Real Estate Tips and Trends

We will update this area regularly be adding new information. If you have suggestions or ideas that you would like to see added, we encourage you to contact us and we will evaluate the information for inclusion. Thank you and we look forward from hearing from you.

May 8, 2018

10 Staging Secrets From the Pros for a Quick Home Sale at Top Dollar

According to the National Association of Realtors, staging a home prior to listing it can result in a faster and more profitable sale.1 In fact, the Real Estate Staging Association estimates that professionally staged properties spend 73 percent less time on the market, receive more foot traffic, and typically sell for more money.2

NAR Staging Success

Source: National Association of Realtors Following are 10 tips you can use to get your home “show ready” prior to hitting the market. These easy and cost-effective ideas will help your house look its best—and help buyers visualize themselves living there. Even if you’re not currently in the market to sell, you can use these tactics to breathe new life into your existing home decor. To get a plan customized for your particular property, give us a call to schedule a free consultation. We’d be happy to share our insider knowledge of the buyer preferences in your neighborhood … so you’ll know where to focus your time, money and energy to maximize your results.

 

If you’re thinking of moving in the next 3 to 12 months, schedule a free consultation to help you decide which projects and upgrades are worth your time and money, and which ones you can skip. Schedule Now!
View More
Posted in Staging
April 29, 2018

HOUSE CARE CALENDAR: A Seasonal Guide to Maintaining Your Home

From summer vacations to winter holidays, it seems each season offers the perfect excuse to put off our to-do list. But be careful, homeowners: neglecting your home’s maintenance could put your personal safety—and one of your largest financial investments—at serious risk.

In no time at all, small problems can lead to extensive and expensive repairs. And even if you avoid a catastrophe, those minor issues can still have a big impact. Properties that are not well maintained can lose 10 percent (or more) of their appraised value.1

The good news is, by dedicating a few hours each season to properly maintaining your home, you can ensure a safe living environment for you and your family … and actually increase the value of your home by one percent annually!1 You just need to know where and how to spend your time.

Use the following checklist as a guide to maintaining your home and lawn throughout the year. It’s applicable for all climates, so please share it with friends and family members who you think could benefit, no matter where their home is located.

Spring

After a long, cold winter, many of us look forward to a fresh start in the spring. Wash away the winter grime, open the windows, and prepare your home for warmer weather and backyard barbecues.

Inside

o  Conduct Annual Spring Cleaning

o  Be sure to tackle those areas that may have gone neglected—such as your blinds, baseboards and fan blades—as well as appliances, including your refrigerator, dishwasher, oven and range hood. Clear out clutter and clothes you no longer wear, and toss old and expired food and medications.

o  Shut Down Heating System

o  Depending on the type of heating system you have, you may need to shut your system down when not in use. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper procedures.

o  Tune Up A/C

o  If your home has central air conditioning, schedule an annual tune-up with your HVAC technician. If you have a portable or window unit, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper maintenance.2

o  Check Plumbing

o  It’s a good idea to periodically check your plumbing to spot any leaks or maintenance issues. Look for evidence of leaks—such as water stains on the ceiling—and check for dripping faucets or running toilets that need to be addressed. Inspect your hot water heater for sediment build up. Check your sump pump (if you have one) to ensure it’s working properly.3

o  Inspect Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

o  Check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly. Batteries should be replaced every six months, so change them now and again in the fall. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test your individual devices. And even properly functioning devices should be replaced at least every 10 years, or per the manufacturer’s recommendation.4

Outside

o  Inspect Perimeter of Home

o  Walk around your house and look for any signs of damage or wear and tear that should be addressed. Are there cracks in the foundation? Peeling paint? Loose or missing roof shingles? Make a plan to make needed repairs yourself or hire a contractor.

o  Clean Home’s Exterior

o  Wash windows and clean and replace screens if they were removed during the winter months. For the home’s facade, it’s generally advisable to use the gentlest method that is effective. A simple garden hose will work in most cases.5

o  Clean Gutters and Downspouts

o  Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned at least twice a year. Neglected gutters can cause water damage to a home, so make sure yours are clean and free of debris. If your gutters have screens, you may be able to decrease the frequency of cleanings, but they should still be checked periodically.6

o  Rake Leaves

o  Gently rake your lawn to remove leaves and debris. Too many leaves can cause an excessive layer of thatch, which can damage the roots of your lawn. They can also harbor disease-causing organisms and insects.7 However, take care because overly vigorous raking can damage new grass shoots.

