Let’s just start of by saying that we love estate sales. (Okay, I admit we’re a little biased here at Exceptional Estate Sales.) Admittedly, they’re not for everyone, but here are eight reasons you might want to consider holding an estate sale in the future.
1. No worries!
Whether you’re moving, downsizing or settling the estate of a loved one, odds are you have enough on your plate already without trying to figure out how to dispose of each individual item in your house. By hiring an estate sale company to run a sale for you, you can eliminate that worry. Sit back and let someone with expertise in the area unpack, organize, stage, identify, price, market and sell your items for you!
2. Time is NOT on your side…
Sometimes time is a huge factor. Maybe your home sold more quickly than expected or you’re being pressured by heirs to sell the contents of an estate quickly or you need to clean out before putting your house on the market, but you start work in another state next month. Whatever the reason, we generally require only 2 weeks to 30 days lead time to plan your sale and most of our estate sales are one day, occasionally two. At the end of that, the majority of your items will have been taken care of and you’ll usually receive a check within 2 weeks of the sale. Contrast that with auction houses and consignment stores, which often take several months to sell items.
Logistically speaking, estate sales are the most convenient way to sell your items. Because the sale is run on site, out of your home, nothing needs to be moved or packed. You won’t need to rent a truck or hire movers, buy boxes and bubble wrap or contact multiple vendors to see if they’ll take your items. And if something doesn’t sell, you won’t have to go back to pick it up.
4. We sell the big items AND all the little things…
With a very few exceptions (like firearms or alcohol in Massachusetts) estate sale companies sell everything. This means that not only will we sell your furniture, art, antiques, jewelry and electronics, we’ll sell your exercise equipment, paper goods, books, clothing and pots and pans. We’ll even sell your car or (if the house is a tear down) your kitchen sink! Auction houses and consignment stores will only take specific items and even donation centers will limit the type of items they accept, which leaves you stuck with a bunch of items that may end up in a dumpster (with added expense to you), rather than with someone who needs and wants them.
5. Hire a pro for less.
Estate sale companies generally charge a commission in the 25-40% range. (Our rate averages 30%.) Consignment stores usually take a higher 50% commission and will lower the price of your item over time if it doesn’t sell. Auction houses take a lower commission – generally 10-20% – from the seller, but also charge a percentage to the buyer, meaning they have to take into account the added amount of money they will pay the auction house when deciding what to bid.
6. House not sold yet? Clean it out and generate interest!
If your house hasn’t sold yet, an estate sale can act as a de facto open house. Most of our sales draw a crowd of several hundred people over the course of the day and we’re frequently asked at sales if a house is still on the market. If it is, home owners and real estate agents can choose to leave a card or brochure for potential buyers to pick up as they look around the home.
7. Don’t break your back.
At Exceptional Estate Sales we always have at least two movers on site for each sale. That means that when the armoire in the upstairs bedroom or the giant sectional sofa in your basement rec room sells, there is someone on hand to get it out of your house without banging into walls or scratching the floors and you don’t need to lift a finger. Isn’t that better than wrestling it out on your own or paying a professional mover to do it for you?
8. It’s fun!
We love what we do and we hope that our clients do to! It can be an eye opener to see your home rearranged and staged and it’s interesting to learn about newly discovered treasures and hidden heirlooms. Sometimes an old friend you’d completely forgotten about reemerges from a box in the attic or basement. On the day of the sale, you’re free to take the day off and homeowners often go out to eat, shop, visit friends or arrange a special outing for the day. Regardless, our goal is for you to enjoy the estate sale process as much as we do!
Want to share an estate sale experience of your own? Please feel free to leave a comment below!