What is an Estate Sale

In the United States, estate sale refers to an auction, yard or garage sale with the purpose of selling a substantial portion of items or materials owned by a recently deceased person or by someone who wants to dispose of the items on sale. A common reason for organizing an estate sale is the lack of space to store personal belongings. If the latter belong to a deceased person, the survivors might not have interest in the majority of them.

In case the relatives cannot agree on whether tangible property should be disposed of, a court may order the sale of the belongings. The proceeds from the estate sale are then distributed among the relatives of the deceased.

Another reason for organizing an estate sale is moving to another house or being unable to keep the property. Some people organize estate sales before moving to a rest home, retirement community, or assisted living facility. Others take jobs in locations far away from their current home.

One can also use the services of a professional for a portion of the revenues. Additional charges include costs for marketing, research, advertising, refreshments, security, and other fees. The presence of a liquidator is usually necessary when survivors intend to sell the belongings of a deceased person. Organizing and taking care of an estate sale on their own may be an overwhelming experience. Liquidators maintain contacts with collectors, dealers, and the public. They have a loyal following of buyers, and some of them attend liquidator’s estate sales for decades. Buyers who have trust in the liquidator’s judgment, experience, and knowledge are confident that he will find niches for them. Moreover, liquidators follow the prices of household items, valuables, and antiques. They have connections with brokerages that specialize in selling jewelry, collectibles, fine art, and other valuable items. Naturally, they will try to sell the possessions at the best prices possible because the more money the seller makes, the higher the profit for them. For this reason, they will put a lot of effort in advertising – they will put signs around the neighborhood and advertise in the local newspapers and online. The success of the sale depends on the liquidator but in general, the seller can expect a line of buyers after the sale has opened.

Liquidators may charge 25 to 35 percent of the total earnings. They put a lot of effort in assessing the value of the items, displaying them properly, and ensuring that everything is organized before the buyers arrive. In most cases, it is their responsibility to clear out the property when the sale is over and leave the place clean and tidy.

Most people dispose of personal items by donating them to charity organizations or periodically organizing garage sales. Estate sales take place when personal belonging should be disposed of all at once. Apart from selling the belongings of a deceased person, an estate sale may be necessary due to bankruptcy, divorce, and long-distance moves. Regardless of the reason for organizing one, it is a way of making money from unwanted items and paying debt. Shoppers benefit from estate sales as well as they often find antiques, collectibles, bargains, and unusual items. Many shoppers enjoy estate sales as they are unique. They can find a range of items, from clothing and furniture to china, silver, linens, and household appliances. Depending on the owner, unique and expensive items can be found as well. These include jewelry, works of art, boats, and cars.