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Old 04-11-2016, 15:28   #46
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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Originally Posted by old frog View Post
My suggestion is to think beyond moving onto the boat & to plan for life after the boat. Plan an exit stratagy from the boat. Considerations include, but are not limited to: Injury, illness or death to you or your husband. The boat "dream" does not turn out the envisioned way. Assume some years sailing, what then? Apartment? senior living? assisted living? Move in with a child or relative? Etc. My suggestion is to thoughtfully plan for these contingencies, retain ownership of some amount of personal property, furnishings, kitchen goods, etc., so that moving back ashore is easy, painless, & inexpensive. Good luck with the down sizing. It is frequently easier said then done.
This might be a decent plan if you're only going to be out for a circumnavigation, but probably not even then. Imagine a leisurely circumnavigation. Maybe some countries you go back to. Suddenly, you're out for 8 -10 years, and have been paying ever-increasing amounts for a storage locker containing what amounts to used furniture, kitchen goods, etc. Ten years is 120 months, at 200 is $24,000 for "junk." I guarantee you can get used furniture and kitchen goods from Salvation Army for less than that.

I to agree with old frog that it is a good idea to have an exit strategy in mind, especially if you're the sort of person who thinks you control your fate. However, the essence of cruising is moving with the flow of events, and life inevitably gets in the way of one's plans, anyhow. I think you'll cope with the surprises in your usual style, and your ultimate exit strategy will invent itself based on your life experiences.

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Old 04-11-2016, 21:07   #47
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
My husband and I are a year out from buying our Catamaran and moving aboard. We currently own a modest home that we are prepping for sale. We also plan on selling the vast majority of our stuff. So, I could use some help navigating this process..

To start off, I have a few questions..

1. I was shocked at the high "commission" rates the real estate agents are charging these days. Has anyone had luck selling their own home? Or, have any good books or resources that could help me decide if this would be an option for us?
2. Any suggestions for the best way to sell specific items? Are estate sales the best way to go? What about these apps out there like "let go"? are consignment stores a good deal? are there specific items that are better to craigslist? or e- bay? We invested so much over the years in creating our home.. we'd like to get more than pennies on the dollar for it.
3. As excited as I am about this whole adventure.. it's just a bit... scary.. getting rid of everything... Anyone find this a challenge to 'let go'?

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed...

Sold Nine (9) homes that I've owned myself. The biggest Seller is the Sign For Sale on the front Lawn. If you don't mind nosy neighbors an open house is the next effective sales tool. I don't trust Realtors, never have, they say they have ethics, but they don't know the meaning of the word and they certainly don't represents the vendors best interest, i.e. the one paying their fee. They will squeeze the vendor down to a give away price. Selling yourself be prepared for the purchaser to want part of the commission fee you save, that's fine, you both win.
THE biggest tool Realtors have is MLS; however, there are many web sites that home owners can list their homes and local newspapers, both are effective. Realtors will quote you percentage figures for those selling their own homes, don't believe them, many do it successfully.
Buy the Offer to Purchase Forms from Staples, sign them with the agreed price and then give them to your lawyers, or give them to your lawyers before signing if that makes you more comfortable. Realtors are not required at any stage of the process.
Contents is another issue. After paying for years of storage I finally decided to sell and ended up giving most of it away. Just visit an estate auction see what quality furnishings sell for, it will break your heart; although, great for the buyers.
Try and sell the house furnished, will save a lot of hassles and moving costs.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:40   #48
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Suddenly, you're out for 8 -10 years, and have been paying ever-increasing amounts for a storage locker containing what amounts to used furniture, kitchen goods, etc. Ten years is 120 months, at 200 is $24,000 for "junk."

Ann

Whew, we do certainly agree with Ann on this. And with Uncivilized concerning not having used or seen it in a couple of years, you don't need it.

We downsized in 04 to go RVing. Maintained a storage shed for 3 years keeping stuff we just had to have. At the end of 3 years we had paid approximately $4,500 to hang onto a bunch of junk!

After buying a house and clearing out the storage shed we actually moved some things into our 'new' garage without unboxing them. Total of 3 houses over 9 years and still haven't unboxed everything. I don't even know what is in some of the boxes!!!

Do ya think I really need what is in those boxes? Are you going to need what is in your boxes?

Oh, finally, let me add insult to injury. We started an Estate Sales business with a friend and were pretty successful. As some have said not everything sells so at the end of some sales we would make offers on very high quality furniture items. Guess what? No room in the house we were remodeling so straight to a new storage shed. Out of sight, out of mind. So 16 months and $800 later, a small non-air con unit, our cheap furniture isn't so cheap anymore and is now going to be sold with the house.

Sheesssshhhhh..

There will be no more storage units in my life. Kids get it or Habitat.
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:00   #49
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

Oh, and another thought: Paper, get rid of the paper!

I haven't seen this mentioned so throwing it out there for consideration. If you want to do this you need to start now as it is a daunting task, at least it was for us.

We had two types of paper, momentos (sp?) and legal. Boxes of both making it from storage shed to garage to house. Ugh.

