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Old 03-11-2016, 18:51   #1
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Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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...
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Old 03-11-2016, 19:38   #2
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

Scarlet,

Can't help much because my wife and I are in the same "boat". We are 2 years out and with 2 children, 8 adult grandkids and now 3 great-grand, most of our stuff will be "dispersed" so to speak. A small storage unit for the things we can not part with and we will be renting our home, we hope. We will be following this thread for info we can use when it is our time. Our downsizing has started already, a little at a time to avoid the shock.
All I can say is good luck and we should be a year behind you.

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Old 03-11-2016, 19:55   #3
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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.

As far as the rest goes, much will depend in what you need to sell. We have done pretty well with furnishings on Craigslist. If you have collectibles or anything of worth you might look for people that will sell your things on commision. I think commission sales work best for the harder to sell items such as art, antiques etc.

Many items actually realize a higher return through charitable donations than out right sales. House hold goods, clothing etc can often be donated at a higher value than you can get from yard sales etc. This might also apply to late model cars, rvs and boats too. Be careful and consult the tax rules but it's worth looking into.

Good luck clearing your goods! We just left my car for commission sales today. The furniture is long gone and the house, we are hopeful!
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Old 03-11-2016, 20:01   #4
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

I sell stuff all the time on Craig's list. I NEVER have the buyer come to my house or let them know where I live. Always meet them somewhere with lots of people around like a Walmart parking lot for example. I Only accept cash.Been burned on personal checks in the past. If you are talking big things like furniture you will probably have to have a sale at your home. I wouldn't do something like that personally unless the house is sold and I am ready to go. JMO

Some things ( Probably most smaller value items) you may be better off donating and taking the tax break. Don't know your financials.

Realtors typically want 7% commission. This is negotiable depending on your homes value. If you are interviewing potential Realtors offer 5 or 5.5% and see what their response is. Can't hurt to try, especially if it is a sellers market.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2016, 20:06   #5
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

Furniture is the biggest bulk and easy to sell at a yard sale, also when you need to buy again, it's also easy to find, again at yard sales. Craigslist is more difficult, someone must be actually looking for that specific item and 'if' they actually show up to buy it, you 'may' get some more cash for that item. Consignment is somewhat better, but they charge a big chunk to sell your goods. Choose the pieces carefully and remember you must spend a lot of time trying to sell the items.
To buy again, after your cruising; at those yard sales you see, most is junk and in some, if very early in the day, and if lucky, what you find is great quality at great prices. So, don't feel bad about most of your furniture pieces; when you are back, you will want to get different or smaller furniture.
The hard part is all the other belongings because it is not cheap nor convenient to pay for storage for all of those. You may need to, as you say, disperse it among your family or sell it, that's why those special belongings are difficult to decide what to do with them.
Enjoy the planning and preparation stages, that's part of the trip and the price of admission.
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Old 03-11-2016, 20:52   #6
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

I can only offer info on the house. We are about 3 years out from moving aboard. However I renovate and flip houses, or did, when the market was hotter.
A Realtor does earn that commission, when you have a good one. I watched houses sit forever when listed with com free, or privately. Ours were usually priced higher and sold quicker. Twice we missed a bidding war by hours. (other offers came in after we closed)
Just like any service profession there are good and bad realtor's. Research your area and find a good one.
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Old 03-11-2016, 23:00   #7
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

Quote:
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?
We sold our first house in Minnesota 22 years ago by ourselves; just a closing agent for documentation. Our house in Washington state just closed in September. We used a real estate agent for the entire transaction and will use an agent in the future for any other transactions. Just a better overall view of the market and a great grasp of the details. I felt the 6% was worth it.

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.
We actually ended up selling very little of what was in the house. We did not store much, but the truth is most of "your stuff" is worth more in your own eyes than to someone else. We gave a lot away to Goodwill type places; some to the kids; some select hard goods like tools and furniture to friends, but sold very little. What we sold, we sold through Craigs list and people came to the house to get 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'?

At first yes; but as things got closer to the 'sell' date, more and more items ended up at Goodwill, kids, or just a dump run. What helped at first was renting multiple storage units and just putting the stuff we thought we wanted to keep in them. After living on the boat for a couple of months, we got a better idea of what we could really keep and what we could replace if we ever want to go back to a land based life. We are now just down to one unit with a little room left over.

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed...
If your boat has only one head, make sure its in good working order before you move on.
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Old 03-11-2016, 23:17   #8
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

scarlet,
I'm thinking aloud here, for you, & myself. But might there be a way to try & target a specific market when selling things. Both your house, & household goods. Such as the things that are needed to turn a house from an empty building into a home. When I was early 20's, & starting out, I was a military officer, fresh out of school. And had naught buy my uniforms, clothes, music, & my bike (plus a car).

So when my mates & I were looking for places, furnished was a plus. And we also learned how to find sources of household items at discount prices. With the nice part being that many people, upon learning of our situation, were very kind to us. So we received more than the benefit of the doubt when renting homes, due to our background. And not long after, more of the same when buying places of our own. Thus it might make sense to try & advertise with such an audience in mind.

Since there’s a military base or three in your area, this may be an option. And as a thought, there will likely be some newly commissioned officers, & enlisted folks arriving there after the holidays. Since there are a decent number of graduations, & commissions that happen around the New Year. Though plenty of folks arrive on base all months of the year, due to various schools being completed at different times.