o  Seed or Sod Lawn

o  If you have bare spots, spring is a good time to seed or lay new sod so you can enjoy a beautiful lawn throughout the remainder of the year. The peak summer heat can be too harsh for a new lawn. If you miss this window, early fall is another good time to plant.8

o  Apply a Pre-Emergent Herbicide

o  While a healthy lawn is the best deterrent for weeds, some homeowners choose to use a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring to minimize weeds. When applied at the right time, it can be effective in preventing weeds from germinating. However, a pre-emergent herbicide will also prevent grass seeds from germinating, so only use it if you don’t plan to seed or sod in the spring.

o  Plant Flowers

o  After a long winter, planting annuals and spring perennials is a great way to brighten up your garden. It’s also a good time to prune existing flowers and shrubs and remove and compost any dead plants.

o  Mulch Beds

o  A layer of fresh mulch helps to suppress weeds, retain moisture and moderate soil temperature. However, be sure to strip away old mulch at least every three years to prevent excessive buildup.9 

o  Fertilize Lawn

o  Depending on your grass type, an application of fertilizer in the spring may help promote new leaf and root growth, keep your lawn healthy, and reduce weeds.10

o  TuneUp Lawn Mower

o  Send your lawn mower out for a professional tune-up and to have the blades sharpened before the mowing season starts.11 

o  Inspect Sprinkler System

o  If you have a sprinkler system, check that it’s working properly and make repairs as needed.

o  Check the Deck

o  If you have a deck or patio, inspect it for signs of damage or deterioration that may have occurred over the winter. Then clean it thoroughly and apply a fresh coat of stain if needed.

o  Prepare Pool

o  If you own a pool, warmer weather signals the start of pool season. Be sure to follow best practices for your particular pool to ensure proper maintenance and safety.

 

Summer

Summer is generally the time to relax and enjoy your home, but a little time devoted to maintenance will help ensure it looks great and runs efficiently throughout the season.

Inside

o  Adjust Ceiling Fans

o  Make sure they are set to run counter-clockwise in the summer to push air down and create a cooling breeze. Utilizing fans instead of your air conditioner, when possible, will help minimize your utility bills.

o  Clean A/C Filters

o  Be sure to clean or replace your filters monthly, particularly if you’re running your air conditioner often.

o  Clear Dryer Vent

o  Help cut down on summer utility bills by cleaning your laundry dryer vent at least once a year. Not only will it help cut down on drying times, a neglected dryer poses a serious fire hazard.

o  Check Weather Stripping

o  If you’re running your air conditioner in the summer, you’ll want to keep the cold air inside and hot air outside. Check weather stripping around doors and windows to ensure a good seal.

Outside

o  Mow Lawn Regularly

o  Your lawn will probably need regular mowing in the summer. Adjust your mower height to the highest setting, as taller grass helps shade the soil to prevent drought and weeds.

o  Water Early in the Morning

o  Ensure your lawn and garden get plenty of water during the hot summer months. Experts generally recommend watering in the early morning to minimize evaporation, but be mindful of any watering restrictions in your area, which may limit the time and/or days you are allowed to water.

o  Weed Weekly

o  To prevent weeds from taking over your garden and ruining your home’s valuable curb appeal, make a habit of pulling weeds at least once per week.

o  Exterminate Pests

o  Remove any standing water and piles of leaves and debris. Inspect your lawn and perimeter of your home for signs of an invasion. If necessary, call a professional exterminator for assistance.

 

Fall

Fall ushers in another busy season of home maintenance as you prepare your home for the winter weather ahead.

Inside

o  Have Heater Serviced

o  To ensure safety and efficiency, it’s a good idea to have your heating system serviced and inspected before you run it for the first time.

o  Shut Down A/C for the Winter

o  If you have central air conditioning, you can have it serviced at the same time as your furnace. If you have a portable or window unit, ensure it’s properly sealed or remove it and store it for the winter.

o  Inspect Chimney

o  Fire safety experts recommend that you have your chimney inspected annually and cleaned periodically. Complete this task before you start using your fireplace or furnace.

o  Seal Windows and Doors

o  Check windows and doors for drafts and caulk or add weatherstripping where necessary.

