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Come and talk to me about clearing a house for sale

(25 Posts)
bigTillyMint Fri 04-Mar-16 20:34:36

My DM has moved permanently into a Care/Nursing Home so I need to sell her house. We live 200 miles away which makes it all a lot more difficult. It is a 3 bed house which she has lived in for 40 years and she loved read and to do art and craft so there are masses of books and "stuff"

I am not sure what to do for the best. I have sorted through her personal things, but there is so much stuff it is quite overwhelming. I have already taken about 30 bags to the recycling centre, but that hasn't even made a dent. There are no antiques AFAIK

I can't easily sell stuff myself - would second-hand dealers want to come and look/buy/take away furniture (some mid - century in good condition)

How much might a house - clearance firm charge and would they just take it all?

Would charities collect decent quality stuff (thinking tefugees/others might benefit from some of the items)

Anyone got any advice?!

Thelwell Fri 04-Mar-16 20:37:45

I've used the British heart foundation, they came to collect. Worth checking out.

bigTillyMint Fri 04-Mar-16 20:39:32

Ooh, what did they collect exactly? Would they be able/want to manoeuvre wardrobes and beds, etc?

kayessbee Fri 04-Mar-16 20:49:27

Hi. We did that for our parents (our family) house about 11 years ago. I had various 'routes' to get rid of stuff -

All bed linen, towels, pillows, duvets etc went to a homeless charity - they were very much appreciated!

I knew someone who was renovating an old barn in France and took some of the furniture, so it was nice that it had a new home with a bit of a link to us.

Clearance will pay you peanuts - use them as a last resort, we didn't use any at all

Make sure any upholstered furniture adheres to the rules for fire resistance as I don't think you can sell that sort of stuff if it isn't within the rules - not sure if giving it away is OK, possibly is - you should check

Freecycle for stuff that isn't really worth the effort of selling but is still ok

Maybe the house buyer is a young first time buyer? They'd like stuff, I'm sure

Keep any bits and pieces that might have even a small value or be decent eg platters, silverware & go to local auction house - they grouped things of ours into bundles rather than treat every little thing as individual - we got around £500 for stuff we thought had no value at all! They'll only pick the stuff they can sell. The rest went to.....

Car boot sales - a good stand by....

And still ended up with 60 bin bags of rubbish.....I now clear our stuff regularly!!

Am sure there are loads more ideas out there too...

bigTillyMint Fri 04-Mar-16 20:58:15

That's great advice - thanks kayes. Did the auction house come round to look at the stuff first or did you have yo take it to them? And how long did it take to sort from start to finish?

greenfolder Fri 04-Mar-16 21:02:17

We used a house clearance for my grandparents house. They didn't charge and the deal was they had to clear it all. We had obviously taken jewellery and stuff. If you have stuff that has no real value to you, I would recommend.
My in laws house however took 8 grown people 8 solid weekends and we still have a loft full 3 years on. It was a bloody nightmare. Avoid this.

Palomb Fri 04-Mar-16 21:03:04

Your local college or sewing group might in interested in some of the craft stuff?

bigTillyMint Fri 04-Mar-16 21:07:31

Greenfolder, this is what worries me - that we would end up taking stuff home to sell or whatever, on top of spending hours clearing the house!

Paloma, that's a great idea, but as I don't live here, I have no idea of how to find somewhere that would like it - any ideas?

Hennifer Fri 04-Mar-16 21:07:43

Our local hospice charity has the capacity to send a big truck and take as much as you've got.

Have a google and see what's available - if you are happy to say the location, someone here might know.

LifeHuh Fri 04-Mar-16 21:09:31

When I cleared my parents house I recycled what I could, and the British Heart Foundation took quite a bit of the general ornament oddments type stuff.
I sold the books- a second hand book dealer came and valued them,and then sold them for us. It didn't make a lot,but it made some,it was worth doing.
What really surprised me was that no one local to me was interested in the furniture.It was old fashioned, but clean,in good condition,proper wood.I was sure it'd be useful for someone but I couldn't find them!