We had a nice, high quality flat bed scanner but it was a pain to use. Lift the lid, position the item, close the lid, push the button, lift the lid, remove and repeat with the next item.

I went out and bought a smaller, yet even higher scan quality, scanner where you continually feed sheets in the front and they fall out of the back, in my case into a can on the floor at the edge of the desk. Wow, fast and easy, it even does business cards. It dumps all the scans into one file as PDFs for documents and TIFFs or JPGs for pictures. I'll scan a whole file folder in minutes, go into the scan folder on my computer and give each scan a proper name and then move them into a new folder on the computer. That new folder's name is most likely the same name that was on the paper file folder in my file cabinet.

I scanned all my photos from childhood on up and now have them with me wherever I go. I can be half a world away and pull up a photo album to look at memories, merely at the touch of a button. Betcha can't do that with your photo albums back home in some storage shed!

The photo albums are then given to family for their use or disposal as they see fit. I have my pics, electronically.

Legal paperwork is all neatly filed away on my computer as well and the paper is then shred. Verify the scan before shredding! If I'm out on the hook somewhere and an issue arises I will most likely need to email files to someone anyway, now I already have it and can do so at the touch of a button. If I need a hard copy, I just print it!

Finally, I do still use the flatbed scanner for bulky items that won't fit through the smaller high speed scanner.

You will be amazed at how much paper you have gathered and scanning is just another step to getting free from the multitude of 'strings' that might be keeping you tied down.

Don't pay a storage fee for keeping paper!
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:59   #50
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

Thought I'd chime in, sold my cabin in Colorado before I bought the boat, was able to put my stuff in a 10x10 storage building, I have to get rid of most of it, don't want to trade storage space for storage space, the boats in WA State, next R&R going to Denver and go thru everything, what I can't give away to a friend of mine or the thrift store down the street, is going in the dumpster, some of the things I have, have meaning to me, 6 footlockers I shipped back from Afghanistan, things I hate to get rid of, but that's tuff, I'm only keeping what I need on my boat, I'm not going to have time to try and sell anything, I'm also not in the same situation as many other people, but the things I want to keep are not things I need, to turn this page I have to move beyond wants even if these things are special to me, when I go, which hopefully will be in about 18 months or so, I'm not bringing the boat back, and I won't be living in the US again, Thailand is my home base and has been since 09, so I don't have to think about leaving anything to come back to
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:43   #51
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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Originally Posted by adlib2 View Post
Sold Nine (9) homes that I've owned myself. The biggest Seller is the Sign For Sale on the front Lawn. If you don't mind nosy neighbors an open house is the next effective sales tool. I don't trust Realtors, never have, they say they have ethics, but they don't know the meaning of the word and they certainly don't represents the vendors best interest, i.e. the one paying their fee. They will squeeze the vendor down to a give away price.
Totally agree. So glad to see that others see this too.
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:43   #52
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

I believe very strongly that a good realtor earns their fee, particularly in suburban and urban areas. And by earning their fee, I mean that your house will sell faster and for more, enough to cover their commission and more, than it would if you sold it yourself.

A good broker analyzes your house and the market in terms of comparable properties recently sold or currently for sale to formulate the optimal overall strategy and asking price. They market the house through a listing service that self-sellers don't have access to, and every other realtor in the area will see it. A good broker will manage showings, open houses, give you advice on staging and what should be fixed or repaired before the house is shown.

I've had a couple of exceptional brokers who completely earned their fee. And I've had one or two that did not. Ask around in your area for who is good at selling houses, then go talk to them. If they talk like an economist, discussing market strength/weakness, appraised vs. market value, what other houses like yours (specifically lot size, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms blah blah blah) have sold for, what else is on the market, etc. then they are likely on the ball.

As you move into more rural areas the value of a good broker may not be as much. Dunno.
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:03   #53
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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I believe very strongly that a good realtor earns their fee, particularly in suburban and urban areas. And by earning their fee, I mean that your house will sell faster and for more, enough to cover their commission and more, than it would if you sold it yourself.
I agree in principle, but my lifetime of experiences with realtors is the exact opposite. Don't feel bad though, I feel the same way about boat brokers.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:33   #54
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

Selling stuff is seldom easy. I would advise Craig's List for easily defined stuff like power tools, barbecue grill, etc; broker for selling the house; estate auctioneer only if you have fairly high value furnishings. For the rest try a tag sale and there is Good Will for a tax deduction on the left overs. Sadly, pennies on the dollar is about what you can expect for most items.
The good news is that living simple on a boat can be very liberating.
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:13   #55
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

Selling more than random occasional stuff on Craig's List can be a nightmare. You have to field endless calls/emails from tire kickers, bargain hunters, etc. and then half of those who make an appointment to meet and complete the transaction don't even show up. And then there are the scammers that say a guy in truck will show up to pick up with a certified check/money order/Western Union for the item amount and transportation, and can you give them cash for the transportation. Some of the scams are legend, and I ran into a few of them as I sold just a few more expensive but commodity items on CL when I moved out of the house. Dealing with that nonsense for a whole houseful of stuff could turn into a full time job.

