Don't Move It: Yard Sale Tips and More

When Leah Anderson relocated from Indiana to Fort Myers, Fla. she knew that, to make her move easier, she was going to have to have a yard sale to get rid of years worth of items she had collected. Rather than throw her own yard sale, Anderson went the nontraditional route and sought the assistance of her brokers and agents to host her moving sale.

The team hosted a broker open house after an offer was accepted on Anderson's home. The information was placed on the Multiple Listing Service, an agents-only site, that the items in Anderson's home were going to be available in a moving sale. As a result, not only did Realtors come to take a look at what was on sale, but so did many of their clients. Susan Waddle, a Realtor and sales developer for Sandals Resorts who was instrumental in helping Anderson host a successful yard sale, says the MLS listing leads folks (who are looking for negotiable items) to call for more details.

Here are some additional tips for maximizing the exposure of your moving sale and selling off as many of your unwanted items as possible before your move.

1. Publicize your yard sale through word of mouth/social networking

First and foremost, pick a yard sale date and then start networking. Once your moving date is set, plan your yard sale a few weeks prior. Immediately start some door-to-door visits asking neighbors to attend, as well as to spread the word to their co-workers, friends and family that you're hosting a yard sale. Then let friends know via e-mail or a post on a social media network like Facebook or Twitter. This technique will give you maximum exposure as the power of sharing over the Internet will make news of your moving sale go viral. More people, more sold items! For massive exposure to the general public, some of the best places to announce a moving sale are Craigslist or eBay.

3. Sell items in consignment shops

Waddle calls consignment shops your "best bet" in lieu of, or along with, yard sales. "Not only are you getting a fair price for your goods -- they pick up," she says. "And you are helping another business and perhaps another family in your community." It will take some calls, visits to your local shops, or asking around to find the right shop to use. The Junior League is a great place to start. They're reputable, experts at consignment, and their proceeds have been helping women since 1901. Another great tool for scoping out the good shops is, a comprehensive site that features stores throughout the country and includes information on the specialty of each one.

4. Advertise to special interest clubs or groups

Selling specialty items is probably one the toughest tasks of a yard sale. Perhaps you find you're stuck with strange family hand-me-downs, like motorcycle parts, or camping gear that is no longer needed. Waddle suggests that you get the the word out about these strange belongings to local special-interest groups. "We had a client that was a car buff and he passed away, but his wife was loaded down with Harley and collectible car parts, so we called a few clubs in the area and they came with cash and lots of friends," she says. Check with places like Harley Davidson and Antiques & Collectibles National Association for their local clubs.

5. Donate to community organizations

Church and civic groups like Rotary or Kiwanis are examples of organizations that could take goods off your overloaded hands. They host moving sales and events that could accommodate selling your goods. However, be aware that they may expect the items to be donated and so there will be no money made from this. (Through some groups your donations could be tax deductible). The silver lining is that a set of bowls, lamps, used furniture, pots and pans, etc., could be just what someone in need could really use.

The primary focus of a yard sale is to do your spring cleaning -- clean and clear out before you move. The rule of thumb for finding what to sell for your moving sale is: If it hasn't been used in a year or more, sell it. This will keep what needs to be packed to a minimum and alleviate the stress of an overwhelmingly large amount of items (that you won't use again) making the move with you.

Want more tips to help you move ? Here are more AOL Real Estate guides to help:
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