Facing Foreclosure? 6 Tips on How to Safely Get Rid of Things You No Longer Need — and Make Money in the Process
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Craigslist is a very good place to find deals on everything from home appliances to used auto parts. It’s one reason that homeowners who are losing their home to foreclosure turn to the site — because it’s easy to get rid of household items you either no longer need, want, or can’t afford to keep. And, it’s this simple desire — to purge/scale down 20 years of household goods — that cost one family everything.
Facing Foreclosure? Be Careful if You Post Ads on Free Classified Sites Like Craigslist
A simple ad placed on Craigslist literally brought looters and thieves right to one family’s doorstep. According to the article, Foreclosed family watches helplessly as craigslist crowds strip house bare, on 11Alive.com (an Atlanta news station site), a family who was losing their home to foreclosure placed the following ad on Craigslist:
Fairly large, free yard sale. Moving and we want everything to go for free. So come over and take whatever you want and how much you want. Here are a couple of items that will be there: Couch, chairs, lots of household and kitchen items, appliances, a wardrobe, desk, recliner, movies, lots of books, lamps, women’s and teens’ clothing, etc. And also a box of free food with lots of cans. Please take only if you need it. We’re starting at 10 a.m., October 24th, and we’ll finish when everything’s gone.
Facing Foreclosure? How a Free Classified Ad Can Bring Burglars Right to Your Front Door
The problem is, the people wanting the free goods showed up before the homeowners got there (they were in the midst of moving out). Even though the home was not left open, looters broke in and just started taking stuff. Shortly after, the homeowner and his mother arrived and couldn’t believe their eyes.
Michael Vercher, the homeowner, remarked:
Well, when we got to the house, I mean, pretty much — this [a ransacked dwelling] . . . They came in and just tore the place up.
Only a few books and other miscellaneous items were left behind.
Read on for some tips on how to get rid of household items you no longer need — and make some money in the process.
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Facing Foreclosure? 6 Tips on How to Safely Get Rid of Goods You No Longer Need & and Make Money in the Process
1. List Items on Free Classified Ad Sites: Yep, sites like Craigslist and Backpage are great for quickly selling household items you no longer need. But, you must be smart about it (ie, plan to be at the home at least 24 hours before the listed time in your ad).
The reason is, even if you plan to arrive a couple of hours beforehand, thieves are astute — and proactive. If they even THINK there’s a possiblity that no one is there, they may drive by and if there’s no visible presence, help themselves.
Selling Goods on Free Classified Ad Sites Tip: Ads go live on sites like Craigslist almost immediately (eg, within half an hour), so don’t place it until you are ready to sell. There’s no reason to do so days — or even hours — in advance.
2. Price It Right: You must price the items you list for sale — to sell. And this means pricing them right. The only problem is, what’s “right” for you is probably not right for potential buyers.
Many homeowners facing foreclosure severely overprice their household items. It’s understandable. What you have to understand is that there’s so much for sale on free classified ads sites — because so many are going through the foreclosure process (just like you) and are getting rid of items as well.
So log on and look at what others are selling stuff for — then price your items accordingly. Just as a guage, one homeowner reported that she sold:
A full-size, 4-burner, electric stove for $75;
A full-size refrigerator for $50;
A washing machine and dryer set for $75 (washing machine needed a part).
All of these items were in good condition (except as noted), but she was moving to a smaller home and had to get rid of a lot of stuff. The bottom line is, you’re not going to get nearly what you expect to get for your items, but some money is better than no money, especially if you realize that if you can’t sell your items you’re going to have to give them away. So, price to sell.
3. Move What You Want Out: If you’ve already found a new place, move all the items you want to keep into your new place. This way, even if you don’t get rid of everything, you don’t have to worry about somebody coming back, breaking in and stealing what’s left (ie, which would include items you had not intended to get rid of).
4. Schedule Sale during Daylight Hours: This is for obvious reasons (safety). Also, have someone there with you, especially if you’re a woman (eg, a husband, boyfriend, lover, friend, etc.).
5. Don’t List Address: Have people call and make appointments to come by. This gives you much more control over who (and how many) are coming to your front door.
6. Post Clear Photos: The more photos (from different angles), the better. Also, list any defects. While this may deter some buyers, it will attract the right buyers (ie, those who are really interested).
Stay safe — and happy selling!
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Copyright © 2012 Yuwanda Black for Foreclosure Business News. Legal Disclaimer: The information dispensed on this blog is not to be taken as legal advice; it is for general purposes only. Please consult a qualified professional (eg, attorney, accountant, real estate agent, etc.) — in your jurisdiction — before taking any action based on the information listed here.