What is an Estate Sale Service?

What is an Estate Sale?

Readers may be familiar with an estate sale, and even some of the processes that go into liquidating a property and its contents. Some may have even attended an estate sale themselves and purchased a coveted item at bargain prices. Whatever the method may be, all estate sale services have one goal in mind, and that is to liquidate and generate as much revenue as possible from an estate sale in the shortest amount of time.


Estate Sales: Frequently Asked Questions

It’s quite probable that you have heard of estate sales, but aren’t quite sure how they work. The reality of the situation is that most people don’t until they participate in one. The good news is that it’s not as hard or as expensive as you might think to host an estate sale.


What Can I Sell in an Estate Sale?

If you have it, there is a better-than-even chance you can sell it at an estate sale. Estate sales are a perfect opportunity to put china, jewelry, collectibles, and antiques up for sale. Many people also come in search of furniture, sports memorabilia, precious metals, electronics, and even antique cars.


Do You Clean Up After the Estate Sale?


Do You Clean Up After the Estate Sale?


Absolutely! We pick up any chairs/tables that we bring and help homeowners restore the property to its pre-auction condition. When the day is over, the only thing you will have to remind you of the estate sale is a home that is free of clutter. Well, that and a pocket full of money to show for your efforts.


How Much Does It Cost to Hold an Estate Sale?


How Much Does It Cost to Hold an Estate Sale?


This varies based on several factors. Your location, the number of items you have to sell, labor costs, and more will all go into determining how much an estate sale truly costs. However, if you live in the Northern Virginia area, the easiest way to find out more about estate sale costs would be to contact iStuffSellers and speak with an estate sale professional.


How Much Can I Make in an Estate Sale?

Unlike flea markets and garage sales, people come to estate sales in search of genuine treasure. Of course, they want to get a great bargain for their effort. How much you can make depends mostly on the items you are selling, their condition and their perceived value in the eyes of bidders. The more bidders who are interested in a particular item, the more money you stand to make as they will compete for the privilege of taking their prize home with them. Having years of experience hosting estate sales in the greater Washington, DC area, a professional estate liquidator like iStuffSellers will market your estate sale to qualified repeat and new buyers alike.


What Happens if Something Isn’t Sold During the Estate Sale?

It is rare when every item sells during an estate sale. Some things are just more difficult to sell than others. However, that doesn’t mean that all is lost. When something doesn’t sell during the sale, it can be placed in an offsite auction. You can take the item and attempt to sell it yourself. Or, you can hold onto the item until it appreciates or you decide to donate it and take the tax deduction.


Is an Estate Sale Different Than a Garage Sale?

Most definitely! When you host a garage sale, you attract every Tom, Dick, and Harry looking for a bargain at your expense. Seasoned shoppers will even check obituaries and cross-check addresses to see where they can find the best deals for a grieving family eager to divest themselves of possessions and property. You’ll just be glad when a garage sale is over. An estate sale is much different. For starters, it will be organized by seasoned professionals who can help you appraise your items so that you know exactly how much they are worth. It will also be aided by marketing experts who will use a combination of photographs, descriptions, and targeted campaigns to attract buyers with a strong desire to win that bid. When the day is done, you’ll be richly rewarded.


What Are the Types of Estate Sale Services?

The profitability of estate liquidation has led to the proliferation of estate sales services throughout the United States. Many estate sale agents have formed their own operations around a specific business tactic to make a sale and profit, others are specialized in the liquidation of specific types of estates, while many more operate using a combination of business strategies. Here are five of the most common estate sale services and how they work:

  • Estate Sale Companies: These companies perform onsite liquidations at a house to have an estate sale, during which buyers may visit the estate and purchase items. 
  • Auction Houses: These companies move assets offsite and into an auction house to be sold to the highest bidder. Auction houses specialize in liquidating various assets, which can include high-value items such as works of art.
  • Estate Auction: Similar to a traditional estate sale company, estate auctions instead hold the auction onsite, with individual or even groups of items being sold to the highest bidder.
  • Hybrid Estate Sale Services: These services combine the use of auctions and traditional estate sales, but they are dependent on a client’s needs and the estate they are trying to sell.
  • Estate Sale Companies with Connections: Usually connected to an auction house, these estate sale agents typically do this at a house to have an estate sale, but use their auction house partners to auction off certain items, such as vintage furniture, works of art, or rare collectibles

Estate Sale Help: Choosing the Right Estate Sale Service

You’ve seen the various types of estate sale services and how they go about making revenue. But now comes the question of choosing the right estate sale agent to work with. A traditional estate sale typically lasts up to three days, with prices set by the company, with discounts being applied as the sales progress. Auctions are held for a single day, with the prices being set by the buyer via the bidding process. The price (and therefore, the value) of the item is determined through factors such as its condition, scarcity, and location. 

Depending on your needs, once you’ve hired an estate sale service, they will stage the sale, appraise and catalog the items, advertise it (iStuffSellers notifies our client base via email and our social media accounts), hold the sale, and might even perform cleanups afterward. Some services will even donate unsold items if the client wants them. An estate sale is for someone who is looking to downsize, move out, or try to start anew in life. Looking for the ideal estate sale help? Contact us!


Tips and Tricks to Holding an Estate Sale

You’ve done the legwork, consulted and hired a company, and even figured out the items you want the estate sale agents to sell for you. Now comes the part where you prepare an estate sale. As established prior, an estate sale has many moving parts, and seeing it through may seem a bit much. Let us show you a rough outline of how estate sales services perform an estate sale.


Have a House to Hold an Estate Sale

The first and probably most obvious step to take is to have a house to hold an estate sale. This is typically the estate being sold off and contains a bevy of items that will need to be appraised and cataloged. Keep in mind here that organization is key. This will ensure that your sale is easier to run and more successful.


Determining the Items to Sell

As mentioned previously, houses to hold an estate sale have many items. Finding out which of these you want to sell, keep, or donate is done alongside professional appraisers of an estate sale service. Appraisers working for an estate sale agent are knowledgeable about an item’s potential market value and provide significant estate sale help. The value of an item (and the price) is determined based on factors such as its condition, rarity, market value, and the potential income it may generate. Something to keep in mind is that you should be upfront with potential buyers about the condition of the items that are being sold.


Setting Up and Promoting the Sale

Most estate sales that follow a traditional style will typically be held at a house to have an estate sale. Depending on the size of the estate sale service, they will typically have an in-house team that does the promotion for them or an affiliated firm that specializes in promoting estate sales. Estate sale agents are knowledgeable about this step, which is also known as staging, during which a part of the estate is transformed into a viewing area to see the items they are buying.


Holding the Sale

Now that your items have been priced, and the estate sales have been promoted,  it’s time to prepare your house for an estate sale. Arriving early is a must, and being prepared to answer questions is even more so. Some tips to keep in mind about estate sales are that they can actually be a great place to meet interesting people, so keep an open mind even as you prepare to answer questions and negotiate prices. Working with an estate sales agent or an estate sale service can make this step less of a hassle, allowing you to have peace of mind.


What’s the Take Away?

Preparing your house to hold an estate sale is challenging, but not impossible. Through the use of planning, organization, and an estate sale service, you can downsize your life in a stress-free manner without worrying too much about the details. Looking for an estate sale agent with years of experience and a passionate team? Contact us!


Do You Want to Learn More About Estate Sales?

Of course, you do! That is why we invite you to contact iStuffSellers at 301-401-6688. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you determine if an estate sale is the right way for you to sell your valued possessions.

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