Category Archives: Estate Sales Help & Tips

Moving Or Downsizing – How To Cope And Have An Estate Sale

Moving truckYour editor here at Estate Sales News just completed another move. To say it isn’t easy would be an understatement, but here are a few tips acquired during the many moves I’ve made and seen others do.

When the time comes to move or downsize take a lined pad of paper with columns for keep, delete or maybe, and start room by room. Look at each item in the room and ask yourself “do I really need or want this?” You will be surprised as you walk around a room and look at different items. Are you keeping them because you “think” they have value, sentimental value, emotional attachment or genuine need. After losing two mothers ten years ago in nine days it wasn’t easy and has been a continuous work in progress, but we have learned what is necessary, what is sentimental attachment and what is emotional. A suggestion is to put the necessary under the keep, and then decide which is the delete. Keep the maybes separate. It isn’t easy to part with a loved one’s items, however, if you are moving to a smaller space or just need to lessen the burden of too many items, decisions must be made. Now is the time to let your mind work in tandem with your heart. Take a deep breath and ask yourself “why”. When you have the answer it will either be a keep or delete.

Once you have completed your list of each room use post it notes or something similar to denote what you are keeping. If you can’t move the items yourself, look for some strong arms to assist you (even if they charge by the hour) and choose a room or two to put the keep items in.

It is now time after this separation to start looking for your professional estate liquidator to come in and determine if they can sell the balance of your items for you. Some may not, but please don’t feel offended. Every estate sale company has different requirements to stay financially sound.

Check out our our categories how to choose a liquidator and our assortment of tips to help you with finding estate sale companies, interviews, what to expect, and the process of selling.

Remember, once you have made your keep it list, stick to it. Don’t second guess, and don’t let the price of an item you decided to sell make you want it. The object after all was to move and downsize.

It isn’t easy. We have been there and helped hundreds of others as well, but you can do it and succeed and feel better once you have moved on and continued your life’s journey.


Estate Sales In August – Good Time To Start Your Holiday Shopping

vintage dressMercedes Benz for sale





It’s only August 14th, but now is a terrific time to shop for the holidays. With so many estate sales out there, you’re sure to find some treasures and good buys.

Whether you’re looking for Thanksgiving, Chanukah, or Christmas decorations or now is the time. Especially with several months to go.

Clothing from high end to vintage is abundant at sales. From a Louis Vitton bag or wallet, to a 1950’s swirl skirt or ruffle top apron and don’t forget shoes, ties, shirts etc.  So much to choose from at a variety of prices.

Looking to change out your end tables, bedroom set, get an additional sofa for your living or family room, what a selection. Better than most furniture stores and everything from designer to the very inexpensive, leather or material.

How about a car, for the new teenage driver or to replace your old gas eater.

Looking for jewelry. Fine gold and silver, great vintage costume, Native American, so much can be seen at so many estate sales and the prices are right.

So now is the time to make your list, check it twice and go estate sale shopping.

Oh and please tell them you heard about them from Estate Sales News. Your estate sales online resource  and please Like Us on Facebook and/or Follow us on Twitter.


What’s Selling This Week At Estate Sales?

Here’s a look at some of the fascinating, unique, fun, or useful items that you will find at estate sales this week. We will include the estate sale company name. To find estate sale you can check out these websites as well as others not included here. EstateSales.NET,,, and You may find that many estate sale liquidators will have their sales listed on all of the above sites.

Simmerling EstateCrucifix GuatamalaThe Perfect Thing, Chicago, IL






Vintage Disneykitty tapestryDeal’s Estate Sales, Royce City, TX



Patio setDanish coffee setCalifornia Estate Sales, San Marcos, CA





China cabinet & glassrefrigeratorStepp Estate Sales LLC, Longwood, FL






mid-century moderneAsian figuresWorthwhile Estate Sales, Dayton, OH





A note for football fans Expert Estate Sales will be holding an estate sale for former NFL defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis starting August 15 in Rancho Cucamonga with designer furnishings.

This represents a cross section of the 1000’s of estate sales taking place this weekend across the country.

Estate Sale Signage

Estate Sale signMore and more municipalities are requiring professional signs for estate sales, however, this has brought about an unexpected issue, the theft of these signs.

Let’s discuss estate sale signage and what an professional liquidator needs to know and consider.

It is very important to contact the city or town you are going to conduct an estate liquidation in to find out if they will permit signs, what type of signs, and if they charge a permit fee. Yes a permit fee. Estate Sales News knows of an incident where the city didn’t use to charge a sign permit fee and then as hard times began decided to do so. An estate sale company did not check with the town about the signage requirements and the result was the signs were picked up and the estate sale company owner was notified that they had a date to be in court to pay the fine for the signs. This particular fine was just under $3,000.00. It was determined by the number of signs times the per sign fine. Fortunately when the estate liquidator went to court the judge lowered the fine, but it still cost the company almost $800 and the signs were not returned. An expensive lesson.

Whether you are new in the business or have been doing this for years, it is important to call the town clerk (or similar) and ascertain what if any permits and their fees may be required. It is also a good practice to have the seller do the same. That keeps everyone involved on the same page. In some cases the town may only issue the permit to the seller. It should also be included in your estate sale contract who is responsible for obtaining and paying for the permits.

That’s a reminder too, that estate sale contracts should have places for the seller(s) initials in important areas such as permits, any fees, commission, removal of items after signing of the contract etc. We will visit this topic more at another time.

As the estate sale professional be sure to know the requirements of the city or town to eliminate one more possible stressful events for you and the seller(s).


Estate Sale Video Part 2 with Judy Martin – Chicago Historic Home

Here is part two of our interview from last week with Judy Martin, ISA, CAPP at the Simmerling estate in the Morgan Park area of Chicago. The sale beings Thursday, August 14 and concludes on the 16th.

