Everything You Need to Know About Estate Sales

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Following the death of a loved one or while preparing for a long-distance move, many people find themselves with an overwhelming amount of belongings that they don’t have room for. Hosting an estate sale is an economical option for homeowners who need to pay off debts or get rid of unwanted possessions. Learn more about the purpose of estate sales and how to prepare for selling belongings.

An Overview of Estate Sales

If you’ve never had to undertake a major downsizing project, you may be unaware of what an estate sale is. An estate sale, or “tag” sale, most commonly follows the death of a person who has left behind a home filled with items that have not been delegated to heirs or otherwise claimed. Estate sales are usually structured like an auction, with bidders laying claim on a single item at a time. In some cases, the organizers may allow the estate sale to mirror the yard sale process, with a standard checkout area and a free flow of customers. However, estate sales usually include higher value items because the contents of an entire home are being sold. Estate sales don’t only follow the death of a homeowner; people may choose to host estate sales after a divorce or filing bankruptcy.

Preparing for an Estate Sale

Carefully sort through all of the items scheduled to be sold to confirm that other family members don’t want them. You don’t want to sell an important family heirloom on accident! Estate sales can be pretty lengthy, especially if there are more items to unload than you can sell in a day or weekend. At least one week in advance, start spreading the word around the neighborhood to attract customers. To reach a wider audience, go digital by creating a Facebook event or posting in neighborhood apps like Nextdoor. Before people arrive, make sure that each item is marked with a price tag and try to group large, heavy pieces—like furniture—together. This will help prospective buyers easily navigate the sale while allowing you to keep track of which items have been sold.

Other Options for Downsizing

Not every item will be chosen by a buyer, which means estate sale organizers will have leftover belongings that they probably don’t want to keep. Some items may be too large or heavy to be collected by the local waste management company, but scheduling a dumpster rental can make it easier to get rid of unwanted junk. With a dumpster rental, you simply unload the unsold items into the container and contact the Dumpster Consultant to pick up the dumpster whenever you’re ready.

Estate sales are a great way to make money from items that you don’t want to keep. By staying organized and planning ahead, you can make the experience easier for bargain hunters and yourself. If you end up with a lot of unsold inventory after the estate sale, it might be a good idea to contact a local dumpster rental service to haul it away.

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