Selling or Improving Your Home this Spring? Start Here.


By Ali Sahabi of Optimum Group, LLC

President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter

     With one of the wettest winters on record behind us and Spring officially beginning next week, many Southern Californians will look to take their home improvement and landscaping projects off the back burner or kick off the spring and summer homebuying season. So whether you will be preparing an existing home for sale or just want to clear out some space as part of your spring cleaning regimen; here are some suggestions to improve your home’s salability or simply declutter your life with a garage sale.  

     As any real estate professional will tell you, one of the first steps a home seller needs to take is to clear out all unnecessary items. Since clean, spacious garages, closets and surface spaces are always a positive selling point; home sellers are usually advised to find alternatives to storing their belongings in the home.  While commercial storage units are always a viable choice, homeowners are always faced with items that are still useful, but would often be rejected by major charitable organizations such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Not only will a garage sale save you from packing items for which you have no use, but will save time and money relocating because professional movers often charge by the size of the load they are transporting.

     So, to hold a successful garage sale, here is a list of suggestions courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders:

·         Go through your house, including the garage, attic, basement and closets. Organize things into groups: first - what you think might have value to someone else and would sell, second - what is in good condition but should be given away and third - what is no longer useful to anyone in your family or circle of friends.

·         Contact local charities to donate any items you've marked to give away. Some charities will send a truck by to pick up the donations they will accept, particularly large items like furniture and appliances. Remember to get a receipt from the charity so you can deduct the donation on your income taxes.

·         Check with your local city government to see if your community requires permits for garage sales and take the necessary steps to obtain one. Check with them to see if you are allowed to hang signs on telephone poles, light posts or street signs to advertise the sale. Many communities have regulations for how far in advance you can hang signs and when they need to be removed. 

·         If signs are allowed, make clear, readable signs that includes the times, dates and address of the sale, and attach them securely. You might want to laminate the signs to protect them from the effects of rain or other inclement weather.

·         Advertise your sale in your local newspaper, either in the printed version or on the paper’s website or both. You can also post information about your sale on online classifieds website where people can list items for sale for free. There may be other opportunities to promote your sale online such as community blogs or email list servers.

·         Let your friends know about it on social media. Post a status about your garage sale on Facebook and upload a picture along with it to advertise to your friends what sorts of things you are selling. Post a tweet advertising what where and when your garage sale is to let your friends know when they should stop by.

·         Start your garage sale early on a weekend morning. Bargain hunters hit the streets early and you'll miss out on possible sales if you set up late. Mark prices clearly on all items and price things reasonably. Remember, your objective is to get rid of unwanted items, not to score big profits.

·  Place all similar items together, and make sure all sets are contained in bags.

·   One the day of the event, have plenty of quarters and dollar bills on hand to make change and it’s helpful if you have plastic bags and newspapers available to wrap purchases.

     On moving day, you'll be grateful for the extra work you did ahead of time. And when you do move into your new house, you'll be pleasantly surprised at all the storage space you have.

     The Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter seeks to advance the opportunity to attain the American Dream of homeownership. For more information, visit on the web.