TeaBelle Fri 04-Mar-16 21:10:01

If you're on Facebook you could search for selling page local to the house. Then advertise an open house if anyone could make use of the items or hold it as an open house sale if you want to raise a bit of money

bigTillyMint Fri 04-Mar-16 21:27:56

Thanks - I am googling some of the suggestions!

kayessbee Fri 04-Mar-16 21:30:49

We (my sister and I) both lived about 350 miles from the house, so it was a long slog, lots of weekends. My mum died towards the end of March and we finally sold the house in August so we paced ourselves to the schedule dictated by the sale. We moved the smaller stuff first but had a plan for the bigger stuff - we didn't want to leave the house looking too empty. And also wanted it to look OK for the viewings. It was the loft that was the big horror!!!!!!

We used a local auction house to us both as it was easier, brought stuff down in boxes and took it over to them one day for valuing (or BiL did anyway). It was put into the general sale day a few weeks later. We went to the sale day which was being filmed for some BBC programme, can't remember which!! I hid at the back....

It's not easy. Do small manageable chunks at a time, but try to group it ie clear the kitchen one weekend, but know which 'box' each thing goes into before you start - you can always change your mind where something ends up but a bit of a plan is best....

Good luck! I'll keep a watch on your post....

bigTillyMint Fri 04-Mar-16 21:55:40

Sounds like you were very organised!

I'm not sure there's anything of any value, but keeping stuff worth taking to an auction house in one place sounds like a good plan. I will be coming up again in a month so I will need to try finding and contacting possibilities in the next couple of weeks to see if they can come when I am going to be there.

Thelwell Sat 05-Mar-16 07:08:01

British heart foundation were happy to take sofa bed, double divan bed, pots pans crockery etc. I was selling a furnished flat in London from Oz so my agent sorted it out. She said they were fab. It also made me feel good to donate it.

magimedi Sat 05-Mar-16 07:54:49

It is over 20 years since I did this. My sister & I sorted out the stuff we wanted, then had local auction house in who took what the thought they would sell & finally had a house clearance firm in who took the lot - absolutely everything & nearly took my coat as well! I was also some way away from where DM lived & this was the easiest way. House took a long time to sell as sister would not listen to agents & tried for far too high a price.

Good Luck. flowers

QuerkyJo Sat 05-Mar-16 09:07:21

In our area ,mEssex and Herts, the hospice and the air ambulance service both clear houses for a small charge. Definitely worth checking out charities.

bigTillyMint Sat 05-Mar-16 11:42:32

Well, I emailed a possible book dealer last night and he has already replied saying he will come and look at them! So we can arrange a date for when I next go up and hopefully he will take them all smile

Now to find somewhere to take the sewing stuff...

MiracletoCome Sat 05-Mar-16 15:39:23

I'm doing this at the moment as DM died about a month ago sad and didn't realise about the BHF taking furniture and stuff, I looked on their website and they take electricals as well. Have spent today up there sorting and clearing, it's a long job though and there seems to be loads of dust, we took the Dyson up there and emptied about 4 loads of dust.

bigTillyMint Sat 05-Mar-16 17:07:41

Miracle, sorry to hear you have lost your DMflowers

Yes, I think I will ring the BHF to take as much furniture as possible. And the electrical goods.

Charity shops would take bedding, wouldn't they?

Quoteunquote Sat 05-Mar-16 17:14:06

Mid century furniture is in right now, so list carefully as some items go for quite a lot.

Quoteunquote Sat 05-Mar-16 17:19:47

I would keep anything you can use to dress the house for sale.

It makes a great difference to have a bed in a room, white bedding/neutral throw always helps.

You only need a minimum amount of things, but it is important to give each room an identity, some buyers lack imagination.

Make sure the window are very clean, get someone to keep the garden tidy jet wash paths, clean gutters.

Above all keep trickle vents open on windows and keep open all the windows when you are there, put the heating to come on for a short burst twice a day, unloved in houses quickly suffer if nor aired a lot.

bigTillyMint Sat 05-Mar-16 17:40:50

Great, thanks Quote!

Quoteunquote Sat 05-Mar-16 17:42:16

PM me photo of any mid century stuff and I'll tell you if it's worth selling.

bigTillyMint Sat 05-Mar-16 17:58:20

Ooh, that sounds great - will have to wait till I next go up beginning of April, thanks!

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