o  Check Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

o  If you checked your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the spring, they are due for another inspection. Batteries should be replaced every six months, so it’s time to replace them again. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test your individual devices. And even properly functioning devices should be replaced at least every 10 years, or per the manufacturer’s recommendation.3

Outside

o  Plant Fall Flowers, Grass, and Shrubs

o  Fall is a great time to plant perennials, trees, shrubs, cool-season vegetables and bulbs that will bloom in the spring.12 It’s also a good time to reseed or sod your lawn.

o  Once the leaves start falling, it’s time to pull out your rake. A thick layer of leaves left on your grass can lead to an unhealthy lawn. Or, rather than raking, use a mulching mower to create a natural fertilizer for your lawn.

o  Apply Fall Fertilizer

o  If you choose not to use a mulching mower, a fall fertilizer is usually recommended. For best results, aerate your lawn before applying the fertilizer.13

o  Inspect Gutters and Roof

o  Inspect your gutters and downspouts and make needed repairs. Check the roof for any broken or loose tiles. Remove fallen leaves and debris.

o  Shut Down Sprinkler System

o  If you have a sprinkler system, drain any remaining water and shut it down to prevent damage from freezing temperatures over the winter.

 

Winter

While it can be tempting to ignore home maintenance issues in the winter, snow and freezing temperatures can do major damage if left untreated. Follow these steps to ensure your house survives the winter months.

Inside

o  Maintain Heating System

o  Check and change filters on your heating system, per the manufacturer’s instructions.

o  TuneUp Generator

o  If you own a portable generator, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper maintenance. Make sure it’s working before you need it, and stock up on supplies like fuel, oil, and filters.

o  Prevent Frozen Pipes

o  Make sure pipes are well insulated, and keep your heat set to a minimum of 55 degrees when you’re away. If pipes are prone to freezing, leave faucets dripping slightly overnight or when away from home. You may also want to open cabinet doors beneath sinks to let in heat.

Outside

o  Before the first freeze, drain and shut off outdoor faucets. Place an insulated cover over exposed faucets, and store hoses for the winter.

 

While this checklist should not be considered a complete list of your home’s maintenance needs, it can serve as a general seasonal guide. Systems, structures, and fixtures will need to be repaired and replaced from time-to-time, as well. The good news is, the investment you make in maintaining your home now will pay off dividends over time.

Keep a record of all your maintenance, repairs and upgrades for future reference, along with receipts. Not only will it help jog your memory, it can make a big impact on buyers when it comes time to sell your home … and potentially result in a higher selling price.

Are you looking for help with home maintenance or repairs? We have an extensive network of trusted contractors and service providers and are happy to provide referrals! Call or email us, and we can connect you with one of our preferred vendors.

Sources:

  1. com –
    https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/value-home-maintenance/
  2. Home Advisor –
    https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/servicing-your-air-conditioner/
  3. Keyes & Sons Plumbing and Heating –
    http://keyes-plumbing.com/things-to-check-in-spring/
  4. Allstate Insurance Blog –
    https://blog.allstate.com/test-smoke-detectors/
  5. Houzz –
    https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/17268616/list/how-to-wash-your-house
  6. Angie’s List –
    https://www.angieslist.com/articles/why-gutter-cleaning-so-important.htm
  7. Angie’s List –
    https://www.angieslist.com/articles/what-thatch-and-how-does-it-impact-my-lawn.htm
  8. HGTV –
    http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/lawns/top-spring-lawn-care-tips-pictures
  9. This Old House –
    https://www.thisoldhouse.com/more/may-mulching
  10. Lowes –
    https://www.lowes.com/projects/lawn-and-garden/fertilize-your-lawn/project
  11. The New York Times –
    https://www.nytimes.com/guides/realestate/home-maintenance-checklist
  12. Better Homes and Gardens Magazine –
    https://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/garden-care/what-to-plant-in-the-fall/
  13. The Spruce –
    https://www.thespruce.com/late-fall-fertilizing-2152976
  14. This Old House –
    https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/how-to-get-rid-ice-dams
  15. Houzz –
    https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/55572864/list/your-winter-home-maintenance-checklist

 

Posted in HomeOwner, House Care
March 27, 2018

The Cost of Waiting to Buy a Home - Interest Rates are going Up!

 

The Cost of Waiting - Interest Rates are going Up!

  • Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019.
  • The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be.
  • Rates are still low right now. Don’t wait until rates hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!
March 27, 2018

20 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Sale

20 Tips Preparing Your Home for Sale

  • When listing your house for sale your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
  • There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
  • Your real estate agent will have a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market and is a great resource for finding local contractors who can help!
Posted in Seller Tips
March 27, 2018

4 Reasons to Sell in the Spring

4 Reasons to Sell in the Spring

  • Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale which means that buyers are often competing with one another for the few listings that are available!
  • Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed to sustain a normal housing market.
  • Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.
Posted in Seller Tips
Jan. 22, 2018

Quick & Budget-Friendly DIY Fixes | Realtor.com VIDEO

If you don’t have much time or money to spend there are still lots of fast, finance-friendly DIY projects to enhance your home.

Posted in HomeOwner, Seller Tips
Jan. 22, 2018

5 Reasons It'll Pay to Sell Your Home Early in 2018

By Holly Amaya | Jan 10, 2018

It's been nearly a decade since the Great Recession delivered the worst housing crash in modern memory. But these days, the fallout feels squarely in the rearview mirror. Markets have bounced back with fervor, and confidence is skyrocketing: From Charlotte, NC, to Stockton, CA—and everywhere in between—homes are flying off the market at record prices, and buyers are still clamoring to get in the game

One thing is clear: It's a great time to be a seller.

"We’ve seen two or three years of what could be considered unsustainable levels of price appreciation, as well as an inventory shortage that resulted in a record low number of homes for sale across the country," says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com®.

In other words: Today's buyers are exhausted. And in many cases that means they're willing to sacrifice to get a toehold in the market.

Sounds like the stuff of seller's dreams, right? But know this: If you plan to sell in 2018—and you want to unload your home quickly and for maximum money—your window of opportunity may be rapidly narrowing. Here's why you should get moving ASAP.

1. Rates are still historically low, drawing buyers into the market

We may not be enjoying the rock-bottom interest rates of yore, but by historical standards, today's 30-year mortgage rates—hovering just above 4%—are still low. And experts agree mortgage credit will remain relatively cheap for most of the year.

That means the getting's still good for buyers—and, subsequently, for sellers looking to unload their homes.

But rates are on the rise, and it's been widely predicted that they'll reach 5% before year's end. Buyers know that the longer they wait to buy, the more expensive it will be.

Roughly translated, that means you'd be wise to list your home earlier in the year, before more rate hikes kick in. Not only will you capture the market of buyers scurrying to close a deal, but if you're buying after you sell, you'll also benefit from those lower rates.

2. Inventory remains tight—and demand high

Simply put, there are more buyers than available homes—particularly in red-hot markets where land is scarce and it isn't cheap to build.

And the housing shortage will likely get worse before it gets better: Realtor.com data predict inventory will remain tight in the first part of this year, reaching a 4% year-over-year decline by March.

Sellers, that means this is your opportunity to be wooed. Buyers, their choices limited, are going to great lengths (and making some major concessions) to win the house, says Katie Griswold, a Realtor® with Pacific Sotheby's in Southern California.

"We're in a very favorable seller's market," she says. "We're seeing bidding wars—which push up prices—and buyers are submitting offers with very pro-seller terms, like forgoing the repair request or waiving the appraisal contingency."

And cash investors are in the mix, too, accounting for 22% of all home sales transactions in November 2017 (up from 20% in October), according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Those cash buyers are snapping up homes in an already tight market and keeping some first-time buyers at bay (sorry, buyers!). But if you're selling, you stand a better shot at an all-cash offer—one you just might be crazy to refuse.

Of course, there's a catch: Inventory levels are predicted to begin rising in the fourth quarter, marking the first inventory gain since 2015 and setting the stage for more dramatic housing gains to come. So if you're thinking of selling, start preparing now in order to walk away with a sweet paycheck.

3. Home prices are still increasing

From coast to coast, home prices continue to rise—which translates to more money in your pocket when you sell.

But the gains are predicted to be more moderate than in years past. Realtor.com data suggest a 3.2% increase year over year, after finishing 2017 with a 5.5% year-over-year increase.

Bottom line: You still stand to make a pretty profit if you sell this year, but the earlier you can list, the better off you'll be.

4. People have more money in their pocket

Record levels of consumer confidence, low unemployment, and stock market surges are setting the stage for high home buyer turnout in 2018. For the first time since the 1960s, the Fed has projected that the unemployment rate will drop below 4%, and the domestic stock market is enjoying a nearly unprecedented rally.

