Come Sale Away – Maybe It’s Time


I love driving around during an Open House Celebration and seeing all of the ReeceNichols pointers and Open signs. During my cruisin’, I’ve also noticed a tremendous opportunity for getting listings.

When we promote an Open House, it is a great idea to inform the neighbors you will be holding it Open. In essence, we are asking them: “How would you like to pick your next neighbor? Contact me with any prospects you may have.”

The same may hold true for the Spring and Fall neighborhood garage sale. Why do you think people have garage sales?

  1. They have too much stuff. In real estate terms, they need to upgrade.
  2. They have too much stuff. In real estate terms, they need to downgrade.
  3. Their family may be expanding. In real estate terms, they need to upgrade.
  4. Their kids have moved out and they are tired of keeping all their junk. In real estate terms, they want to downgrade.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

So, as I drive around to Opens, I’ll stop in a garage sale. Sometimes they will have something I like (but don’t need) for cheap, so I’ll buy it anyway. When I converse with the owner, often times they will divulge why they are having a garage sale. Other times, there are 4 kids running around the yard of a 3 bedroom house.   Those signals help me determine if their needs are active or latent.

Then my wheels start spinning. If this person has a need, whether latent or active, what needs do the other 20 houses participating in the neighborhood garage sale have? Then I get REAL excited to prospect.

How do we create and deliver a remarkable garage sale for a neighborhood? How could we engrain our brand in the neighborhood as the go to person for their future real estate needs?

  1. We sponsor the garage sale.
  1. We farm the area.
  1. We convert our Open signs, to Garage Sale signs, along with the pointers.

It wouldn’t take much to sponsor a garage sale in terms of capital. We already have the signs, which could easily and creatively be converted to Garage Sale pointers and signs.   The even better thing, the signs have your phone number on them.

Get to know the neighborhood association members. You may find some of this information via the tax records. Most associations have to file their CC&R with the county. Those CC&R often times have all the contacts for the association. If the association is run by a developer, contact the developer.

Where do you start?

  1. Your neighborhood
  2. A neighborhood where you have a listing
  3. A neighborhood where you are doing/did an Open House
  4. Anywhere that you want business

Next, send a mailer to each of the neighbors, announcing the date and time of the garage sale. Allow plenty of time to market it, similar to an Open. Use websites like: and the tax record query in HMLS to get all the names for the neighborhood.

Better yet, go door to door to introduce yourself after you have generated some interest. “Hello, (name of person from tax records or web), my name is Derek. I know you weren’t expecting me so I’ll make it brief. I spoke with your neighbors, Sally Seller, Sherry Seller, Steve Seller, Pauly Prospect, etc., and they have engaged me to sponsor your Spring neighborhood garage sale. Here’s my card so you don’t think I’m Joe Pesci from Home Alone! How much stuff do you have that you need to get rid of? A lot, great! How does so-and-so date work for you? Here’s how we will be promoting the garage sale…” And you know how to take it from there. Be sure to get their phone number to follow up and email for My Neighborhood.

Promotions could include a map you put together, which shows all the houses participating. Engage the local law enforcement to let them know a large sale is going on, and you would appreciate if they could patrol during the times. Make sure you let the neighbors know they will be safe.

On the day of the garage sale, visit every participant. If time is prohibitive, this is where getting emails and phone numbers of all participants is imperative.

By providing a valuable service to a community and showing that you care, you will earn trust, and with hard work, be a go-to resource for their real estate needs.

In fact, I would bet dollars to donuts that if you plan and execute correctly, you will get at least 2-3 listings within 2 months of the garage sale, maybe more, depending on the size of the neighborhood.

Please share your success stories with me!