It can be easy to accumulate decades’ worth of items, but not so easy to know what to do with them when the decision is made to downsize.
While the standard advice is to decide what to keep, what to donate and what to dispose of, for seniors and boomers who are downsizing, selling some of the items they do not wish to take with them can help to fund their retirement.
There are numerous options for selling items. And no, none of them include having a garage sale. While garage sales have their purpose, they are not ideal for the downsizing process. Avid yard salers tend to talk sellers down in price, which is not to the benefit of the seller. Better alternatives for unloading your unwanted items include appraisers, auction houses, estate sales and consignment shops.
Homeowners who have antiques or other valuables they wish to sell as part of the downsizing process will want to start by having an appraiser estimate the value of each item. In cases where heirs are involved, having items appraised can be the best way to satisfy everyone involved in the process.
Appraisers also are the first step for homeowners who wish to sell items during an estate sale. Having an estate sale is one of the best ways to get the most value out of items that will not be taken with you when you downsize. Estate sales also are one of the quickest ways to liquid the most assets, which can be especially useful in cases where a spouse has died and the surviving spouse is selling the home and downsizing.
Auction houses also are a means by which homeowners can rid themselves of a variety of items that might not sell quickly through other mediums. Auction houses are able to accept furniture, antiques, jewelry, art collections and other items the average garage saler is not interested in buying. Selling items through an auction house also is the best way to guarantee you will receive the prevailing market price for each item.
Some items, such as clothing, may not be appropriate for an auction or estate sale. Those items can be taken to consignment shops. Consignment shops will do all of the “heavy lifting” for you, assigning prices to your items and then selling them. Consignment shops will keep a cut of the profit on the sale, and provide the rest to you.