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How to Host an Estate Sale

Considering the percentage that professional estate sale companies take, you may be wondering if you can do it yourself and pocket more of the proceeds. Give yourself a month or a little longer as planning an estate sale takes much longer than you might expect – especially if it’s your first time. To help guide you through the sale, we compiled a list of details to consider.

First, Take Inventory

Many items in the estate shouldn’t be placed up for sale because they are either already spoken for, willed to someone in the family, or are far more valuable to the family members than they’d be in a sale. Take time to remove from consideration any item that fits in these or other important categories. Once you’ve decided on what items are eligible for selling, you may want to consider whether to host the moving estate sale yourself or work with a professional liquidator or estate sale company.

After you’ve decided who is responsible for hosting the moving estate sale, the remaining items should begin to be organized and inventoried.

Analyzing Pricing

Research is the key to pricing goods for an estate sale. Some of the things you think will bring a lot of money won’t — and some things you might not even plan to include may be the very first things to sell. If you have valuable antiques or collectibles to sell, consider hiring a professional appraiser to help you set a price. Depending on what they’re worth, selling those specific things at auction may be a better way to go. You can also compare prices on sites like eBay, Etsy, 1st Dibs, and Ruby Lane. Remember, you’re looking to see what people have already paid, not at the list prices sellers are currently hoping to get.

Prepare Your Sale Items

Especially for high-dollar items, take time to clean the pieces in the recommended way for their composition. It often pays to make your estate sale items look as good as possible and to ensure that the tagging you use doesn’t damage the item. Consider secure but removable options, like painter’s tape or a tag that doesn’t puncture upholstery or leave a residue.

Spread the Word

Word of mouth is great, but you can also use community bulletin boards, yard signs, and social media marketplaces to share the word about your sale. Visuals are important for both social media and online advertising. So be sure to include tantalizing photos of the more impressive items in your estate sale.

Although you can choose to take on the moving estate sale tasks yourself, professional estate sale companies are available and are motivated to bring their expertise. For moving more items and getting more visitors to your sale, as well as saving you time, professional estate sale companies might be the way to host your moving estate sale.