Having an Estate Sale
When you are facing a challenging decision regarding a personal estate, we can help take the stress out of it for you. You may be the executor of an estate or you may have made a decision to simplify your life by downsizing or moving to a retirement community. No matter the circumstances, the big question is “what will you do with all your personal property?” In many instances, the executor of the estate has their own property and does not need more possessions. Or you may have some valuable items and you don’t have the time, energy or know-how to exchange for a fair price.
Relax! A great way to get the most money for your things is to have an estate sale. On-site estate sales are attracting large crowds every weekend and happy buyers are purchasing everything from the ridiculous to the sublime. Regardless of whether you are a discerning collector, a pack-rat or a little bit of both, an estate sale could be a profitable way for you to downsize.
We are here to help you and we know plenty of people who are willing to wait in line to buy your stuff.
Here are some tips on how to have a successful tag sale/estate sale.
If you are moving, a sketch, photos and some measurements of your new place will be helpful in deciding how much space you’ll have to fill. You can then determine what to keep from your current estate and what you need to sell or liquidate. If the contents of an estate need to be fully sold, first allow the heirs to select the most sentimental objects and antiques or valuables. These items will not be listed in any advertising or marketing materials.
The most successful estate sales contain a mix of antiques, furniture, collectibles and household odds and ends, everything from high end to low end. Things such as kitchenware, linens, and tools can be hot sellers. Items that don’t sell can be donated after the sale. Most agents will handle this for you and give you an itemized receipt for the Internal Revenue Service.
In the case of a move, select what is going to your new home and make arrangements for them to be relocated prior to the sale. It is also important to relocate items set aside for heirs. Your estate sale will be more successful if everything left visible in the house is for sale. Another key decision is when to have the sale. This is best achieved by checking your community calendar to see when, how many and what type of events are scheduled during the time you want to have your sale. You don’t want too much competition.
Be certain your estate sale agent will ensure a successful sale by providing a robust marketing plan, including listings in newspapers and websites, appraisals, photography and staging. An eye-pleasing clean presentation of your belongings will increase your estate sale return. This should include polished silver, sparkling crystal and individual pricing of the items for the sale.
Most estate sale agent’s charge 30 percent of the total amount sold. The agent should pay for expenses such as marketing, signage, photography and materials to run the sale. Often a sales minimum and trash removal costs will apply and these should be covered in a contract. In most cases, the agent’s fee will be recovered because you will likely receive a higher price for the items than you would in a non-professionally priced, marketed and produced sale.
Attending an Estate Sale
Estate sales are one of the easiest ways to furnish your home and/or upgrade and add to your personal property. And if you’re a collector or a reseller you already know how valuable these sales can be.
EstateSales.net is the easiest way to locate an estate sale. Key information you need to know about the sale is in the listing; date and time, forms of payment accepted, and what items you will find. They have a nationwide list of sales and most have photos and a list of the items offered. Many sales do not publish the address until a day before the sale to keep lookie loos from just showing up.
Generally speaking it is not a good idea to bring children or pets to an estate sale. You will want your hands free to shop. Also, many estate sale agents do not allow you to carry large bags into the sale. Moving or hiding items is frowned upon. Please set aside only what you intend to purchase. No hording until you get home.
Every estate sale runs a bit differently. The number system is a common method used. A box of laminated numbers will be put out at a time specified in their listing. If you want to be among the first inside (and you do want to be among the first inside) you simply show up and take a number, and provide it at the door when your number is called. If a problem arises it is up to the agent working the door to resolve the issue. It is quite easy and most shoppers and collectors are an easygoing bunch.
At many estate sales you will find doors and cabinets taped shut. Please respect the wishes of the agent and owners and do not remove the tape. A good rule of thumb is to consider how you would treat your own possessions in your own home and respond according.
Many estate sales post uniform price sheets to save time. This immediately saves you money, as the uniform price sheet is not usually the full value, but is the easiest way to manage bulk items. Often you may see price sheets for books, linens, clothing and other bulk items. Follow the signs and you will not have any problem.
Some estate sales provide boxes that you can fill while you are browsing. These are found near the cash register. If boxes are not provided, just ask the person working the cash table if you may place a few things there to purchase when you are done shopping.
Load up on cash – you will have better bargaining power with cash. And also take your checkbook, because who knows when you will find that perfect high-ticket item.