The housing market is already reflecting this boom: Existing-home sales soared 5.6% in November 2017 (the most recent month for which data are available) and reached their strongest pace in almost 11 years, according to the NAR.

"Incomes are growing and people are finding better and more stable jobs," Vivas says. Buyers "are feeling pretty good about (their) finances."

And thanks to the GOP tax legislation, which nearly doubles the standard deduction, we'll see fewer people itemizing, says National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

"The income effect of that is that most people are getting a tax cut—which should help (buyer) demand," Dietz says.

All of these factors combined mean more buyers could be on the hunt, with more money in their pockets to shell out on a home for sale—possibly yours!

5. Millennials are ready to commit

Millennials, often crippled by student debt, have been especially hampered by rising interest rates and high home prices.

But the aforementioned conditions are ripe in 2018 for these first-time buyers to take the plunge, and experts predict that millennials will make up a vital part of the buyer pool over the coming year: Millennials could account for 43% of home buyers taking out a mortgage in 2018 (a 3% year-over-year increase), according to realtor.com data.

"As people move into their 30s, they're looking to move from renting to homeownership," Dietz says. "And we predict that trend will continue even more this year."

More home buyers flooding the market can only mean good things for sellers—at all price points.

Based in San Diego, Holly Amaya is a writer, lawyer, and communications strategist. She writes about real estate, legal, lifestyle, motherhood, and career issues. Follow @hollyamaya

Posted in HomeOwner, Seller Tips
Dec. 22, 2017

Staged For Success

Home staging offers a distinct advantage for sellers: a speedy sale.

 

Sixty-two percent of sellers’ agents believe staging a home cuts down the time it spends on-market, with the majority believing it “greatly” reduces the window, according to the new 2017 Profile of Home Staging from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents believe staging a home helps buyers envision themselves living in it, and 40 percent believe it prompts buyers who first saw the home online to visit it in person.

Staging can also have a positive effect on home value. Thirty-one percent of buyers’ agents and 29 percent of sellers’ agents believe it adds anywhere from 1 to 5 percent, while 13 percent of buyers’ agents believe 6 to 10 percent and 21 percent of sellers’ agents believe 8 to 10 percent. The cost of staging is often fronted by the seller or sellers’ agent.

Buyers’ agents caution, however, that staging is only beneficial if the home is staged to appeal to general, not specific, preferences. Most buyers’ and sellers’ agents believe the living room is a key space to stage, as well as the kitchen, the master bedroom and the yard. They also believe decluttering, depersonalizing and a deep clean—beyond staging—are essential for a show-ready home.

Thirty-eight percent of sellers’ agents stage all of their listings before placing them on the market, while 14 percent only stage listings that require it. A near-even 37 percent do not stage their listings at all.

“REALTORS® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR’s most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are willing to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.” 

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

Getting your property in "Show-Ready" shape is one of the many pre-marketing services we provide to our clients and is included in our fees, which are paid at closing. For more information, Call/Text Jennie (925) 997-1493 or email michelle@savyagent.com.

 

~For a quick look at your property's value:

Instant, Accurate Home Valuation

~To search for your dream home:

Property Search

~To see what people are saying:

Testimonials

Posted in Staging
Dec. 18, 2017

Selling Advice for Parents

Selling your house is a big undertaking whether you’re single or have 3 kids under 3, but the time and effort you make to prepare it will pay back in cold hard cash. Today I’ve got home selling advice for all the parents out there:

Identifying Your Ideal Buyer

One of the most important discussions you need to have with your REALTOR before you list your house for sale is about your ideal Buyer. If your ideal Buyer has children (for example, you’re in a good school district, have a finished basement, have 3 or more bedrooms and a kid-friendly backyard), then by all means, showcasing the playroom and your daughter’s doll collection is A-OK. But if your target Buyer is single or a couple, then recognize that kid rooms will be a turn-off. Remember the cardinal rule of selling: you want prospective Buyers to see themselves living in your space. I can’t tell you how many condos I’ve shown to single clients who got freaked out by the crib and changing table in the den.

Toys and Kids Stuff

While you’re taking the time to de-clutter your space, don’t forget that no Buyer wants to see disorganized piles of toys and books, random Legos and your kids artwork on the refrigerator. Take the time to select a few toys for your child to play with during the listing period, and put the rest in storage. Reduce the amount of baby and kid stuff to the bare essentials and empty that diaper genie!

