Minimalists, Millenials – How They Affect Estate Sales

Baby Boomers are retiring and downsizing and that has encouraged and helped to enlarge the number of estate sale companies. Most boomers came from depression era families that had very little. There is a small majority of boomers whose parents were affluent and acquired an abundance of items.

Today’s current generation – the millenials who are individuals born between the early 1980s and early 2000 grew up in the homes of many baby boomers. They are now in the process of making their lives more simplistic – less is more!

Josh Sanburn of Time wrote an article March 12, 2015 entitled Minimalist Living: When A Lot Less Is More. It addresses some of the reasons to declutter. Click here for a link to his article.

As Baby Boomers, many of us have a vast array of collections, some good, some not so good. Our parents kept and collected what they could as so many went without during the great depression in the late 1920s and into the mid 1930s.

Millenials are also following furnishing trends from magazines to television shows. Shows such as Love or List It, Property Brothers, and others not only renovate properties, but also provide “new” furnishings to most properties eliminating the idea or need of second hand or used furnishings. They project a slim line, well coordinated look. Table tops are free of everything including family photos, and anything that might be construed as clutter.

Generally speaking Victorian and Edwardian furnishings and antiques (except the very rare or odd) have lost value because they have lost their market in many places across the country. A marble top Eastlake piece that might have sold for $800-$1000 5-10 years ago may only bring $300-$400 if that in most major metropolitan markets.

What is referred to as brown furniture that was made in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s is now seen as simply “brown”. Finding dealers that repurpose older pieces (whatever they may be) is helpful, but the prices will not be what they once were.

Looking at sales on eBay and other online sites provide good examples of what is taking place in the current market place. Mid Century Modern has replaced most of the above furnishings and greatly affected prices.

When you meet with an estate sale company and they give you their professional informed opinion about value, it isn’t personal. It’s about the world changing and the generation that is buying today.

Speak with estate liquidators about what is selling in your area. Estate sale companies want to get you the highest possible price for your items to satisfy you and achieve financial success for both of you. Don’t take it personally.

Here are a few pieces that have become more difficult to sell. You’re not alone. Let the professional estate sale company do their job. They are your local market specialists.

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