Everyone likes a good garage sale. Where else besides a seedy flea market can you find furniture for less than $10.00 and children’s toys for fifty cents each? If you are thinking of hold a garage sale, however, make sure your legal back is covered.
Legal Issues with Garage Sales: Government Restrictions
In some states and counties, garage sales are regulated by the government. You might have to file paperwork in order to have your garage sale, and there might be laws that control where you can advertise. Check with your local government to ascertain what laws might apply.
Legal Issues with Garage Sales: Neighborly Boundaries
Where does your yard end and your neighbors’ begin? When holding a garage sale, make sure that you aren’t accidentally using your neighbors’ property for your own benefit. Neighbors can get pretty angry about this type of thing, and you don’t want to make any enemies.
Legal Issues with Garage Sales: Parked Cars
Large garage sales will typically draw lots of people, and therefore several cars. Make sure that someone regulates where visitors are parking their cars so you don’t block your neighbors’ driveways or fire hidrants. If you find that this is a problem, simply ask them to move their vehicles to a less obstructive location while the browse.
Legal Issues with Garage Sales: Community Rules
I know that it sounds ridiculous, but some communities (i.e. neighborhoods) have rules against garage sales in their homeowners manual. Most of these types of communities have semi-annual garage sales during which all members of the community are invited to participate. If you can’t wait for one of those, however, consider asking one of your friends to hold the garage sale at their house.
Legal Issues with Garage Sales: Appraisals
There is nothing worse than selling an old hutch for $20.00, and then seeing it three weeks later on sale at an antique shop for $500.00. You don’t have any legal recourse then because the sale is complete, so have older items appraised before you practically give them away.
Legal Issues with Garage Sales: Carefully Mark Property
If you aren’t careful at your garage sale, you’ll have strangers traipsing through your house and trying to purchase your cuttlery. If you don’t clearly mark boundaries – where the garage sale begins and where it ends – you might end up with a few uninvited house guests. Put signs on doors that say “No Entry” and mark off your yard with ropes to discourage the curious.