Real Estate Tips July 6, 2023

What is an Estate Sale and When Should you do one?

What is an Estate Sale and when should you do one?  Most people think of an estate sale as the selling off of all of a homeowner’s possessions after they pass away.  That is certainly when a lot of estate sales happen.  Estate sales also may happen when the homeowner moves into assisted living or with a family member.  They can also take place when a homeowner is looking to downsize.  At some point, a lot of homeowners decide they are no longer in need of the amount of space they have in their home, and they are ready for less upkeep and maintenance.  This is a great time to downsize.  Once you have an idea of the size of your new home and your current home is under contract, you can have an estate sale to sell they furniture and other items that you do not plan to move.

When the estate sale is going to take place prior to the sale of the home, I suggest that the owners and/or close family members go through the home and remove any items they wish to keep.  There really is no need to do anything else.  Next the estate sale company will come in and organize and price everything.  They will sell things you might not expect such as open cleaning supplies, food in the pantry, open spice containers and more.  They are informed on what items are worth and will sell for.  It’s important to work with a reputable company.  A reputable company will make the homeowner (or other responsible party) aware of any items they come across that they feel the family may want to keep but may have missed.  It’s not unheard of for them to find cash hidden various places.

When the estate sale is going to take place after the sale of the home.  The items to be sold need to be separated from the items to kept.  Again, the company will go through and price everything.

Estate sale companies will often times list items for sale online prior to the actual sale.  The sale itself can happen in 2 ways.  They can advertise a sale and make it open to the public.  They can also do a sale by appointment only.

What happens to items that don’t sell?  If the estate sale company has a physical store, they may agree to buy the items and place them in their store.  Items may also be donated to a local charity.

How do estate sale companies get paid?  Some companies take a percentage of the sales.  40% is a typical percentage to expect to pay.  Other companies charge by the hour.  I think in the end, most people would agree that they walk away with at least as much money as they would have if they conducted the sale on their own.  They will also agree that it saved them a lot of time and stress.

When should you do an estate sale?  If you are looking to downsize or sell the contents of a now vacant home, contact me and I can connect you with some great estate sale companies.  Let me and other professionals guide you through what can be a daunting process.  I can make it easier for you!