Top 6 Tips for a Successful Downsizing Sale

Table of Contents

Tip #1: De-clutter, do it once and save money

De-cluttering to make the house look best for showing is usually suggested by real estate agents. However, it may lead to a lot of extra work, complication and expense. What’s often overlooked is the fact that you need to repeat de-cluttering when you are downsizing. It includes throw-away, give-away, bulk-sale at a significant discount, or sending off to auction at the cost of packing and moving. Handling items multiple times increases your costs and reduces the cash you might recover from selling your goods.


Clear out just the pure garbage, donation or recycling items. Instead of moving out useful items that could be sold, pack them up and place them in closets or a side room in a tidy fashion. 

Later when the house is sold, you can pull out those items for sale. In this case, the house looks tidy, it’s less work and leaves more money in your pocket!

Tip #2: Avoid making the closing date and the moving date the same

Closing and moving on the same day can create a lot of unnecessary stress and complication. You sort out what to take, what to sell and what to throw away while coming up against a hard deadline. 

Often sellers think they need to live in their home right until closing day. However, remaining in your home throughout the process can create extra stress and complications. Many downsizing seniors have the flexibility to move in advance of the closing date. In fact, it offers a number of advantages.

  • Plan to move a few weeks before the sale of your house closes. This way you can move out the items you want to keep while having some flexibility in case you forgot something.
  • After taking away what you bring to your new home, you can easily sell what have been left.

Tip #3: Don't put useful items that have little value in a dumpster

Many tend to see a lot of used goods as simply waste, yet it is a shame to see them going into a landfill. A lot of downsizing sellers assume their only option is to throw it away. However, for items that are still useable, there is often a buyer. You can be environmentally friendly and make money at the same time by finding a way to sell those items.


Use the power of the Internet to expose your unwanted items to a wider audience than traditional alternatives.

Our service consistently find new homes for goods that would have otherwise been thrown out. This means the seller and buyers can reduce their carbon footprint, take pressure off landfills and reuse the goods without impeding the sale of the house."

Sushee Perumal
CEO at MaxSold

Tip #4: Put the power of competitive bidding to work on your higher value items too

Sellers often guess at the value of their goods and may take the first offer that comes close to their expectation. This may miss out on other buyers who are willing to pay much more. On the other hand, if no offers come close to the sellers expectation, the item may be left unsold. It is particularly important for high-value goods when the value may be difficult to determine, plus potential buyers may be difficult to find.

As sellers, we want to hear what other potential buyers are willing to offer. Without competitive bidding setting, it is difficult to know if you will be getting a reasonable return for your more valuable items.


MaxSold’s offering is a fully managed online auction service that connects many potential buyers in a competitive bidding situation. We help you sell everything, including a wide variety of high value household goods such as jewelery, silver, cars, boats, and artwork. Even very exotic collectibles are sold this way. 

Some items may attract more than you expected, some less. In the end, you can have confidence that competitive bidding delivered a reasonable sale price in your timeline.

Tip #5: Once you decide to sell an item, don't set a reserve or minimum price

An old saying goes: Your item is worth whatever you say it’s worth as long as it’s not for sale. It’s a trap to think that having a reserve ensures that you get the price you want for an item. In fact, what it often means is that you don’t sell the item just when you need the house empty for closing. 

This is fine for those who truly want to keep the item. But in the context of downsizing, this approach can add stress that you don’t need. You may make a tough choice of either selling or disposing valuable goods or, potentially, paying years of storage fees.


  • Use competitive bidding to get the best price you can. Encourage more bidders to start bidding with no reserve prices.
  • Once engaged, let the excitement of the auction process encourage them to bid prices up. 

Auction leverages the natural competitive forces of the marketplace to drive prices to their highest level within a given time frame. Maxsold’s service makes it easy for lots of people to compete.

Pre-MaxSold auction

Tip #6: Choose a low stress approach to sell your unwanted items

Selling the unwanted contents of your house can be challenging and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You are busy enough with the move and don’t need more stress at this point in your life. 

Listing items for sale in the classified section of newspapers or online with eBay, Craigslist or Kijiji, can result in a lot of phone calls and emails. These inquiries can be quite a burden. Allowing strangers to come into your home to inspect can also be a security concern. This approach may not be suitable or desirable for people with lots of items to sell. 

How about Tag sales?

Tag sales are like a super sized garage sale. A price is tagged to each item and the public is invited to come in on a particular day to buy. It can be a chaotic environment that is difficult to control if a lot of people show up. The owner may be concerned about damage to the home and potential robbery. Besides, a thorough paper trail of what each item sold for may be lacking. By the end, 30% or more of the contents may be left unsold. All this can add unnecessary stress to your downsizing move. 

For many people this approach is not an option. So, what should you do?

The Ultimate Tool For You

MaxSold can put all of your items online for competitive bidding with a complete paper trail of for what each item sold. The pickup is tightly controlled and monitored by professional staff with great respect for your property. No money changes hands on-site as all payments are collected online.

The result? In under 2 weeks, practically everything is sold. Your house is empty, ready for the closing with no hassle or stress for you.

Read more on how you can maximize value for an Estate Sales or Downsizing Sale.

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