How Should I Prepare for an Estate Sale?

Estate sale
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Organizing an estate sale can be overwhelming.

Your loved one has died and left behind a house and a lifetime of possessions.

Although some of these have special meaning to you and the rest of your family, much of the possessions hold no personal value.

Whether you are selling or moving into the property, the excess clutter and physical assets have to go.

According to a recent US News & World Report article titled “Estate Sales for Beginners,” many people left in charge of the estates of their loved ones choose to hold estate sales in situations like these.

An estate sale can help reduce clutter.
Hosting an estate sale take a lot of time and energy.

Should you choose to have an estate sale, the decisions you make can either simplify or complicate the process.

How can you make your efforts more successful?

Give Yourself Time to Prepare.

Have you ever held a garage sale or yard sale?

If yes, you know these take time to plan and prepare.

Estate sales take even more time, if you want to make a profit.

Start planning early and elicit help from family, friends, and professionals.

Allowing family members an opportunity to shop in advance, either through a lottery system or through discounted pricing.

After items have been divided among loved ones, you may find you no longer need to have a sale.

Instead, you may choose to simply donate the remaining items.

Determine Whether You Want to Hire a Professional.

Hiring an estate sale service can reduce your responsibility.

It will also increase the financial cost to you.

Many companies take a commission between 30 percent and 45 percent of the gross profits.

Because these professionals manage the majority of the logistics, many families find this expense worth the value provided.

Try Selling Some Stuff Yourself.

Selling a few expensive items is far easier than managing an entire house filled with possessions.

If you choose to sell these bigger items, you can have more control over negotiation and do not have to pay commissions on the sale of these items.

Arrange for the Event to be as Professional as Possible.

Should you choose to bypass hiring a professional to oversee your estate sale, you will certainly save money.

Even so, you should do your best to give it a professional atmosphere.

Advertise the event and list several key items people will find at the sale like sterling silver or antiques.

Playing music on the day of the event can encourage customers to browse longer and purchase more.

Remember, people will try to negotiate.

Know in advance what you are willing to accept and consider offering discounts for those who purchase more.

When scheduling, keep in mind estate sales last one to two days.

Whether you secure the services of a professional or choose to oversee the estate sale yourself, give yourself time to prepare emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Reference: US News & World Report (Dec. 22, 2021) “Estate Sales for Beginners”

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