In this video Judy will describe many of the collections for sale and what has happened to values of many items. When we visited Judy the staging of the estate sale was a work in progress.

Here is a link to Judy Martin’s website for more information on her, her company’s services and The Perfect Thing Shop in Wheaton, IL.

Estate Sales Friday – What You Can See And Learn

Estate Sale signEstate Sales News has received many comments on our part one interview with Judy Martin, ISA, CAPP. Our dialogue will continue with Judy on Monday where she takes us on a tour of the home in Morgan Park Chicago. It should be pointed out that this sale was in the process of staging, cleaning, and hadn’t been priced. It provides a good perspective about the work it takes to prepare for an estate sale.

When you walk into an estate sales today take the time to look around at how it’s been staged, whether the items have been cleaned, and if the electronics have been tested. Remember that the items sold at estate sales are usually sold as is and most estate sale companies have a no return no refund policy.

There are thousands of estate sales across the country starting today. If you’re looking for items, this is a great source. If you are interested in having an estate sale and finding a liquidator go check out your local sales to see how they are handled and who impressed you.

Judy Martin’s video on Monday.

If it’s Friday, it’s estate sales.

Video Interview Judith Martin, ISA, CAPP About Estate Sales

Estate Sales News traveled to the Morgan Park section of Chicago on Tuesday to meet and speak with nationally Judy Martin, a certified appraiser ISA, CAPP, long time estate liquidator and owner of The Perfect Thing, a high end consignment shop in Wheaton, Il. She is a Director of the ISA (International Society of Appraisers) past president 2009-2011, she was a lead instructor for them as well.

Next week she will be conducting an estate sale in Morgan Park for the estate of Jack and Marjorie Simmerling. Jack Simmerling was a well known Chicago artist and he and his wife had many interesting collections. Here is part one of our interview.

Learn About Estate Sales – Estate Sales News Your Internet Source

Yesterday when I went to the hair salon I was waiting for a shampoo and a lady sitting next to me over heard my conversation about today’s trip to Chicago to cover an estate sale.

The woman asked me what I did and how I was involved. When I explained to her that I was the editor of Estate Sales News, an online source to learn about estate sales, what they are, the process, how to find and hire an estate sale company, etc. she said do you have a business card?

She proceeded to tell me about two different friends. Different circumstances and locations, but both of them had homes filled with personal items and they needed to sell the contents off. One had just gotten divorced and the contents were part of her settlement, the other needed to drastically downsize.

Estate Sales News is not a site listing for estate sale companies or estate sales, but we do provide you with the information about what an estate sale is, where to look for estate sale companies, what to look for in an estate sale company, interviewing, the estate sale process, how they price, security, and many more facets of the estate sale industry. EstateSales.Net, the largest and oldest estate sale listing site has us as a resource for estate sale companies listed on their site.

Recently we have had estate sale companies contacting us about how to find insurance, the clean out process, marketing, and a host of other topics of benefit to them.

If you are looking for information about estate sales, news about the estate sale industry and of course news worthy estate sales we hope you’ll find it here or contact us at

Back from Chicago later today.


Professional Estate Sale Liquidator Keeping A Watchful Eye

Estate Sales NewsEstate Sales News learned recently of an estate liquidator whose alert staff may have prevented a possible theft. We spoke with this liquidator for permission to write this article on condition of anonymity.

Several weeks ago an estate sale company was conducting a sale in a multi-story home. With a cashier at the front door for check out and staff on the first and second floor the owner of the company had gone down to the basement to check out the progress of the sale there.

The was no one waiting at the check out and so the cashier peered out the front doorway of the home for a look at the weather. What she saw was shocking. When she looked up to see the sky she saw a customer tossing out a comforter from a second story bedroom window. She immediately called to her boss in a non-panicked voice and the estate sale owner went outside to find a man waiting in a vehicle. The customer still in the home was putting some other items together on a shelf. The man in the vehicle assured the estate sale owner he had the cash to pay, however, that was unacceptable to the liquidator and he took the item back into the home. He then located the other customer and informed her that she was to leave the sale immediately and he escorted her from the home to the waiting vehicle. The two individuals protested, however, the estate sale liquidator informed them to leave immediately and not show up at any of their sales again.

This is a very general description of what took place. The important scenario here is that an alert crew, and a professional knowledgeable liquidator dealt with what could have become a very difficult and costly problem.

If you are looking for an estate liquidator be prudent and ask them how they handle security and what they do if there is a problem. It should be noted that without unquestionable proof of theft this was the best solution to the problem. This liquidator did get side photos of the individuals involved and a license plate photo and shared this with his local fellow liquidators.

A professional, experienced estate sale company will do everything possible to protect your personal property.

What Are You Buying At Estate Sales? What You Should know

A writer from the Huffington Post earlier this year wrote an article about the five items you should buy at an estate sale and three items you shouldn’t.

The big items they said you shouldn’t buy are large appliances. Their explanation was because you can’t test them.

Many estate sale companies test electrical appliances before they are sold. Unlike buying a new appliance they rarely come with a warranty and are usually sold as is, however, most liquidators will let you test the appliance for that reason. They cannot control how you move the appliance or the way it is maneuvered into it’s new location.

One of the reasons it is important to have electricity at the estate sale property is to test appliances from toasters to washers and all in between.

We recommend that you decide in advance of attending an estate sale whether you want to purchase an appliance that will be sold “as is”. It could last 10 years or 10 hours. Most important is to understand that purchases at most estate sales are as is and final. The estate sale company does not have a history on most appliances so all they can do ask the seller and allow you to try it out.

Many a good buy is had at an estate sale so be a knowledgeable customer and know before your go.