From the point of view of  many as well as several North Shore realtors, garage sales can be a great way to get rid of clutter, organize your home — and earn a little extra cash all at the same time, before selling a home. Tis’ the season to sell during spring, but make sure the timing is right. Garage sales can become overwhelming and take on a life of their own. It might not be the best use of energy right before putting your home on the market. Follow the guide below to determine what is best:

  1. See if neighbors want to participate. You can turn your garage sale into a block-wide occasion and attract more shoppers if you team up with neighbors. However, a permit may be necessary for each home owner, even if it’s a group event.
  2. Plan the sale. Sales on Saturdays and Sundays will produce the most traffic, especially if the weather cooperates. Start the sale early, 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. is best, and be prepared for early birds.
  3. Don’t Procrastinate. You don’t want to be scrambling to hold a garage sale the week before an open house. Depending on how long you’ve lived in the North Shore home and how much stuff you have to sell, planning a garage sale can demand a lot of time and energy.
  4. Du Diligence-get a permit. Most municipalities will require you to obtain a special permit or license in order to hold a garage sale. The permits are often free or very inexpensive, but still require you to register with the city/village.
  5. Market-Advertise. Place an ad in free classified papers and Web sites, and in your local North Shore newspapers. Include the dates, time, and address. Let the public know if certain types of items will be sold, such as baby clothes, furniture, or weightlifting equipment. On the day of the sale, balloons and signs with prominent arrows will help to grab the attention of passersby.
  6. Label and price items well. Lay out everything that you plan to sell, and attach prices with removable stickers. Remember, garage sales are supposed to be bargains, so try to be objective as you set prices. Assign simple prices to your goods: 50 cents, 3 for $1, $5, $10, etc.
  7. If it’s junk, don’t sell it. Decide what’s worth selling and what’s not. If it’s really garbage, then throw it out. Broken appliances, for example, should be tossed. (Know where a nearby electrical outlet is, in case a customer wants to make sure an item works.)
  8. Check for errors.  Make sure that items you want to keep don’t accidentally end up in the garage sale pile.
  9. Have bags and newspapers ready. People who buy items will appreciate a bag to carry their goods. Newspapers are handy for wrapping fragile items.
  10. Have an organized display. Lay out your items by category, and display neatly so customers don’t have to dig through boxes.
  11. Handle money matters. Make a trip to the bank to get ample change for your cashbox. Throughout the sale, keep a close eye on your cash; never leave the cashbox unattended. It’s smart to have one person who manages the money throughout the day, keeping a tally of what was purchased and for how much. Keep a calculator nearby.
  12. Get ready to sell your home. Donate the remaining stuff or sell it to a resale shop. Now that all of your clutter is cleared out, it’s time to focus on preparing your house for a successful sale!
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