Transition Squad Launches Estate-Sale-In-A-Box to Help Kids Downsize their Parents

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Transition Squad, a downsizing franchise, is launching a do-it-yourself estate sale toolkit to provide remote estate sale training and support throughout North America

Senior Downsizing Services

Transition Squad

You'll be surprised what people will actually buy. One person's trash is another person's treasure

Known for being the most active estate sale company in Toronto in 2013, Transition Squad now plans to expand dramatically by offering expertise, support and marketing to clients in distant markets.

Although it is typically Spring that ushers in the beginning of the busy garage sale season, for many boomers, seniors and their families going through the downsizing process or parent transition, it can happen at any time of the year. Selling the house, cleaning up and clearing out household clutter and deciding the fate of used furniture, artwork and other items of value will be the biggest challenge many will face. With the prospect of shelling out thousands of dollars per month for a retirement home, the desire to maximize the value of a lifetime of memories becomes especially predominant. However, with a little selling know-how, solid marketing and a few helping hands, anyone can conduct their own successful estate sale.

"There are three main approaches taken when facing an estate sale situation" says Viraf Baliwalla, President of Transition Squad. "Many people will simply throw away, give away or donate everything in a belief that these items have no real value to others. Others will try to sell the items on their own, while still others will hire a firm to assist with the process" adds Baliwalla.

"Often the kids have their own lives to deal with plus the emotion of the family situation. Most don’t have the same tastes as their parents and don't want a lot of the things their parents had. However you'll be surprised what people will actually buy. One person's trash is another person's treasure" claims Baliwalla.

Baliwalla should know. Transition Squad conducted 42 estate sales in 2013 and is on track to dramatically surpass that in 2014. This was a combination of physical estate sales at the home and online auctions. Transition Squad is now taking their experience to the masses with the launch of their Estate-Sale-In-A-BoxTM toolkit, a pre-packaged do-it-yourself training, marketing and support program for those that want to conduct their own estate sales.

The Estate-Sale-In-A-BoxTM toolkit can be purchased from Transition Squad for $600 and contains everything one needs to conduct a successful sale. It includes a free step-by-step guide, one-on-one training either in person or via Skype and phone, toll free support, advertising and marketing, a custom dedicated webpage to showcase sale items in advance, a sign placement map, pricing assistance and a local eblast. Sign rental is optional at $3 per sign in select markets. The client keeps 100% of their sales revenues. Estate-Sale-In-A-BoxTM is available throughout Canada and United States.

Baliwalla offers these 10 tips for DIY estate sale success to help you sell like a pro and make the most from your sale.

10 Tips For Do-It-Yourself Estate Sale Success

1.    When trying to sell something, think like a buyer.

2.    The success of your sale will depend on three things - 1) marketing to get people there, 2) selection and 3) attractive prices to get people to buy.

3.    Selection – unlike a garage sale where people are getting rid of the junk they don't want, an estate sale should encompass the entire household with items of higher value, sitting alongside items that may be garage sale caliber. Whether it’s fine furniture, glassware, kitchen gadgets, appliances, garden tools, plants, linens or clothing, your sale should become a veritable department store at bargain prices. Stage the nicest things to catch people's eye.

4.    Pricing is all about balance, set it low enough to be attractive, but not so low that you are giving things away at far less than what people would be willing to pay. Although many items will have great sentimental value or may have cost a lot originally, they will most likely not be worth as much to potential buyers as they are to you or your parents. Take the time to research various websites like Craigslist and Ebay to find comparable items.

5.    Things will be spread throughout the entire home. Recruit enough family and/or friends you trust to cover the entire home as salespeople, and for security to avoid theft. Ensure they are familiar with your house, the items and prices in the areas they will be posted to work.

6.    Be prepared to negotiate. Negotiating prices is the foundation of every garage sale and estate sale. It will be expected by buyers and a lack of willingness to negotiate may cost you more with frustrated buyers leaving empty handed.

7.    Valuables like gold, precious stones or signed artwork should be tested and appraised, or left out of the sale. Estate sale buyers may not be the right buyers for true valuables. You may need to find more specialized sources to sell these.

8.    Promote! Promote! Promote! Use tools like Craigslist and social media and tell as many friends, family and neighbors as possible to spread the word. Set up an event page on Facebook to maximize your reach and increase your turnout. Draw as much attention to the sale as possible by using signs along public roads. 50% plus of your buyers will come from the signs, so large noticeable signs with proper messaging and strategic placement is key. Signs can be created using cardboard or Bristol board or for greater impact, professional estate sale signs can be rented or purchased for nominal amounts.

9.    Prepare a fanny pack for each staff member with a cash float and sales materials to keep the sale running efficiently and smoothly.

10.    Hand out tickets starting an hour or so prior to the sale to allow access on a first come, first serve basis. Make sure to only allow enough people in at a time to follow fire department regulations.

About Transition Squad
Transition Squad is a fully integrated, turnkey downsizing company working with seniors and families going through a parent transition. As a project manager, Transition Squad assists with the physical aspects of downsizing from getting organized, cleaning up and clearing out the home, selling the contents through physical estate sales and online auctions and Transition Squad's consignment store, removal of leftover items through donation and junk removal, as well as auctioning off the home online. Transition Squad supports the communities it works in and has raised money for many organizations including MukiBaum Treatment Centers, Seeds of Hope and Downsview Services for Seniors.

For media inquiries, please contact Cameron Thomas at (416) 249-4049 ext 332.

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Viraf Baliwalla

Cameron Thomas
since: 10/2012
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