828 Update

  • Happy Independence Day! July 4, 2018 by REALTY 828

    Please remember,

    Not all animals like the sound of fireworks. Statistics show more animals get lost of the 4th of July than any other holiday. Please make sure your animal collars are on and the contact information is correct on animal tags and chips. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

  • Dealing With Kids’ Stuff Who’ve Left The Nest May 2, 2018 by REALTY 828

    Kid clutter may be one of the easiest category of excess stuff in your home to deal with, at least in my opinion. When kids no longer share your space the stuff they leave behind is just clutter for you.

    When sharing living space with someone, be it a spouse, child or roomate, you’ve got to have some give and take, and compromise is often in order. However, if you don’t have room for someone’s stuff who doesn’t live there, you are not required to hold onto it any longer and have to make some difficult decisions.

    Wait, don’t just start throwing it all out today though. You see, making decisions about someone else’s stuff, such as to trash or sell it, is a big no no. However, you can give your kids (or anyone else who is storing stuff in your home) a reasonable amount of notice to remove their stuff from your home, along with telling them what you’ll do with it if they don’t remove it by the deadline. This is a simple and fair way to deal with this type of stuff, which treats both your adult and independent kids and yourself with respect.

    Dealing With Kid Clutterers

     The scenario changes, however, when your kids are still living with you, and they are the ones with the clutter. Whether they pay rent or not, you’ve chosen to share your space with them out of love and dedication, and you should consider their feelings and emotions when dealing with their stuff.

    They are your kids though, so to an extent, you can dictate what they do. Perhaps some of you are laughing at this — it is true, you can only control anyone so much. However, you can’t argue that you have more control and authority over your kids than with just about anyone else.

    That means, at least to a certain extent, you can tell your kids to go clean up their room and get rid of half of their stuff if you want to. However, I would urge you to temper your authority with compassion. Just like you, kids can often suffer from emotions chaining them to their clutter. In many cases those behaviors and emotions can be tied to me or lessons you’ve taught them, perhaps unconsciously.

    Therefore, treat the decluttering process with your kid clutterer as a learning process. You can help them address the emotional aspects of decluttering, along with teaching them practical tips and tricks for organizing and purging items from your home. This addresses the clutter problem in your home, and also helps prepare your kids for their lives once they have their own homes to take care of.

    Get Professional Help If You Need It

    If you need help working through guilt that you might have to overcome as you establish these type of healthy compassionate boundaries, consider talking to a therapist who can help you realize that you are not an ogre. Or call us here at Art of Downsizing and we are happy to listen. Both Cindy and Michelle are trained counselors and have worked through these issues in our own lives.


    Article by Michelle Munson.

    For more information on downsizing contact Michelle at The Art of Downsizing 828-772-5959.



  • Quick Asheville Market Snapshot April 26, 2018 by REALTY 828

    This spring the inventory is very low. There MLS system is currently showing less than 1200 homes for sale in Buncombe County. According to Realtor.com the median listing price is $359,000. The price per square foot is $206 and the median closing price is $295,000.

    We are seeing the homes under $350,000 are selling quickly. In the last 60 days there has been roughly 550 homes sold. 295 homes are under $300,000. 122 homes are between $300-$400,000. 70 homes between $400-$500,000 and only 80 homes over $500,000.


  • Getting An Appraisal To Sell Estate Jewelry April 25, 2018 by REALTY 828

    Most people like things that are shiny and new — including cars, phones and jewelry. No matter how practical you claim to be, you may have a secret desire to buy diamonds, gold and other eye-catching precious gems. You can take pride in things of value because you know how hard you worked to afford them or what they meant to their former owners.

    If you’ve inherited something valuable, it carries additional sentimental value. Inherited jewelry, for example, may be the most difficult things to sell, for both emotional and financial reasons. Once you get over the hurdle and decide to sell it, you’re faced with another hurdle: learning to sell estate jewelry can be a difficult process.

    Changing Times

    With so many emotions at stake, you have to find trustworthy people to deal with. Unfortunately, the state of the world in 2018 makes it hard to find people who will be straightforward with you. Jewelry appraisal requires a truly objective process. Evaluating gold, silver and gemstones should produce similar results no matter who you ask.

    While jewelers are highly trained to determine the value of jewelry, they may keep their best interests at heart if you’re looking to sell to them. And pawn shop brokers may not live up to their grimy stereotype, but don’t trust them to give you the optimal price when you want to sell estate jewelry. This is where Art of Downsizing shines. As a local business in Western North Carolina, we care about our neighbors and have honest connections in all related fields. We will find the right appraiser for you.