It should be fairly easy to find out where to advertise thusly, if such strikes you as a plan. And it needn’t be military only. There’s no shortage of colleges graduating folks all over the country. Ditto on new families getting their starts everywhere. For which, word of mouth would be a big help.

Common sense, & the benefit of age’s hindsight, would say that an “easy” way to sell much of your stuff would be to make the furniture, dishes, cutlery, linens, etc. into a package deal for someone. Or several someone’s who all join in to buy the package, & then divvy it up amongst themselves. Then if there’s gear that they don’t need, want, or can’t really afford, they can sell or give it to friends & acquaintances who are in similar positions. That way you can part with all of your stuff rapidly, & fairly painlessly, sans hassle or too much work. And also know that it’s going to a good “cause”/new home.

Thanks for stirring my thinker on this. As I may soon have cause to do something along these lines. And it makes more sense than putting everything into storage, thinking I’ll sell it later. Only to have it sitting there for years, costing $ every month. With no real end/solution in sight.
Besides, enough folks have given me dishes, furniture, & bedding, etc. over the years, so finding a good home for things feels good. As did receiving such gifts, & deals myself. Never could have bought my first few boats without such generosity!



PS: When downsizing to live onboard. First start by winnowing down so that your stuff fits into a storage space. Then a dock box. And finally, the boat alone.

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Old 03-11-2016, 23:25   #9
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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Originally Posted by Smokeys Kitchen View Post
If your boat has only one head, make sure its in good working order before you move on.
LOL, classic! And, priceless.
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Old 04-11-2016, 02:31   #10
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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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...
It took me 3 tries to downsize and stay that way. I've had a lot of conversations with people about "living small" and I've come to think of it like dieting or training for an athletic event, hard to do from a cold start. It's painful to go from a Macmansion --> Boat, for me to make it finally stick I had to use a studio apartment as a mid step. Once I started to feel that a studio was on the large size the whole living small thing was easy to deal with. And it's more than just the size part. With a house/apt on land all the resources are at the flip of a switch, turn of a knob. Unlimited water, electricity etc. While modern boating makes it easy for these things (compared to 30 years ago) you start to pay attention to them more. You also start paying attention to your shopping, "do I really need that" is a common thought process that I really didn't pay attention to when I was living a more mainstream lifestyle.
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:11   #11
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

For payments. Don't accept personal checks. Check with your bank if they can have you setup with Swish. It is a application in your phone. If the buyer has it too he can send money from his phone to your phone number and it will be instantly on your account up to $1200 a day.
Also get a PayPal account. You can have people pay by PayPal. Normally the more options you have for payment the bugger customer Base.

I think it is better to chock and get rid of lots then do little by little as doing that never gets completed and it will get harder and harder to get rid of stuff

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Old 04-11-2016, 03:51   #12
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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Originally Posted by SM6WET View Post
For payments. Don't accept personal checks. Check with your bank if they can have you setup with Swish. It is a application in your phone. If the buyer has it too he can send money from his phone to your phone number and it will be instantly on your account up to $1200 a day.
Also get a PayPal account. You can have people pay by PayPal. Normally the more options you have for payment the bugger customer Base.

I think it is better to chock and get rid of lots then do little by little as doing that never gets completed and it will get harder and harder to get rid of stuff

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PayPal has worked well for us but instruct payers to use the "friends" payment type. Otherwise you get hit with sellers fees that really eat into your funds.

We actually used pay pal twice, selling our boat and a small mail order sale. The rest, everyone was happy to pay cash. Just be clear that the sale is cash only.

Craigslist safety, we have never had issues with safety using craigslist. Here are some pointers.
1. DO not pupilsh your address. Craigslist will ask if you want to, say "yes" but only list a major intersection to show what area of town you are in. This is very useful for major metropolitan areas.
2. DO not publish your phone number.
3. Use the Craigslist email address proxy. The potential buyer responds to the ad and craigslist sends the email. With the buyers email inquiry you will have a good idea if the person is sincere. At that point give them your number or call them if they have supplied theirs. Only give out your address if the buyer passes your sniff test. If they sound weird, agitated etc, you can say the item has sold and end it.
4. Have 2 people at home during the sale. Many buyers will bring a buddy. If you are a male seller and your buyer is female arrange to have a female at the sale. "Thursday would work best. My wife will be home", or if you as seller is female and your buyer male, metion your husband, brother etc.

I will say that selling on Craigslist largely depends on where you are and how much street smarts you have about where you live. If you feel uncomfortable just don't do it.

Aso for yard sales, that one will be regional! In our area furniture would not sell at a yard sale, nor bring in anything close to the value. Check out local sales in your area before holding your own.
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:13   #13
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

i thought in US there was 2008 property crash ?!

All these fancy money shops made lots of cash with it , at least I saw this in movies.

Or have I missed couple news lately?
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:20   #14
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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i thought in US there was 2008 property crash ?!

All these fancy money shops made lots of cash with it , at least I saw this in movies.

Or have I missed couple news lately?
2008 was 8 years ago. Might be you are missing 8 years "news"
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:26   #15
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Re: Selling Stuff And Downsizing

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2008 was 8 years ago. Might be you are missing 8 years "news"
excellent ! As I always say, there is no better boost to economy than money printing.
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