Estate Sale: How Do Estate Sales Work?

When a homeowner passes away or moves to an assisted living facility, their family members typically host an estate sale. The family must sell the loved one’s possessions before a real estate agent can list the property. Downsizing and divorce are also reasons for estate liquidation. A typical estate sale, or tag sale, takes place over two to three days. Sales often begin on Thursday or Friday and last until Saturday or Sunday. Most estate sale companies appraise, photograph, and price items beforehand. When comparing the costs of estate sale services, be sure to interview a lot of companies and provide them with a lot of details.

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This may involve reducing prices by a certain percentage or offering bundle deals for purchasing multiple items together. In addition to pricing, an estate seller should properly display and organize the items within the home. Place similar items together, create appealing displays, and use clear signage or labels with prices and relevant information. This will make shopping easier for potential buyers and encourage them to explore more.

Written Plan for Auction Items

With enough incentive, some charities may even pick up items directly from your location. Often, items at an estate sale are more personal, plus you can shop a variety of items in one day rather than searching store after store. “Estate sales allow you to find unique items that might have a story,” says Molly Blankenship, design consultant and seasoned estate sale shopper. It gives each item a context and imbues it with narrative, allowing you to see where it came from and maybe even learn a bit about the person who previously owned it. If you decide to hire a company, how do you find a good one? The Internet and the phone book are both good ways to find professional estate sale managers in your area, and most companies have a website where you can read all about them. Estate sale companies might also call themselves appraisal companies, which mean they’re experts in knowing the value of items.

Or, the property is situated in a remote area with substandard roads. If getting to the house is a challenge, the estate sale company may want to be compensated for that extra work. Naturally, the estate sale company wants the sale to generate enough income to compensate them for their work. This means that the total value of all sale items must meet or exceed a certain dollar value. Serious buyers should come to an estate sale with an adequately-filled wallet. Try to avoid dates when other people are holding estate sales in your area, to reduce competition.

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Luckily, your estate sale provides a little bit of room for error. Because they typically span over two to three days, you can always reduce prices if you think you’ve priced them too high. Your sale organizer will typically take care of this in-house.

It’s particularly difficult to stage an estate sale following the death of a loved one. It can be challenging to organize so many moving pieces during grief, both your own and that of other family members. Going through a loved one’s personal belongings can stir a great deal of emotion, which can reveal itself in surprising ways. EstateExec found that almost half of their survey respondents were aware of family conflict during the settlement of an estate. Estate sales are not just larger than garage sales, they are also more emotionally significant.

All items 25% off (or 50%, etc.)

When you hire an estate sale company, you’re employing a staff of people to come into your home, evaluate and inventory your items, hold a sale, and clean up after themselves. It’s a job that takes days to complete, and requires many hours of labor.

An estate sale is like a liquidation sale in which every asset in a house is converted into cash to settle a debt. It involves making an inventory of all the items in the house, setting prices, marketing and managing the sale. Before choosing a company, call around, comparing rates and services.

Hopefully, this is a moment where you can feel pleasantly surprised at how much you’ve made. “It gives the greatest number of buyers a chance to afford a home and professional representation, while also giving sellers access to the greatest number of buyers,” Williams said. For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. On the first day of a sale, hosts typically are not flexible with pricing.