According to the National Association of Realtors, a growing number of baby boomers and members of the silent generation are downsizing. It makes sense for several reasons.
For many, the physical and financial cost of keeping the old family home simply isn’t worth it. The square-footage made sense when kids were running around, but now, all those extra rooms are just vacant spaces in need of regular cleaning. Family homes with stairs and high cabinetry are no longer accessible as you get older. And the cost of heating and cooling a large homecuts into precious retirement savings.
If you, or a loved one, plans on downsizing, you will also need to downsize belongings. While sorting through family heirlooms and keepsakes may be a chore, it can also make you a lot of money. Here’s how to sell your excess belongings wisely ahead of the big move.
Take Your Silverware and Jewellery to a Reputable Buyer
If you’re like most people, you have boxes of old memorabilia, heirlooms and jewellery gathering dust in the attic or crawlspace. For a long time, you held on to these items as a connection to the past, but now may be the time to let them go.
Silverware sets, jewellery and old coins can be valuable if they contain precious metals. The best way to determine the worth of these items is to take them to a reputable expert who can test them for purity. When deciding where to sell your gold and jewelry, look for a seller that offers competitive rates based on the current market values of precious metals.
In addition to precious metals, bring them any rare or collectible pieces you find; they can help you determine a fair market value.
Hold a Yard Sale for Average Home Items
After you have cleared out and sold the high-value items, round up the “average” home items of value. These might include the espresso machine you no longer use, the second-floor vacuum you no longer need or the frying pans you have accumulated over the years.
If able, hold a yard sale for these items. A day in advance, advertise the sale with signs around the neighbourhood and on the nearest major road. Remember to price the items to move. A yard sale isn’t necessarily about getting a fair market price for things; it’s about clearing the junk you no longer want.
List Specialty Items Online
Finally, what do you do with items that fall in neither of the above categories – the items not rare and precious enough for the jewellery buyer, but not generic enough for a priced-down yard sale? These items might include rumpus room collectibles like your first-pressing Beatles records or furniture like that Mid-Century teak sideboard you can’t fit in your new place.
The best place to sell specialty items like these is online. Online marketplaces like Kijiji, Craigslist and eBay are filled with niche collectors looking for precisely what you’re selling. List your specialty items and stay firm on the price. If you’re unsure what to charge for a particular item, take some time to research similar items on the online marketplace, which should give you a good indication of value.
Downsizing not only saves you money on monthly mortgage and utilities, but it can also make you money. Sell your jewellery to a trusted gold and silver dealer, your specialty items to bidders online and your generic items to folks in the neighbourhood. Happy moving!