As home cleanout and content liquidation specialists, we are contacted multiple times each day from people who are either moving, downsizing, settling an estate or handling the affairs of an elderly loved and want to clean out their house and sell their home contents. Most of the people who call, begin by telling us they have a variety of items ranging from kitchen sets, living room sets, bedroom sets, china cabinets filled with all kinds of things and believe that buyers will want to flock to their home for a chance to buy their contents.
Let’s face it, we all think our home is worth a million bucks and the things that we have accumulated over the years are beautiful and everyone will surely want to buy them…right? Wrong.
Things have really changed over the last few years. Items that people thought were valuable years ago, such as collectable figurines or china cabinets filled with plates and glassware are no longer in style. Furniture that is still functional but is 20 years old is just not in style or in demand today. We have found that 50 is the magic age. People over the age of 50 already have many of the things that people want to sell and do not want any more of it. People under age 50 simply do not have interest in many of the things that people want to sell. It all boils down to style, age, condition and desirability. We always tell people that it does not matter what you paid for it…something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.
This is part of a continuing series of helpful articles from Joe Santoro and Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers to assist you in home downsizing, content liquidation and full service discount real estate services. Personal Property Managers services clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Our clients are often shocked to find out that no one in their family wants their china or old dining room set, but they still believe that someone else will certainly want it. Doesn’t it tell you something when your own family or friends don’t want your stuff?
Millennials and Gen Xers are resistant to the influx of furniture, kitchenware, and general stuff that comes with their parents’ downsizing.
Parents are often frustrated that they cannot even donate it. Then there is the challenge of content disposal and the transportation of it. When folks tell us their stuff is 20 or 30 years old, we have to tell them that there is little to no value to it. They often then get frustrated and don’t want to pay for the transportation costs associated with loading, driving and unloading their stuff just to get rid of it.
What about antiques? Unfortunately, the antique market has dropped off dramatically for all the same reasons. The younger generation just does not have the interest that there was some 15 to 20 years ago with antiques. So what is hot? Its furniture and items that are more contemporary in style and age. Items that are 3 – 7 years old and in great condition still have a market. This is typically called transitional furniture. We always ask people, how much would you pay for a 20 year old couch? If the answer is, I would not…or maybe $20…well then you really have your answer…don’t you?
It’s not all that surprising when you think about it. For one thing, younger generations might not have the space to store table service for 12. The average age of homeownership has been pushed back, and the number of millennials who own homes is at a record low.
Experts say it’s partly economic — 20- and 30-somethings buckling under student-loan debt and having trouble securing work right out of school don’t have the disposable income for many of the traditional life markers, like buying a home or getting married — but these grown kids may also have different value systems. On top of this 40 and 50-year-old parents are struggling with trying to figure out how to pay for their kids’ college and are nervous with today’s ever changing job market.
Consider some of the movements of the past few years:
Tiny houses. Tiny houses are less costly and have extremely limited storage. But that’s not deterring the people flocking to more-limited living space.
Scaled down capsule wardrobes. One of the hottest trends in the fashion blogosphere in the past few years is the capsule wardrobe, in which you wear only a fraction of the clothes you own, ultimately aiming to isolate those you no longer need.
Early retirement. The way people retire is changing, and some people are doing it earlier than ever through a combination of aggressive frugality and extreme saving.
Renting everything. Many younger adults see the appeal of renting everything, including homes phones and cars; and companies are happy to help them do it.
Experiences over things. Psychological research has repeatedly found that spending money on experiences rather than tangible things makes people happier, a concept embraced by 20- and 30-somethings, some of whom even cast aside traditional jobs and lifestyles to travel the world.
Large expenses – College bills and Credit card debt. Both parents and younger adults do not have the disposable income that was available years ago due to large college loans and ever-growing credit card debt
Low cost new furniture. The market place is flooded with new and lower priced furniture that is more in line with today’s style and preferences. It may not last as long as the well-made furniture of the past, but today’s buyers get bored with their furniture after 7 to 10 years and would rather buy new furniture and change the look of their home more frequently.
The younger adult generations simply want something different from their parents.
The good news is that we can help clean-out your house, help downsize family’s homes and liquidate your contents for items that are saleable and in demand. We offer on-site estate sale services and can remove contents and sell them via our array of proprietary resources.
For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with EveryHome Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.