Estate sales are commonly run by professionals on behalf of a deceased property owner. However, you may hold your own estate sale for many reasons:
- if you are downsizing
- if you are moving to a facility where you are unable to keep your belongings (assisted living, retirement home, etc)
- if you want to get rid of unnecessary items to avoid foreclosure
Why hold your own estate sale?
The bottom line is that running your own estate sale saves you money. Not only must you pay a professional for his/her services, but you’ll also have to fork over a pretty penny for advertising, research, security, refreshments and other fees. The professional will often take a percentage of the profit, as well, which could run anywhere between 20 and 50%! If there has been a death in the family, it may be too overwhelming for you to conduct the estate sale of your loved one’s belongings. However, if any of the abovementioned reasons apply to you, it would be a great idea to run the sale by yourself.
What are the logistics?
Depending on the amount of items you want to sell, estate sales last from one to three days. There is often a price reduction at the end of the last day, to ensure that every item has been sold. The advantage of hiring a professional is that he/she will do extensive research in order to accurately price your precious pieces. However, professionals are sometimes more stringent on bargaining with patrons, so you might end up giving quite a few things away for free in the long run if you cannot sell them within the first few days. By attending some estate sales in your area, you can get a sense of how things work and how to price your items. And don’t forget to advertise. Post a free listing on Craig’s List or print up some flyers to hang about town in super markets and other businesses with high amounts of foot traffic.