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john65pennington's avatar

Will my estate sale be prosperous this weekend?

Asked by john65pennington (29182points) May 3rd, 2011

My mother passed away and now its time for me to sale her personal belongings and her house. This will be a first for me. When people go to an estate sale, are they looking for bargains, just like in a yard sale or is it a different atmosphere and they should expect to pay more for items purchased? Question: is there really a difference between a yard sale and an estate sale?

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12 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

If you have notified local Estate Specialists ( Antique dealers and Collectors ) you may have some interesting things to tell us next week.

dabbler's avatar

I wouldn’t necessarily expect higher or lower prices at an estate sale but I’d expect the whole kit and kaboodle to be for sale so probably a lot more relatively expensive items like the good furniture not the stuff you don’t need anymore.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, it is rather like a big yard sale. I handled a family members estate sale a few years ago. There were cars, and all sorts of more expensive items we let go for reasonable prices.

A good amount of stuff that us beneficiaries did not want was donated or dumped. Good luck!

Whew! Settling estates is a HUGE undertaking.

Between the general cleanup, estate sale and getting the house ready for market it took almost 6 months! Gah!

john65pennington's avatar

Coloma, thanks for the information. She passed away March 30th and I still have not made a dent in all her paintings, old checking account statements, clothes, furniture, you name it. At least I know what to expect in the next few days. My venture here may take longer than six months. Again, thanks. john

bkcunningham's avatar

The first or the fifteenth of the month are the best times for things like this @john65pennington. I wish you well.

Coloma's avatar

It’s not the estate sale that can be a problem, it’s the 300 times removed relatives that come out of the woodwork like Vultures on a carcass. Oh brother..! haha

Jeruba's avatar

You’ve planned it for Mother’s Day? That might be a time when a lot of people are busy with family.

bkcunningham's avatar

Ohh, that is right @Jeruba.

WestRiverrat's avatar

If you don’t get rid of much of it, you can always have another sale. Have you had an auctioneer come out and look at the items? Around here they will look at your items and give you a rough, nonbinding estimate on about how much they have been going for at auction.

Nullo's avatar

There is a certain category of people who will attend estate sales with an eye for things that they can re-sell at another venue. They frequent yard sales as well, but estate sales are generally more promising. Many estate sales let people into the house.
You might be able to rent debit/credit card readers for the occasion.
The atmosphere might be a bit more serene than your typical yard sale, but no guarantees.

Know the values of the expensive things, and be prepared to dicker.

BarnacleBill's avatar

If you have some better pieces that you feel should fetch more money, you might want to set those aside and consign them for auction. Even though you will have to pay an auction fee, you will get more money than at an estate sale.

What’s different than a yard sale is that you are going to need to have an inventory list of everything that you’re selling, and record the price received as part of the financial accountablility to the estate.

There are also services that manage estate sales that might get you a better price than you would get on your own. Nashville

optimisticpessimist's avatar

An estate sell is pretty much a big yard sale. Currently, my aunt and uncles are having to liquidate my grandfather’s estate. They are finding items are not ‘worth’ as much as they thought. It may be partially over valuing items, it is also people looking for a good deal and it is location. They are in the middle of Nebraska near a bunch of small towns but no big city. It has been suggested to them they should try to privately sell some of the nicer (more expensive) items either through auction, the internet or advertisements or some kind. I believe @Jeruba may be correct about Mothers’ Day as a good chunk of Sunday will be already planned for most people. @BarnacleBill also had some great suggestions.

Good luck, John. I hope this turns out to be a very good weekend for you.

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