As we ourselves age or help our loved ones transition into a healthy period of aging gracefully, the idea of moving often comes up. Does a home bigger than we need make sense anymore? What about all the things that we can’t take with us when we downsize? A few questions might pop into mind: 

When might you want an Estate Sale? Typically, people hold sales after downsizing. This means the owners get their most important, favorite items out of the house and move out, so the sale can proceed. 

Why might you want to consider an estate sale? Quite simply to empty the house of its possessions. You may be able to generate funds. Holding an estate sale will clear the way for the property to be sold or to give it to family. 

How do you do this? Emptying a house is complicated and takes a lot of energy! Many people do not know the worth of their precious possessions. Estate sale professionals do this for a living, so they know how to price your items correctly. When you hire a professional, you are hiring years of knowledge and expertise as well as a professional team. 

How do you arrange for an estate sale? 

Step 1. Call one or more estate sale providers and set up separate appointments with them. They will come to your home at no charge. These meetings will allow you to learn what is involved and what outcomes can be achieved. 

Step 2. Choose a professional, set a date, and sign a contract.
There are many estate sales providers. They can be excellent but still operate in different ways. Most operate on a commission percentage from total sales volume and do not expect any money from you, the client, up front. Most will not do a sale if anyone is still living in the home.

A General Scenario for a Typical Estate Sale:
Allow 1-2 weeks for preparation by the estate sale provider and their team to organize, price, and tag your items. Research of certain items or calling in an expert for specialty items (oriental rugs, fine jewelry, and military items) will ensure your items are priced appropriately.

The actual estate sale date will also be decided at the time of contract signing. Plan for the sale being at least two days (Sat & Sun) or more, depending on the size of sale.

Advertising for your estate sale is paid by your estate sale provider. The advertising will include a write up and photos on and possibly local newspapers.

Security of your home and contents is a main concern through the set up and sale days.

Following the sale, you will meet with your estate sale provider and discuss where the leftover items should go. Options include: Donation, consignment, auction, etc. The provider will then facilitate the final dispersal to achieve your goal of an empty house.  

Finalizing the sale will include payment to you by check as well as a summary letter.

This article was contributed by
Karen Young
Karen Young Estate Sales & Appraisals
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