Do I Know What My Things Are Worth?
hear this question all the time. In our book, Home Downsizing in Four Easy Steps,
we provide readers with 10 FREE ways (price guides, trade papers, eBay completed
prices, Internet web sites, appraisal fairs, etc.) to investigate the value of
their items, and 6 FREE ways to help them identify what their things are worth.
These ideas are a great way to start learning the value of your personal property
assets in today's rapidly changing market.
this takes considerable time and, unless you know exactly what you are doing,
you still run the risk of making a major mistake. And beware of "free appraisals"
provided by well-meaning but un-knowledgeable friends.
#1 way to learn the value of your antiques, collectibles, collections, household
items, and yes, even the junk, is to seek the help of a personal property professional.
It could be a Home Downsizing Consultant, an Appraiser, an Auctioneer, or an Antique
Dealer. But here is the key: DO NOT bring in anyone for advice who has a vested
interest in purchasing any of your items. It is all too tempting for them to offer
a low-ball number in order to buy your better items at less than fair market value.
you have two primary options. You may want to consider having a formal, written
USPAP Appraisal completed by a qualified appraiser who specializes in the type
of merchandise that you have. USPAP means "Uniform Standards, Professional
Appraisal Practice", and this means that the appraiser has followed the guideline
and regulations promulgated by both the Appraisal Institute, and the Appraisal
Foundation. However, a comprehensive USPAP appraisal can take considerable time,
it can be quite expensive, and is often un-necessary at this point of the home
downsizing process. USPAP appraisals are generally used for estate, divorce, insurance,
or other legal appraisal work.
alternative approach would be to have an "In-Home Personal Property Valuation"
done by a qualified individual. With this type of valuation you will generally
receive a verbal, ballpark valuation. It is not in writing, it is not as thorough
as a USPAP appraisal, but because it takes much less time to complete, the cost
is considerably lower. For most, in our opinion this is generally the best approach
at the start of the downsizing process.
will have to decide which valuation approach is best for you. But in summary
should NEVER sell a thing until you know what it is worth.
Downsizing Strategy #1: You should never sell anything until you understand
its value in today's market.
Downsizing Strategy #2: You should generally not sell your merchandise to
the individual who tells you what it is worth.
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institute, appraisal foundation.
Long Does It Take to Downsize the Typical Home?
probably been thinking about downsizing your home for a while but the simple thought
of it is almost overwhelming. You've been in your home for longer than you can
remember, and it's filled to the rafters with quality merchandise, general household
items, family memories, and more junk that you would like. But at some point you
will have little choice. It will be time to downsize and shed much of the excess
items sitting around your home, basement, garage, attic, and outbuildings that
you no longer want or need.
if you're not yet ready to begin the downsizing process, it's not too early to
begin "planning" for it today. Because it takes time to do it right.
For the typical home, 6 months - 1 year is not uncommon. It's not that you can't
cleanout a home in a much shorter time, you can. But if you want to sell your
excess personal property assets for maximum value, it takes time to get everything
must get yourself mentally prepared and organized.
must sort your items into one of the 8 standard sorting categories (keeping, giving
to family, selling, donating, dumping, etc.).
must prepare your items for sale (cleaning, repairing, etc.).
takes time to locate a suitable buyer (advertising, research, etc.). The more
potential buyers you line up, the better off you will be.
takes time to negotiate a favorable price. If you find yourself in a rush to sell,
you will find yourself at the short end of the bargaining table.
takes time to close a sale. If your first buyer backs out, unless you have cultivated
multiple potential buyers, you may have to start all over again. And it takes
even longer if you are seeking multiple buyers for multiple collections or assets.
anyone can "clean out" a home in only a matter of days. But if you want
to exchange your lifetime's accumulation for the maximum value possible, don't
wait until the last minute to begin.
Downsizing Strategy: It generally takes 6 months - 1 year to downsize the typical
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Occurring Retirement Communities
coming explosion in America's 65+ age demographic will most likely lead a shortage
in senior retirement housing. This senior housing shortage will force a larger
percentage of older Americans to remain in their homes longer than by today's
standards. One likely result of this will be an increase in in-law apartments
and shared housing. And a second likely result will be the phenomenon called "Naturally
Occurring Retirement Communities", or NORC's.
Occurring Retirement Communities will occur for several reasons.
people typically like to live among people their own age.
shortage in senior housing in the coming years will force people to remain in
their homes longer than by today's standards.
a result we will most likely see an increasing number of neighborhoods dominated
by residents 65+. And this will place an added demand on local municipalities
to provide such senior services as localized health care, smaller housing, elder-friendly
indoor and outdoor design, food and shopping services, and local transportation
to these aging communities. We are seeing it already today in certain communities.
Downsizing Tip: In the coming years the shortage in retirement home space will
result in Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities in many U.S. cities.
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retirement housing, home downsizing tip
Aging of America
are two very interesting statistics that should have a direct bearing on Home
Downsizing in the coming years. According to the Delaware Valley (PA) Regional
2010-2030 the number of Americans age 65+ will double to more than 70,000,000.