You'd be better served organizing a good sized yard sale with others on your block/neighborhood, then making a solid effort to market it. Local ad in the paper that week, highlighting that it's a collective event, and direction signs from the nearest main thoroughfare on the day it goes off. A successful yard sale is about a) having decent inventory of desirable items and b) marketing it effectively to drive traffic.

Another option is to donate stuff and take the write-off, if that works for your financial situation. It's easy and takes the least amount of effort and time.
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:53   #56
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
1. I was shocked at the high "commission" rates the real estate agents are charging these days. Has anyone had luck selling their own home? Or, have any good books or resources that could help me decide if this would be an option for us?
Sometimes it's a local "thing." We had a friend who was a REA, still got her commission.

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
2. Any suggestions for the best way to sell specific items? Are estate sales the best way to go? What about these apps out there like "let go"? are consignment stores a good deal? are there specific items that are better to craigslist? or e- bay? We invested so much over the years in creating our home.. we'd like to get more than pennies on the dollar for it.
Our experience was that the estate sale was the easiest way to divest, but certainly not the way to make any $$ on our "crap." The reality is that as much as you treasure your stuff, it's pretty much worthless, and selling individual pieces will take up all the time you have, which is better spent on the boat.

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
3. As excited as I am about this whole adventure.. it's just a bit... scary.. getting rid of everything... Anyone find this a challenge to 'let go'? Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed...
The emotional toll is truly staggering. Perhaps I should say could be truly staggering. My personal feeling, having done this now, is that it is all truly BS. In having these discussions over the years, many folks have pointed out that TWO things determine this "letting go" issue: your age and your plans for "returning" eventually if at all.

It is, after all, just stuff. Family heirlooms? If true, store 'em.

But most often I hear about "time." As in, "we're leaving in two years..." I understand the "burden" of a home sale, and market conditions and locations could seriously affect the time it takes to sell, but unless your house is a real dog, it shouldn't take more than a month.

Putting the house aside, when we decided to move up to Canada from California to support my 95 year old f-i-l, we decided to go and left in 6 weeks. That's weeks. Not months, years, decades. Weeks. We had the same assortment of crap everybody else has. We've been married since 1984.

The same as the need for ruthless storage plans on the boat, ruthless "discarding" is also truly necessary.

We weeded out stuff we didn't need. Got silverware (or any other "dirt" stuff you need) on the boat? Either move your house stuff to the boat or get rid of it or store it. Those are your choices.

I know, it sounds simple and it isn't at the same time. But if you're smart enough to plan this trip, you're smart enough to do this.

Age? I'm 70. Bought and sold three boats, bought and sold five homes since 1978. I'm not "bragging" I'm trying to share MY experiences, NOT telling you what to do or how to "feel," but the reality is it's all just "stuff." Being an old geezer , I may have less "attachment" to stuff than someone much younger.

Good luck, have a great trip.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:11   #57
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

Great post Stu. I would like to add that it gets easier to get rid of stuff the closer you are to leaving, or perhaps that is; the longer you have been trying to get rid of stuff, the more you see it as junk. Both are true. Attachment seems to just disappear.
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Old 05-11-2016, 14:58   #58
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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Hi Scarlet,
Look into a company called Trelora. I don't know if they operate nation wide but they sell on flat fee commision. We have our house listed with them. The flat fee is determined by you, the seller. We are listing with a low commision and have found that we still get lots of attention. We have not made a contract yet but Trelora might offer you some of the benefits of a broker listing without the high costs.

I think commission sales work best for the harder to sell items such as art, antiques etc.
Thanks! I've made note of Trelora.. great tip... Where do you find a commission salesperson?
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Old 05-11-2016, 15:00   #59
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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Furniture is the biggest bulk and easy to sell at a yard sale,
Would a person take a bit hit on a yard sale? Our furnishings.. (which we will be selling) are all EXCELLENT quality, many were custom made.. I'd hate to get $100 for a $2000 couch...
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Old 05-11-2016, 15:04   #60
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
My husband and I are a year out from buying our Catamaran and moving aboard. We currently own a modest home that we are prepping for sale. We also plan on selling the vast majority of our stuff. So, I could use some help navigating this process..

To start off, I have a few questions..

1. I was shocked at the high "commission" rates the real estate agents are charging these days. Has anyone had luck selling their own home? Or, have any good books or resources that could help me decide if this would be an option for us?
2. Any suggestions for the best way to sell specific items? Are estate sales the best way to go? What about these apps out there like "let go"? are consignment stores a good deal? are there specific items that are better to craigslist? or e- bay? We invested so much over the years in creating our home.. we'd like to get more than pennies on the dollar for it.
3. As excited as I am about this whole adventure.. it's just a bit... scary.. getting rid of everything... Anyone find this a challenge to 'let go'?

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed...
I sold my wifes house on Craigslist! No cost at all!
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