Happy Holidays, The Season for Gift Giving

Charities and Local Shops Offer Solutions To Home Sellers

Season’s greetings! We are winding down on 2014 and fully engaged in the holiday spirit. Gift giving is daily to friends, employees and family. Donations to charities are going strong, a good topic for today.

In my years as a real estate agent I have been involved in many property exchanges where a residence is sold furnished, but for many reasons the new owners prefer their own furnishings. Or maybe a couple is downsizing and have a slightly used living room or bedroom set they don’t want to move. Many times a seller will stage the home with furnishings and only want a couple items after the sale.

Volunteers of America thrift store in Bradenton
Donations - Volunteers of America employees Tim Pedon and Melissa Tuller greet guests at their store.

We have developed some processes here in the office where we help the seller remove the belongings in ways that benefit them and the community. Organizations here in Sarasota will accept household donations that is a good solution in these cases. The charities receive furniture, clothing, accessories, electronics and even cars and boats for resale. And in return they will give you a receipt of goods donated that you file as deductions with your annual taxes. You also receive satisfaction that you are supporting a valuable organization in the community. Most have trucks and workers that will arrive at your residence and remove your furnishings.

The Volunteers of America and “There are no limits to caring” philosophy has a long list of acceptable items and are eager for large scale donations from homes. They operate a thrift store but also distribute donated items to veterans or families in need.

A donation to Goodwill strengthens the community by creating jobs and supporting families. Their website has a handy guide for donation valuation. These are general items that can be sold, donating a designer handbag may not fall in the range of many categories on this list but it is a good start.

The bell ringers for the Salvation Army remind us of giving every time we exit a retail store. We have also called on them to empty a home after it sold. They support adults with many programs and have special programs for children and families.

Habitat for Humanity, an organization that assists lower income families with housing, is another organization that will accept household belongings. They also operate three outlet stores in Sarasota, two in Bradenton and one in Venice.

There are other charities and you may have your favorites. A growing trend for downsizing is through consignment shops. These work well if you have expensive wardrobes or designer accessories that you recoup a partial cost rather than donating these items. I have seen 60-70 percent returns of the sale price for items you normally would not find in the thrift stores mentioned above. New web sites are popping up that cater to the wealthy. One online store, Poor Little Rich Girl, advertises as a resale shop that accepts designer clothing, accessories and shoes in like new condition. These new online stores are like high-end boutique shops.

Local stores carry high-end furniture as well for consignment. Interior Consignments on South Tamiami Trail promotes higher end furniture for resale. They have different office hours for accepting furniture than their retail store. In Burns Court there is the Sarasota Trading company with its higher-end furnishings.

With these stores you can forego the estate sales and auctions, but I still see enough of them that they are relevant in the current real estate sales process. There are many options, from little involvement on your part to full involvement. We can help with the arrangements after the sale.

I listed two new homes last week that are offered a good value. One is a beautiful updated villa in Emerald Pointe on Longboat Key, and the other is an impeccably updated garden home on Bird Key. Call me today for your exclusive tour, (941) 387-1840. We wish you and your family the best for the holidays and happy new year.

Property Address Price Bed/Bath Photos
573 Bird Key Drive, Sarasota $949,000 4/3.5 Photo Slideshow
1912 Harbour Links Circle, #11 $679,000 3/3.5 Photo Slideshow