Philadelphia alone, 1-in-5 Philadelphians will be age 65+ by 2025.
two statistics suggest several important implications.
the growing number of Americans reaching age 65+ in the coming years, there should
be a growing number of Americans seeking to downsize their homes.
the number of Americans reaching age 65+ increases, it is questionable whether
there will be enough retirement home space to accommodate all of these older Americans.
This would suggest that many may have to remain in their homes longer than they
do in today's world.
a result over the next 20 years many senior citizens will be "over-housed"
forced to live in homes larger than they would like. Most likely even those who
may not be moving will be forced to downsize, just to make their homes more manageable
as they age.
Downsizing Tip: As the number of Americans age 65+ continues to grow over the
next 20 years, more will be downsizing but remaining in their homes, because there
may not be enough retirement home space available for all who need it.
Words: home downsizing, over-housing, home downsizing tip
Should I Pay Someone
To Tell Me About What I Already Own?
heard this question on multiple occasions from people who didn't want to invest
in a Personal Property Valuation prior to downsizing. Our standard response: You
need a Personal Property Valuation in order to save yourself potentially thousands
of dollars as you downsize.
people simply don't realize that next to their home and real estate investment,
the Personal Property Assets they have accumulated over the years often represent
one of their largest financial investments. Most American homes have some type
of hidden treasures. Your job is to identify your hidden treasures
you un-knowingly sell them too cheaply.
are just a few examples of things we have seen over the years:
1939 Ford Woodys Wagon, which sat rusting away in a farm field for more than 20
years, sold for $47,300 after someone identified it as a very collectible car.
Tens-of-thousands of people had driven past it over the years before one individual
finally recognized its true worth.
than 30 hand-carved duck decoys, which sat on a family's shelves for more than
40 years, sold for nearly $38,000 at Auction. The owners would have been happy
to sell them for a few thousand dollars, had someone made them such an offer.
Fortunately, no one ever did.
large unframed tapestry, purchased in a box lot for a few dollars, sold for more
than $22,000 at Auction. The owner thought so little of the piece prior to its
sale that he had left it at the back door of the Auction Center, outdoors and
un-protected, for an entire weekend before the Auction Company found it on the
following Monday and placed it in a subsequent Catalog Auction.
framed 20th century oriental ceramic panels, which had been estimated in an Auction
Catalog for $200-$400
sold for a strong $47,150
.to a bidder in China.
underestimate the value of your antiques, collectibles, household items and yes,
sometimes your junk. Most homes have some type of hidden treasures. Your job is
to identify those treasures
before you give them away for less than they
are worth. And if you can't identify them yourself, then maybe its time to bring
in a Personal Property Professional to help you determine exactly what you already
Key Words: Home Downsizing, Downsizing, Personal Property Valuation,
Personal Property Assets, Hidden Treasures
Throw It Away.
downsizing your home certain things have considerable financial value, most things
have moderate financial value, and other items have little or no financial value,
although they may still have some useful life remaining.
of trashing these low value items, perhaps a better alternative is to "FreeCycle"
them, or find them a new home by giving them away for free. According to its www.FreeCycle.org
web site, The FreeCycle Network is made up of 4,664 groups with 6,365,000
members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of
people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's
all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated
by a local volunteer...".
avoid having to incur shipping costs, which would make FreeCycle un-workable,
listings are broken down by regions within each state. When I keyed in my home
town of "Doylestown PA", I was taken to a page for "Central Bucks
County/Doylestown", and learned that there were 3742 registered FreeCycle
members in my area alone.
is free, and everything posted on FreeCycle must be FREE, legal and appropriate
for all ages. To view the items being given away or sought in a given location,
you must become a member of the local group. Registration on the web site is free,
quick and easy and you can begin posting your free items immediately.
biggest positive of this concept is that you can get rid of items that you no
longer want or need, while helping someone in the process. The greatest negative
of the FreeCycle concept is that you may have to allow strangers into your home.
you can decide if this concept works for you. Either way, FreeCycle is a great
idea and is something that you should at least consider as part of your home downsizing.
Key Words: FreeCycle, Downsizing, Home Downsizing
Home Downsizing Book Released
Home Downsizing in 4 Easy Steps, the most complete guide to home downsizing ever
published, is now available. Officially released on January 1st, 2009 this 8.25x11"
format book includes 24 chapters, 172 pages and introduces the 4-step AVID Home
Downsizing System which is designed to help you downsize your home by converting
your excess and unwanted personal property assets into the greatest amount of
cash, with the least amount of work, in the shortest amount of time.
by Michael Ivankovich, The Home Downsizing Consultant, this book is now available
in paperback or eBook format through the author's Web site (www.HomeDownsizingConsultants.com),
through Amazon.com, or through select book stores. The eBook is immediately downloadable
from our Web Site (http://www.homedownsizing4easysteps.com/ebook-advtext.htm).
