Written by David Verbrugge, Kingsway Real Estate Brokerage
Like many of you reading this, I first learned about Furniture Bank while idly browsing the internet. I was on Twitter following a trail of social media posts about a real-estate topic, “Selling Your Home” and came across a tweet that mentioned Furniture Bank. “What an interesting name”, I thought to myself, “How do they bank furniture?” I found their website and started reading.
Until then, I figured that the only way to dispose of unwanted furniture was to sell it privately or call someone to dispose of it in the landfill. I learned that Furniture Bank accepts gently used furniture and housewares and makes these items available to people who are transitioning out of homelessness or displacement. What a great way to help your community!
From my perspective as a REALTOR®, there are 4 major opportunities where donating furniture can save you time and money when selling your home.
1. DONATE FURNITURE BEFORE STAGING
When you are selling your home, your REALTOR® will advise you to reduce clutter and may suggest staging. You may need to move furniture and other belongings to free up space or to give the stager room to work. If some of these items aren’t going to make the move with you then this is a great time to donate them to Furniture Bank instead of putting them into storage.
2. DONATE INSTEAD OF PAYING A MOVER
Do you really want to pay a mover to bring stuff you don’t want to your new home where you will have to find a place for it until you buy something better? Instead of paying a mover to cart your unwanted items from home to home, you could save money by donating your unwanted household items before you move. Donating unwanted items before you move means you’ll have space for new furniture at your new home and you save money by not paying a mover for these items.
3. SAVE TIME AND HEADACHE OF POSTING ONLINE
When a client tells me they have household items and furniture to get rid of, I recommend they call Furniture Bank. It just makes sense to me. What are the alternatives? Giving it away may work for some but it’s not always an option. Likewise, selling stuff on Craig’s List seems easy but the price has to be right and you have to be willing to negotiate price and delivery which can take time.
4. PAY FURNITURE REMOVAL INSTEAD OF JUNK REMOVAL
Lastly, throwing furniture away usually means paying for someone to bring it to the landfill. If the furniture is still usable, I think the best way to ethically dispose of it is to donate it to an organization that helps less fortunate people set up a home.
Furniture Bank is pleased to accept your donation at their many locations if you can bring your unwanted items to them. If you prefer them to pick up your stuff, there is a charge for the service. The cost to have Furniture Bank pick up your gently used items is on par with the amount charged by companies that will take it to the landfill but take note: because Furniture Bank is a registered charity, they can provide charitable tax receipts for the fair market value of the items being donated. Visit their website at www.furniturebanks.org.
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