Yard sales can be good for buyers- and sellers

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:58

    Warwick - Fall is here. Like spring, autumn gets many people in the mood for cleaning out, getting rid of all the peripheral stuff that has been accumulating over the years. There’s no better time than now to have a yard sale. Fall brings many people to Warwick, either to pick apples or pumpkins, or just to look at the glorious foliage that surrounds us. If you have just sold your house, a yard sale is a great idea, too. If you have been in your house for more than a couple of years, chances are you have accumulated much more “stuff” than you thought. Holding a yard sale can be a very therapeutic experience - cleaning out closets, drawers, attics and basements. If you have sold your house, you will have to go through everything anyway. Why not lighten your load before you move and make a little extra money in the process. Some municipalities have rules about yard sales. The Village of Warwick has some regulations concerning yard sales, which are also called garage or tag sales. You will need to get a permit from the village clerk, at a cost of $15 plus a $25 security deposit for signs. When you get your permit, you will also receive four sign stickers, allowing you to post up to four signs throughout the village. But don’t put them on trees or utility poles. Village Clerk Jacque Mongelli said all signs must be staked in the ground. Police will remove the signs posted on poles or trees. If your neighborhood or a group of homeowners want to have a sale, it will cost $100 for the permit and a $50 security deposit. In either case, the security deposit will be returned if you bring back the sign stickers. Village residents may have two sales in a calendar year. The Town of Warwick does not charge a fee for yard sales, nor does it limit the number of sales a resident may have. The town only requests that the homeowner notify police of the sale so they will be aware of increased traffic in the area. Now that the formalities are out of the way, just how should you go about running a successful sale? • One of the first things to do is advertise, according to Realtor Magazine. Many who plan sales don’t decide definitely until just a few days before the actual sale. They want to check out the weather forecast before committing to the event. Whatever the case, it always pays to advertise. Realtor Magazine recommends advertising in local newspapers, if there is time. In addition, post signs at major intersections and hang flyers in supermarkets and other community bulletin board locations. • When setting up the sale, attach prices to each item with removable stickers. This saves time when customers want to know the price. And remember—yard sales are for bargain hunters. Don’t overprice the stuff you really want to get rid of—you’ll be making more work for yourself by having to bring it all back in to the house if it doesn’t sell! • Go over the items carefully before setting them out for sale. You don’t want to sell something that has high sentimental value. • Keep an electrical outlet close by so people can test out any electrical items. • Have plenty of plastic bags on hand, as well as lots of newspaper to wrap fragile items. • Be able to make change for customers. Keep lots of change on hand and keep an eye on it. Things can get hectic during a yard sale and you don’t want to lose track of your cash. • Finally, there are people out there who organize yard sales for a living! If you don’t feel like doing the work yourself, check local papers for those who will come in and do it all for you. Some homeowners hire a trading assistant to sell items on eBay. Realtor Magazine says you may negotiate fees for the services of eBay sellers. Whichever way you choose to go, keeping or moving less stuff and having a few more dollars in your pocket is a win-win situation.