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AVID Home Downsizing System, Home Downsizing Consultant
Can HomeDownsizingConsultants.com Do For Me?
the time for downsizing your home approaches, relatively few individuals understand
that selling off excess and un-needed personal property items which have been
accumulated over the past 15-30 years can represent one of life's largest financial
transactions. They simply go ahead and start selling without any real understanding
of today's market values, or without any well-thought-out plan of action.
job of HomeDownsizingConsultants.com is to work for you, and only you, when it
comes time to downsize your home. When you call in the local Antiques Dealer to
look over your personal property, who does the dealer represent? The Antiques
you call in the Auctioneer or Cleanout Specialist, who do they represent? Themselves,
represents you. And only you. We are not interested in buying anything, and we
will not buy anything from you. Rather, our job is to help you to understand what
you have, whether is good, great, or simply junk
can best dispose of those items that you no longer want or need.
typical first step in dealing with HomeDownsizingConsultants.com is the "In-Home
Personal Property Walk-Through Valuation". This is not a costly, formal,
written appraisal. Rather, this is where we simply walk through your home with
you, and provide you with a verbal ballpark estimated value on what your items
may be worth in today's market. The typical "In-Home Personal Property Walk-Through
Valuation" typically lasts 60-90 minutes. Once you have a general understanding
of what you have, that portion of our job it done. We simply get you moving in
the right direction.
you need additional help, we can provide additional services as well. For example,
with you in a one-on-one Home Downsizing Consultation where we focus completely
upon you, and your personal downsizing situation.
you to determine where best to sell your items. And at what price.
on your behalf with any potential buyer or provider of services.
handle ourselves, or arrange for, any packing or cleanout services that may be
we discover any hidden treasures, at your request we can either sell them on eBay,
or help you to locate the best Auction House, Antiques Dealer, Consignment Shop,
or Private collector who may be best suited to handling your particular merchandise.
you are not from our local area, we can handle the entire home downsizing for
you. This can be especially helpful for those individuals who may need to close-up
a parent's or relative's home, but who are unable to handle the task themselves
because of timing, distance, health, or other personal factors.
bottom line is this: HomeDownsizingConsultants.com can handle anything you need
us to do when it comes time to move or downsize your home. And we can do it in
a professional and timely manner.
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Consultant, In-Home Personal Property Valuation
Home Downsizing Tips
Home Downsizing Tips and Strategies are constantly being contributed to us by
readers and clients. Here are just a few:
to realtors, some homes sell better if completely furnished; others sell better
if completely emptied. Ask your Realtor how best to stage your home for prospective
buyers. Proper staging can help your home to sell quicker and the proper look
allows you to set a higher asking price. For many this is often the first step
in home downsizing.
may actually be throwing away thousands of dollars if you begin selling your Personal
Property before knowing what it may be worth in today's market. You should always
seek the help of an experienced professional to learn the value of your personal
before, not after
you are ready to sell it.
"Appraisal" provided by a well-intended but clueless friend is often
worth nothing more than a puff of wind.
Words: Home Downsizing, Home Downsizing Tips, Home Downsizing Strategies, Appraisals
Hasn't Sold Yet?
Now May Be the Perfect Time to Begin the Home Downsizing
homes usually sell faster. They show better, they show brighter, and make the
house look bigger. If your home isn't selling as quickly as you would like, consider
this 3-step approach to home downsizing.
#1: Un-clutter your home now. Determine what you no longer want or need, things
that are just cluttering up your home, things that you know you will not be taking
with you when you eventually move
and dispose of them now. Leave the things
that you will be keeping, leave enough quality merchandise so that your house
shows well to prospective buyers, but dispose of the excess clutter.
#2: Once your house sells: Dispose of the things that you will not be taking with
you to your new home. Why pay movers to move it, only to sell it after you arrive
in your new home? Sell it before you move, and save yourself considerable money.
#3: Expect a final disposition when your move is complete: No matter how hard
you try, a few things will simply not fit into your new home. That's ok. Plan
well, do your best, but expect this to happen. This will involve the third and
final stage in your personal downsizing process.
a well-planned and well-thought-out downsizing plan is always preferable to a
last minute downsizing. A rushed, last minute approach will almost always force
you to do things that you wouldn't normally do if you had sufficient time.
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Home Downsizing Tips
New Home Downsizing Tips and Strategies are constantly being contributed to us
by readers and clients. Here are just a few:
and selling Real Estate can represent the largest monetary transaction of your
lifetime. For many selling off excess personal property assets that have been
collected and accumulated over the past 10-50 years can represent the second largest
monetary transaction of your lifetime. Don't be afraid to ask for help because
mistakes in this area can cost you big money.
you start looking for a new home, prepare a checklist of what you are looking
for in a new home. Being clear and precise in your needs will save you time when
viewing homes that don't meet your needs.
a realistic asking price on your home can be the difference between a quick sale
or staying on the market for months. The same is true of selling off your personal
property assets. If you price them too high they will rarely sell, or sell slowly.
If you price them too low, you may be cheating yourself. A little help in this
area can save you from making some major and costly mistakes.
Words: Home Downsizing, Home Downsizing Tips, Home Downsizing Strategies, Appraisals