14 Garage Sale Tips for Home Sellers

14 Garage Sale Tips for Home Sellers

Thinking about selling your home? One of the first steps to preparing your home for sale is organizing your home’s contents, decluttering and depersonalizing, so prospective homebuyers can imagine themselves in your home. A great way to get rid of stuff quickly – and make a little money – is to host a garage sale or yard sale.

Here are 14 garage sale success secrets to help you get started:

  1. Clean out your closets to find clothes, shoes and accessories that you never wear anymore. If they’re in decent condition, set them aside for the garage sale. If they are in poor condition, toss them. It will save you from packing them later.
  2. Declutter your kitchen cabinets to find unused appliances, extra vases, kitchen décor, baking pan duplicates and other items that you don’t really need.
  3. Go through one room at a time, selecting items that you no longer want, need or use, and price as you go. This will make it so much easier when it is time to set up.
  4. Get your kids and their friends to help. Whether your kids are 5 or 15, they can be useful. Younger ones can help put price stickers on items for sale, while older ones can help promote your garage sale online.
  5. “Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs1.” Everybody loves a good garage sale, so make sure you post signs in and around your neighborhood to list your garage sale, including days, hours and locations. The bigger and brighter the better. If you have an HOA though, make sure you follow any signage guidelines.
  6. Put larger price tags on bigger items like furniture, sporting equipment, etc., so prospective buyers won’t have to hunt for the price.
  7. Keep track of what you’ve sold and for how much. Consider lowering prices as the day comes to a close, so you can get rid of as much stuff as possible. Remember, whatever doesn’t sell has to be disposed of or packed up!
  8. Have lots of change on hand – small bills and coins – so cashing out customers is convenient and easy.
  9. More is better. Consider partnering with your neighborhoods to host your garage sales on the same days and times. This will draw more potential customers to your garage sale.
  10. Be flexible with your pricing. Sure, you paid $1,500 for that dining room set 15 years ago, but it has depreciated over time. Think about what you’d be willing to pay for an item in similar condition and scout other garage sale ads or Craigslist to see what similar items go for.
  11. Offer bulk pricing where appropriate. For example, you might price books at $0.25 each or the whole box for $3.00.
  12. Have a FREE box for smaller items that you want to get rid of. Happy Meal toys come to mind.
  13. Display your items as attractively as possible, on tables where possible, and in groupings of like items (e.g., books, record albums, shoes, etc.)
  14. Have a Plan B for items that don’t sell. Is there a local nonprofit where you could donate clothes and household goods too – maybe a local women’s shelter or Goodwill store? After the sale is over, pack it all up and haul it over. Don’t take it back into your house or garage. That just means more work later.

Good luck and Happy Selling!

1“Signs, signs, everywhere a sign” (“Signs,” song and lyrics by Tesla)


Marti Reeder, Realtor, Managing Broker