Since it's the busy season for garage and estate sales, and you're probably seeing ads and flyers for them everywhere, we thought we would go over the basics of estate sales! If you are interested in setting up an estate sale, contact us! We have great community contacts that would love to discuss the process for your unique sale!
Why have an estate sale?
Estate sales are commonly held when the entire contents of a home needs to be liquidated quickly. Typically, though not always, estate sales present a good option when someone passes away and their heirs either do not want or do not have space for an entire home’s worth of belongings. In some cases of a death in the family, the deceased’s will may mandate an estate sale or the sale is required to pay debts on behalf of an estate. Sometimes, an estate sale is the best option when you’re looking to relocate/downsize or in cases of divorce, foreclosure, or court-ordered liquidation.
What’s the difference between an estate sale and a garage sale?
The clearest difference between an estate sale and a garage sale is the amount of items for sale. Obviously, if you host a garage sale, attendees are not going to arrive expecting every single thing in your home to be on offer. With an estate sale, typically ALL the contents of a home are available for sale because that’s the whole goal - to clear out the house completely.
"I think this may be a good option for me - how do I go about having an estate sale?"
We would strongly suggest contracting a professional company to manage an estate sale. The logistics of the sale can get overwhelming, from sorting/clearing, pricing, and negotiating. A professional service will typically work for a percentage of the profit from the sale, so it’s in both of your best interests to maximize the amount of revenue. They will also advertise the sale to get the best buyers there, based on their experience with selling the kinds of items in your home. On a more personal level, a professional company is also not going to experience the sentimentality you may when liquidating the home and in many cases, avoiding that emotional burden is worth their fees alone.
Obviously, your mileage may vary when contracting a professional service and there may be room for judgment. For example, if you sale includes highly-specific items, sets of antiques, etc., it may be worth contacting a professional broker for those specific items to assess the best way to liquidate. For the bulk of home goods and furniture however, an estate sale management company is likely experience enough with the market to get the best price for your inventory.