Showings

We always suggest our Seller clients leave their house or condo during a showing because it’s uncomfortable for a Buyer to go through a house while the Seller is home (and the last thing you want a Buyer to feel while in your house is uncomfortable)! That’s even more important if you have kids. I’ll never forget the time a naked 2-year old ran around us during the entire showing, or the time a 6 year-old gave us repeated “gifts” of fruit in tissue paper (that the parents made us open!). Take the kids for a walk or send them to a sitter’s.

Showing Times

One of the easiest ways to sell your home quickly and for the most amount of money is to make it easy for people to see it – and that means making it available to see when people are not at work. Too often, I see Sellers restricting showings to before 6:30 or 7 PM because the kids go to bed. When you do that, you eliminate 75% of the Buyers. If your kids are early to bed, consider taking them to Grandma’s during the first week of the listing.

There’s no question that having kids complicates the sale of a house. All the more reason to make sure you’re priced right and working with an agent who’ll be able to guide you through the process to sell your home quickly. As always, we’d be happy to chat about your home and a selling plan that takes into account the realities of your life.

Posted in Moving, Seller Tips
Dec. 18, 2017

What To Do With All That Stuff?

If you’re in the process of buying or selling a condo or house in the Bay Area, you’re likely taking the opportunity to purge: that lamp that doesn’t match your new couch, the lidless Tupperware, the random textiles you brought back from your trip to Asia ten years ago and those clothes that you were sure you’d eventually fit back into. You don’t have to be a diagnosed hoarder to collect “stuff” – and moving is the perfect time to get rid of it once and for all. Here are our favorite places to help you part ways with the stuff you don’t want to pack:

 

Where to Donate Unwanted Items in the Bay Area

Goodwill

Goodwill takes clothing, household items, collectibles, textiles, books and more. Goodwill uses the money raised from re-selling your donations to help create jobs for people in our community including the young, the old, new Canadians and people with disabilities. You can find Goodwill locations throughout the city.

Habitat for Humanity Restores

You can donate construction supplies, furnishings, home decor, cabinetry and appliances at one of the various Restores in the Bay Area. Money raised through re-selling goes directly to fund new home projects. Click here to find a Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Freecycle

Freecycle is an online community that allows people to re-home stuff they don’t want.

Garbage, Shmarbage

1-800 Got Junk

If you have a lot of stuff, get in touch with 1-800-GOT-JUNK. They take all the stuff each city doesn’t want to take, from mattresses and furniture, to old appliances, construction debris and more. They provide same-day service and a 2-hour pick-up window (Rogers could learn a thing or two from them). Costs vary depending on what you have, but they’re an honest bunch (at least in our experience).

The Good ‘ol Curb

OK, I’m sure we’re not really supposed to do this, but try putting some random item on your front lawn with a free sign and watch how fast it disappears. It’s like people are just randomly driving up and down your streets looking for free stuff. If it doesn’t work, you’ll have to drag it back in and all your neighbors will know the random things you own, but hey, it can be quick and almost painless (and you’ll be surprised at what people will take).

Selling Your Unwanted Items

Garage Sales

If you don’t want to host and advertise your own garage sale, consider joining friends or convince your neighbors to do a street sale. You won’t likely make a ton of money, but it can be a fun way to meet your neighbors and get of all that stuff.

Craigslist and Kijiji

I love selling stuff I don’t want on Craigslist and Kijiji. You’ll be inundated with people wanting whatever crap you’re trying to get rid of, so don’t post your phone number on the ad (trust me, you’ll regret it). Expect that people will want to haggle and many won’t show up to actually pick up their item.

Really want to get rid of something FAST? Post the item in the “Free” section. If you’ve already left it on your front lawn, start the post with “CURB ALERT”…then start your stopwatch. Again, don’t ever post your phone number as we’ve sometimes received such a flood of people desperate for that thing you wanted to throw away it filled our inboxes instantly.

Facebook

One of the fastest ways to part with a couch or dining table you don’t want is to simply post it on Facebook. You’ll be amazed at how fast your friends want your crap.

 

This list of where to donate/sell and get rid of your unwanted items is by no means all-inclusive. If you have a place that you love to donate to, please share it in the comments below.

So go ahead and seize the opportunity to make a fresh start in your new home.

Posted in Moving, Seller Tips