How To Have An Estate Sale In 10 Steps
1. Invite Family Members To Take Mementos
This step is essential to prevent arguments and ill will. There should be a designated day or series of days for the owner’s loved ones to rummage through the home for mementos.
With any hope, the procedure will go without incident. Prepare yourself for tension. Since this involves family, emotions may run high. Siblings may argue over prized possessions. Cousins may assert that only they can represent Nana’s desires. Your aunts and uncles may doubt your authority.
Avoid taking things personally. Conduct a family gathering. Draw lots, hold votes, and do whatever is necessary to achieve agreement. You must have the support of your family. Ensure they are aware of the date of the sale and that any items left unclaimed by that date will be available for purchase. If the selling earnings are to be distributed among heirs, an agreement must be reached prior to the sale.
2. Take Inventory
Create a list of everything as you traverse the home. Yes, to every question. Every trinket, knickknack and ornament. Write a thorough description. Alternatively, you may take images with your phone and then sit down to go through them while writing. Organize your inventory by category and by room in order to simply locate everything. On a scale from “mint condition” to “practically ruined,” rate its condition.
You will price products using this list. At the sale, you will cross or check off anything that sells from this list. This is how you will monitor the sale’s progress.
Notate things that are not available for purchase. Ensure you are aware of their location so you may retrieve them later.
3. Clean Items And Make Repairs
Most goods will be sold as-is. A few pieces may need a dab of superglue or a quick scrub. Polish tarnished silver or steel items to increase their market value.
4. Set Prices
This is among the most onerous duties involved in conducting an estate sale on your own. How much do items cost? Unique objects may appear tough to price.
Dig in. Start your research. Online is an excellent starting point. Look for comparable things on Craigslist or in the “sold items” section of eBay. Peruse thrift stores and antique shops.
Remember that customers at estate sales are price seekers. If there is a pricing range, feel free to select the higher price and expect to negotiate. In general, though, there is less haggling at estate sales than at garage sales. Consider being cautious. Estatesales.org gives a price guide that is valuable.
Consider using a qualified appraiser. Typically, an appraiser may speed through a home and swiftly locate valuable objects. The hourly rates vary from $75 to $500, although the work should not take long. For that expenditure, you can be certain that you will not sell a Batman comic book in pristine condition for $5 when collectors value it at $5,000.
Once you’ve assigned a price to every item in your inventory, you should mark that price on every item in your home. This is where inventory organized by room and thorough descriptions come in handy! Stickers with pricing written by hand are OK.
5. Prepare For Traffic
With any hope, a large number of individuals will be entering and exiting the store with the purpose to make a purchase. Make things simple for them. Maintain traffic lanes throughout the residence. Currently, bedrooms are “showrooms.” Rearrange them somewhat. Place products against the walls, leaving the center empty. Alternately, place the merchandise on a table in the center of the room so consumers may surround it.
Consider where shoppers may pause and contemplate products. You do not want them to feel as if they are being hustled by a customer “in line” behind them.
Verify that no table is too crowded. As a result, individuals will disregard goods that they might have otherwise been interested in.
6. Mark Off-limits Items
Put a “NOT FOR SALE” sign on anything you like. Still, buyers will harass you about them in an attempt to get you to sell. If you really do not want to be disturbed by your chosen keepers, store them in a closed room or closet. If the door is unlocked, barricade it with a “DO NOT ENTER” sign.
7. Arrange Security Measures
All day, and potentially for many days, strangers will be entering and exiting the home. We cannot emphasize enough that no entry or exit should be unattended. You are essentially inviting folks to leave without paying for merchandise. You should keep a close check on your guests as much as possible. At an estate auction, there is a severe lack of honor. Observe individuals slipping stuff into the folds of bulky coats. Prepare yourself for dealing with shoplifters.
A safe lockbox should be used to store currency and coins. Probably, jewelry and other tiny, precious goods should be stored in the cash box. Customers are able to sort through them before their eyes.
8. Advertise Your Sale
This is the most important stage. If nobody attends your estate auction, nothing will be sold. If no one hears about the event, no one will attend. Start publicizing it at least one week beforehand.
Where should you place your ads? Local newspapers are an excellent starting point. Additionally, online bulletin boards and forums attract buyers for estate sales. Look for estate sale-specific forums in your region, particularly on prominent sites such as Reddit.
Post a notice in the “Garage Sales” section of Craigslist. Specify that it is a “estate sale” and ensure that you understand the distinction!
Do not overlook social media. Members of Facebook groups for local reselling may be interested in your estate sale. Post to your own Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat profiles. Encourage your followers to “share” the announcement on their social media accounts.
Old-fashioned signs are as effective. Put up signs at least one week in advance. The date, time, and location of the sale should be prominently displayed on signs in large, easy-to-read font with arrows pointing in the direction of the sale. Check local signage laws and/or HOA signage regulations to prevent conflict.
You have the option to use images in your social media and forum advertisements. Do not skip this step. Pictures generate more interest in your estate sale than anything else. Take high-quality, well-lit photographs of important objects. Large objects and collectibles such as antiques, comic books, and sports memorabilia usually attract attention.
9. Recruit Helpers
Do not attempt to conduct an estate sale by yourself. You will need someone to monitor consumers, protect exits, payout clients, and potentially assist with moving or loading large things. Family and friends may labor for food. Who’s up for a pizza party at the vacant estate during the cleanup?
10. Plan For Unsold Items
If everything in the home sells, you have been fortunate. There will most likely be leftovers. Hopefully, all desired items were selected in Step 1. You can just discard leftovers, but the previous owner may not have desired that.
Donating unsold items to organizations such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army is frequently a worthwhile option. You get a tax deduction and the products are donated to a worthy charity. Donation centers may be able to send a truck or van if you arrange it beforehand. Otherwise, you or a volunteer may be required to arrange the transfer of unsold goods to a donation site.