for the real estate market:
Work on your curb appeal. Even just making sure the lawn is nicely mowed can make all the difference. And it takes no extra money to do some weed pulling as well.
Buyers don’t like to see a cluttered home. The less items, especially personal, you have lying around the better. Consider decluttering your rooms. It not only makes the rooms look larger, but it also allows buyers to visualize their personal items inside the space.
Research the market. Go online and look at houses for sale in your neighborhood. The key to selling your house is pricing it competitively. Look at other houses and see how they compare in size, number of rooms, and how updated they are to you. Don’t over price, price just right
Choose the right time to sell. Ideally, put our house on the market in the spring and summer. Homes typically show better in nicer weather.
HAND THE DEED OVER
If no fishes are biting on the sale of your home, your lender may agree to take the deed and cancel your debt. This is known as a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Ideally, the bank can sell your house but won’t report it as a foreclosure to the credit rating agencies. In fact, you may be able to negotiate with the bank about how it can help you preserve your credit rating.
Deeds in lieu of foreclosure will no longer leave you with taxes. Thanks to the “Mortgage Forgiveness Act of 2007,” the IRS is so no longer allowed to consider forgiven debt to be taxable income.
These are the steps to save your home from foreclosure. Some households have an array of assets that can be used to make payments and delay foreclosure. Unemployment insurance, disability insurance and savings are each potential cash sources for example. Household budgets can be slashed. Big, expensive cars can be traded in for cash. Retirement funds are often available.
So, don’t panic! A foreclosure does not have to be a scary situation. As long as you consider all your options you will be able to save yourself and your home.