    Your New Best Friend

    Finding an appraiser who is honest with you about the true value of your jewelry is exactly what you need. You don’t want them to sugarcoat the truth if an item your loved one held dear is little more than pretty costume jewelry, or the stones are not of high quality. You also don’t want them to underappreciate something because they have a personal stake in its sale.

    You can do a quick Google search and find thousands of results for regional appraisers. But you don’t know any of them. Instead, choose Art of Downsizing, a local business with connections to the most reputable appraisers in the area. We’re not a fly-by-night business. We’re going to stay here — it’s our home, too — and we always have your best interest at stake.

    Taking Care of the Details

    When you go to sell estate jewelry, you want to know you’re getting the best price. Selling previously owned jewelry is not an easy task, so having a current appraisal can make the difference in completing the sale, and at a fair price. With a full written appraisal, you will have documentation of the facts and can justify your asking price. A good appraisal will also include digital images.

    After the appraisal, we report back to you with the findings. Then it’s up to you whether you want to keep your jewelry or sell it at an estate sale, online or at auction. If the jewelry is valuable, and you are agreeable, we often recommend that you move forward with the sale because:

    1. Storing jewelry improperly can damage its value.
    2. Some pieces of jewelry go in and out of style. If you decide to sell estate jewelry, sell while you can and while the appraisal is current.
    3. People may not flock to your offerings immediately, so sometimes you need to be patient. Be prepared to wait to get your price.

    Getting your jewelry to the right buyer will deliver your best return. We can make the connections and do much of the paperwork for you, so you don’t have to worry about any of it.


    Article by Michelle Munson.

    For more information on downsizing contact Michelle at The Art of Downsizing 828-772-5959.



  • How To Liquidate An Estate, From Knickknacks To Furniture April 21, 2018 by REALTY 828

    When faced with a task you’ve never had to tackle before, it’s often best not to procrastinate because it’s likely going to take longer than you anticipate. A death in the family hits like a ton of bricks. And before you have time to properly mourn, you’re forced to learn how to liquidate an estate of a loved one.

    With the compassionate team at Art of Downsizing on your side, you’re never alone in the process. When you begin to plan how to liquidate an estate, you must first know what exactly it is you’re selling. Removing or sequestering the things you know you want to keep and then nailing down a list of items you want to include in the sale eases your stress and keeps you organized. Once this is done, you can roll up your sleeves and start researching, tagging and pricing.

    The Game Plan

    The reality of any successful operation begins with extensive planning. Do you think the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018 without a rock-solid plan for success from the start? Nope! Developing a plan of attack where everyone does his part is as essential to the success of an estate sale as it is for a football game. Believe it.

    Arranging and staging items in highly specific categories may seem tedious in the moment, but it ultimately helps you organize a successful estate sale. For example, don’t simply create a section or room of furniture and collectables. Instead, group and display items according to categories, such as:
    ● Outdoor summer furniture
    ● Antique furniture
    ● Hummel figurines
    ● Baseball card collection

    Divide and Conquer

    One thing we always have to remind people is that it’s OK to ask for help. American culture really puts pressure on people to do things themselves, sometimes to the point of nervous breakdowns. When you are forced to learn how to liquidate an estate because there’s no one else in the family who has time to do it, don’t go it alone; not only will it be labor-intensive, but you’ll make mistakes as well.
    Whether you choose to hire Art of Downsizing or rally up some willing friends and beg family to aid in the liquidation process, getting help is a positive move in every way. Use your strengths in organizing or in sales, and let others pick up where you lack the skills or expertise. There’s no shame in asking for help. Follow instead the rule of that great 60s band and “get by with a little help from your friends!”

    Process of Elimination

    The main facet of how to liquidate an estate is knowing when to compromise. It can come in the form of a haggler trying to whittle down the price of an item or settling debates between two family members who want the same keepsake. Because all of the pieces in your sale might not be high demand liquidation material, it’s important to keep things in perspective.
    If there are certain “big ticket” pieces you want to sell first — like expensive furniture, china or jewelry — place those on your list of high priorities. Market them properly to your potential buyers so they understand you know the value. Consider holding the sale over two or three days with sequential discounts in order to entice buyers back who were hesitant to purchase on the first day. Offer a bid box for those who want to make an offer on an item in the case that it doesn’t sell.
    Be sure to exhaust all your options. Develop back-up plans upon back-up plans. Focus less on things with low monetary value, especially if you don’t mind donating them. And bring in professionals when you just can’t do it alone or when you want someone else to take care of everything for you. Call Art of Downsizing at (828) 772-5959. We listen to your needs and make informed suggestions to help accomplish what you need done.