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Forty-plus Years of Accumulated Things -- Now What?

By: Carol Brinkley, CRTS, Certified Senior Advisor , Caring Transitions

So, you've made the decision to downsize--you've thrown out all the old plastic Cool Whip and yogurt containers, recycled the mountains of newspapers and magazines, sent the family heirlooms off to the kids, and now you're left with a houseful of† items that you'd like to sell before you move. What are all your options and how do you know what the best decision is?

A Certified Relocation and Transition Specialist (CRTS) can take the stress and worry out of these difficult and overwhelming decisions you are facing. She is trained to guide you through the entire transition process, keeping your unique situation and needs uppermost in her mind and highest in priority. After reviewing what your goals are for selling the items, she can tailor a plan that fits your needs for your treasured belongings. Here are a few options for you to consider:

Estate or Downsizing Sale - †Generally speaking, when you have a large number of items ranging from large to small and in a variety of price ranges, an estate or downsizing sale is the best way to liquidate your things and bring you a profit. An estate sale is the term used when you are selling the entire contents of a house. Otherwise, it can be called a downsizing or moving sale to indicate that not everything is for sale. Your professional knows how to price things in order to bring in the most for the items and can relieve you of having to do all the work in organizing, staging, pricing, and then selling the items and cleaning up from the sale afterward.

Online Sale or Auction - Selling key possessions, such as antiques, unique pieces, or collections are sometimes most successfully sold in an online sale or online auction. You can then decide whether you'd like to sell them at a set price or in an auction setting. Websites such as eBay or Caring Transitions can handle your online sales and auctions for you, connecting to a wider audience than you might be able to reach otherwise. Ebay charges a listing fee whereas Caring Transitions does not. Both eBay and Caring Transitions receive a percentage of the sales.

Consignment - Another option for selling furniture and household goods is to sell them through the consignment process. There are many consignment stores popping up in the Williamsburg area--some specialize in furniture, others in kitchen wares and still others that are general in nature and will sell everything at one location. Often, a consignment store will pick up the items from you so that you don't have to worry about getting large pieces of furniture to them. The consignment store receives a percentage of the sale of each item and gives you a percentage. Those numbers can vary, but usually a consignment store will take between 40 and 50% and give you the remaining 60-50%.

Auction - Another option is to hire an auctioneer to come and conduct a live auction at your home or at the auctioneer's location. The auctioneer will charge a percentage of the sales plus a buyer's premium and give you the balance. This is a quick and easy way to divest yourself of the possessions you want to sell.

Antique dealer - If you have antiques that you'd like to sell, you may decide to sell them to an antique dealer. The dealer will usually offer you a very low price for the items because they have to be able to make a profit on them. They have to weigh how long they may have to hang onto it before it sells, among other factors in determining what price they will offer you.

Still feeling overwhelmed? By hiring a professional to help you make the decisions that are best for you, the cost of the services provided oftentimes will be covered by the sale of your possessions with a profit coming back to you. Don't you think it is worth it for the peace of mind itself?

Want more info?

TheSavvySeniorOnline.com was created as a resource for folks who are retiring to Williamsburg, VA and surrounding areas on the Virginia Peninsula and in the Historic Triangle.  You can search active adult communities, 55+ communities, age restricted communities, as well as homes for sale with first floor master bedrooms, or homes all one story or level.  We know where the best buys are for creating a maintenance free lifestyle!

The Liz Moore Senior Team understands the special needs of those who are downsizing, and we have a variety of resources to help you with auctions, estate sales, consignment, de-cluttering and every phase of getting your home ready to sell.  Be sure to ask us about our free e-book for seniors interested in downsizing!

You can reach us at 757-873-2707 in Newport News and 757-645-4106 in Williamsburg.  Just ask for the Liz Moore Senior Team!