How to make your Garage sale a success

Its spring and time again for those neighborhood garage sales. Here are 25 ways to make your garage sale a success.

  • Be the first in your area to have a sale and do not hold it on a holiday weekend.
  • If you choose a weekend before Mother’s Day, have a special table set up for Mom.
  • If Place your address first or last in a classified Ad, Use a catchy title, such as Pack Rat Surrender, Girl’s Stuff Galore or Five Family Sale.
  • Find community newsletter, local cable TV or community billboard for free listings.
  • If you have lots of merchandise, list some in Xeroxed flyer and hand it out to friends, neighbors and co workers two weeks before the sale.
  • If you have higher priced items or furniture, advertise them before the sale on billboards at supermarket, college campuses, daycare centers etc.
  • Use colorful poster size signs to promote your sale, make them bright and cheerful with thick black marker.
  • Be ready to start your sale an hour earlier than advertised. Be gracious and offer early birds a smile and/or coffee.
  • Hire a sitter for young children or pets. You will be more relaxed.
  • Keep house doors locked while sale is on.
  • Have a checkout table with… a tape measure, calculator, stapler, pins, making tape, few pen, scratch pad and bags for purchase.
  • Have batteries and an extension cord to the garage outlets so customers can test small appliance.
  • Set out lawn chairs for non shoppers.
  • Play an easy listening radio station, CD or tape – but not loud enough to bother the neighbors.
  • Mark prices of the items from 25% to 35% down from the original price of the new item.
  • Price merchandise under $1 in denominations of 25, 50, & 75 cents. Price similar items individually and group odds and ends in boxes and plastic bags at 5/$1.
  • Use a carpenter’s apron or a money pouch as your cash box – keep $30 to $50 of loonies, townies and quarters as your float.
  • Display clothing on Hangers. Staple tags to cloths. Have a full length mirror available marled “Not for Sale”.
  • Assemble items like tents or Christmas trees.
  • Display more valuable items such as jewelry on check-out table on a solid color towel or black cloth.
  • Fill your cooler with plenty of ice and sell cold drinks at a discount.
  • Make sure your house no. is easy to see from the street. Tie large balloons to the signs you post at main intersections and use them on telephone poles etc. to point the way to your house. Do not forget to go back at day’s end and remove them.
  • If a customer asks you to hold merchandise, ask for a substantial deposit or payment in full. Set a time when they will pick up the item or you can release for sale.
  • Start lowering prices at 1 pm. By for the bargain hunters will be on the prowl. Put up signs saying “Willing to Bargain or make an offer near the check out”.
  • Get plenty of rest the night before. Then lighten up, have fun and enjoy meeting some new people.
  • After all, it just a Garage Sale!

*How to choose a home, major things to watch*


Many people think that serious defects in a home are easy to spot, but the truth is, often the most serious and costly problems can only be detected upon very close inspection. When you are considering buying a home, look for the following six telltale signs of serious problems...

*1. Roof*

Leaks are the most common problem with roofs, and are tough to detect from outside. However, from inside an attic, you can often see water marks where there is a leak.

*2. Plumbing System*

Make sure you are confident that both water systems: the one that brings fresh water in and the one that takes sewage out are functioning well before signing on the dotted line.

*3. Electrical Systems*

Before you agree to buy you should make sure that you can run all of the appliances you want to and even power tools at the same time without having a power failure. You also want to make sure that the electrical system is safe and does not present a fire hazard.

*4. Heating and Cooling Systems*

Be sure to thoroughly inspect the heating and air conditioning systems in any home you are considering purchasing.

*5. Bad Paint and Signs of Rotting*

The paint inside and outside the house can reveal a lot about the condition of the underlying material. Check several places on several walls, using your eyes and a screwdriver for poking.

*6. Cracks and other important signs*

Cracks in walls, doors not closing properly and uneven floors can all be signs that there is a problem with the foundation. If the foundation is not strong, the entire house could literally collapse, so you should carefully check for these signs. A bad foundation may not mean imminent disaster, but it could be used to bargain for a lower sale price, or you could ask to have the owner repair it before the sale.

The Mortgage Stress Test: What It Means If You’re Buying a Home (Source:

It’s been almost a couple of years since the mortgage stress test came into effect. So, we thought it was the perfect time to revisit it and clear up any confusion. The mortgage stress test took effect January 1, 2018, affecting how much mortgage money Canadians are able to borrow towards the purchase of a home. Let’s look at the mortgage stress test in greater detail and what it means for those planning to buy a home in the coming months.

    What’s the Mortgage Stress Test?

    • Whether you’re buying a home with more or less than 20 percent down, the stress test affects you. Before the new stress test came into effect January 1, 2018, depending on the length of your mortgage term, you might have only had to qualify based on your mortgage rate. However, now everyone is required to pass the stress test in order to get a mortgage.
    • To pass the stress test, you must be able to prove that you can afford the greater of your mortgage rate plus two percent and the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently at 5.19 percent). Let’s say you submit your mortgage application to a lender offering 3.30 percent on the 5-year variable rate. In that cause, you’d need to qualify at 5.30 percent, since 5.30 percent is greater than 5.19 percent.
    • How Does the Stress Test Affect My Home-Buying Budget?

      • If you’re serious about buying a home this year and you haven’t been pre-approved for a mortgage since the stress test came into effect, you’ll want to know how it affects you.
      • When compared to the rules prior to January 1, 2018, you’ll be able to spend about 20 percent less on a home. Let’s say you were able to spend $500K on a home prior to the stress test. Assuming your income and down payment remain the same, you might only be able to spend $400K on a home now that the stress test exists.
      • If you’re looking for a property in a less expensive real estate market like London or Thunder Bay, the stress test may not be a big deal, but if you’re purchasing a home in a city like Toronto, the stress test is likely to impact you big time. You may be forced to “drive until you qualify” or instead of buying a house, you might only be able to afford a townhouse or condo.
      • What Impact Has the Stress Test Had on the Real Estate Market?

        • While it’s tough to pinpoint one exact reason, there’s no denying that the real estate market has slowed down since the stress test came into effect. The stress test has been around for almost a couple years now, so buyers are starting to adjust to it, and it’s having less of an impact.
        • In Toronto detached homes were once the most coveted property types. However, since the stress test came into effect, condos have seen the highest price appreciation out of any property types and the reason is simple, affordability.
        • If you’re looking to buy a property, now is still a great time to buy. Mortgage rates are at a near record low. Just be sure to get pre-approved for a mortgage ahead of time because you might not qualify to spend as much on a home as you thought under the stress test.

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