If you or a loved one has ever gone through a divorce, downsized, or had a death in the family, chances are you’ve personally been involved with or know someone who has been involved with an estate sale. Unlike your typical yard or garage sale, estate sales are large-scale events in which a family or individual seeks to sell a majority of someone’s possessions, or the contents of a home. Though they can sound intimidating, they are useful for moving large quantities of belongings, and hopefully, result in a tidy profit. In most cases, it’s best to seek the help of a professional to pull off sales of these magnitudes. Despite the fact that things like pricing, selling, and recording will often fall into others’ hands- there are still some key things you should familiarize yourself with if you want your sale to be a success. Here are 6 things to remember before participating in an estate sale.
1. Plan Your Inventory
The first step to pulling off any estate sale is to make a list of all of the items you have. Creating an inventory and making definitive decisions about what to keep, discard, or sell is often one of the more challenging parts of the entire process. Due to sentimentality and emotional attachment, it can be hard for people to sort through all of the potentially viable wares. However, recording and sorting through possessions will enable you to earlier determine objects’ conditions and jump-start the pricing and eventual sale.
2. Advertise Early
When it comes to holding a successful estate sale, one of the best things you can do is to advertise well and advertise early. Making sure that all relevant information can be found in local media sources, as well as around the neighborhood in the form of physical ads, will increase the foot traffic of any sale. Ensure that classifieds and online forums are covered as well, and try to give as much time as possible. Ideally, giving yourself at least a month to set up a sale will boost attendance by regular sale-goers and professional buyers alike.
3. Don’t Be Quick to Trash
Even though you may want to get rid of unnecessary inventory quickly, it’s important to remember that some of the items you deem unworthy could actually pique the most interest. Though interests change and clothes and furniture styles may not currently be on-trend, some pieces are surprisingly valuable. As outlined on this site, things like beanie babies can be worth thousands of dollars if they are the right make and year. By keeping your impulse to trash seemingly worthless pieces under control, you may be able to uncover a treasure trove of hidden valuables.
4. A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words
In budgeting for an estate sale, one of the most pressing line items to include is photography. A crucial expense, estate sales rely on good quality photographs of every single item for sale purposes as well as documentation. In order for a sale to take place, all of the objects going up for sale must be immortalized in color and kept for records. More importantly, exciting and visually stimulating images are used to drum up interest and to get eyes on big-ticket items. In this case, the more pictures the better.
5. Make It An Event
Like any big event, an estate sale should be made to look clean and inviting. The sale location should be immaculate and all for-sale goods should look presentable and in good condition. You want any potential buyers to be intrigued and feel confident in the quality of the goods being presented. In addition to this, it’s important that you consider the flow of potential foot traffic. To ensure that buyers have unobstructed sightlines and access, make sure to present items strategically and avoid overcrowding specific areas.
6. Have A Contingency Plan
Before you even consider participating in an estate sale, you should always have a plan for those items that don’t sell. With several family members involved, or differing viewpoints offering opposing ideas on what should be done, it’s important that everyone is on the same page. Furthermore, if there are time restraints on getting rid of items, you may have to get creative. Considering donation or environmental upcycling is far better than leaving large amounts of waste, and can even save you money in fines.
Usually, circumstances surrounding an estate sale can be quite morose or stressful. Even if they aren’t, estate sales require a lot of planning and meticulous attention to detail that can be overwhelming. Before any participation in a sale of this size, the 6 considerations listed above can help mitigate failure and keep you focused on the task at hand. By remembering some of these tips and strategies your sale is sure to go off without a hitch- and with lots and lots of sold goods.