Category Archives: Estate Sales Help & Tips

Don’t have enough for a full estate sale. What to do?

As more and more baby boomers come of age what to do with a life time of household, collections, etc. is becoming a challenge.

In many cases the children of boomers will want some of their parents belongings either for sentiment or value, however, may children today are minimalists and this leaves boomer parents with decisions when downsizing time comes.

If your children have taken a great many items and furniture you may be left with what is known in the estate sale trade as a partial. Many estate sales companies will simply not deal with low contents. It does not cover their costs for the sale. Some estate liquidators look at this with other possibilities. They can offer to add to the contents from other minimal sales or in some instances if they are antiques dealers they may offer to add some of their unsold merchandise to the sale (this practice is referred to as seeding the sale). Every estate liquidator works differently, but if you find one you like and your contents are minimal ask them if there is a way for them to work with you. They may even want to increase their commission or fee.

The other choices left to you are consignment (not all consignment shops accept everything) or donations to local charities.

When choosing an estate sale company be sure to let the liquidators you are talking to know upfront if it isn’t a full contents and ask them how they work. Saves time and frustration for everyone.

USA TODAY reports on businesses specializing in helping seniors

The Monday, April 29th issue of USA TODAY featured an article written by Janice Lloyd about another industry that is coming on strong – businesses that are packers, movers, decorators and counselors for helping seniors who are in transition either downsizing or no longer able to care for themselves. published an article written by Erin Kurimay of Certified Relocation and Transition Specialists (CRTS) on April 11th addressing this subject. Here is the link

The recent estate sale conducted in Winter Park, Florida that we reported on by Creating Divine Order is an example of this trend.

 Here is a link to the article in USA TODAY.

With so many baby boomers coming of age this is a growing industry.


What to do with items of great value are part of an estate

esate sales The number of estate sales has quintupled over the last few years. They are no longer just a means of disposing of a deceased persons’ estate. Today, people with very high end art, jewelry, art pottery, bronzes, antique furnishings, glass, and other very expensive items are looking to liquidate these items as well.

More and more estate sales companies, especially those where someone in the company is a certified appraiser or other highly trained, experienced and knowledgeable individual are acting as brokers to sell these high value items at the appropriate auction house. These items usually exceed $25,000 in value and require a broad (sometimes world wide) audience to achieve their top value. There are many auction houses with world wide reach and specialties to sell these items.

Even though the estate sale company may not sell the item themselves at the sale, they will still be paid a commission for placing the items at the appropriate auction.

Trending in estate sales – multiple estates & seeding a sale

trendsTracking sales across the country some new trends and some old are emerging.

In many states where the estate sale has very large collections that cannot be displayed properly for an effective sale in the residence (or in some cases the owner/heir does not wish to have their residence used for an on site sale) professional estate sales companies are relocating the collections to large open rooms (similar to what an auctioneer would use) to stage the quantity of items to be sold. If you have such a collection or collections, you should inquire on the interview if the estate sales company performs such a service and what it will cost you. It would be unusual for a professional liquidator to absorb the cost of the move. It is usually preferable to most estate sales companies to conduct the sale on site, however, not only can large collections present a challenge, but so can some gated communities where they will not allow an estate sale on site.

Another trend that for years has been little spoken about is what is referred to as seeding a sale. Sometimes when a sale does not have enough items to draw significant public attention some estate liquidators will bring in items from other small sales or if they also sell retail they may bring in merchandise of their own. If your contents are limited, be sure to ask during the interview whether the estate sale company will want to  seed the sale, where the items are from, and how they will be tagged  to differentiate their merchandise from your items. Accurate recording of items sold from others is needed to ensure all monies are distributed appropriately.

Estate Sale armed robbery in Seattle – Security is concern

Tracy Vedder of KOMO News in Seattle Washington recently wrote about a local armed robbery that took place in West Seattle at an estate sale in January of this year.

For potential amateur sellers this video clip from KOMO may help you decide why hiring a professional estate sale company can be so important to the safety of your sale and why you should choose your estate liquidator carefully. Not all estate sales companies are knowledgeable about security and take adequate measures.

I recently spoke with Linda Brannagan of New Jersey Estate and Moving Sales in northern New Jersey about security concerns she had for a large sale she just conducted for four days in Plainfield. This estate sale was filled with valuables and she expected the volume of people showing up would warrant hiring two security guards as well as being heavily staffed. She informed me that the sale had a line of people up to 2:00pm on the first day.

This article also discusses how even in retail outlets such as a consignment or antique shop security measures have been increased and how more and more estate sales companies are accepting charge cards to lower the amount of cash taken in and their vulnerability.

Florida estate sales – some things you should know

Florida homeEach state has it’s own laws pertaining to estate sales. Today we’ll discuss some things to expect in Florida. Perspective clients for estate liquidators should ask about these topics to be informed.

The state of Florida requires the collection of sales tax by estate liquidation companies unless you possess a resales tax certificate which a buyer will need to present to the liquidator. Florida requires the liquidator to keep a copy of this certificate on file.

In many areas of Florida you will find signs posted in highly visible locations on the front yard of the home (or where there isn’t a front yard near the entrance) where the sale is being held letting buyers know that no purses or large bags can be brought into the home. This is a security measure for the protection of the sale.

Especially on nice days you will find the check out for the sale in the garage, under a canopy or tent. Many Florida liquidation companies record their sales on computers. It is beneficial for keeping track of the sales tax collected that must be reported and turn into the state.

More and more local authorities are requiring estate sales companies to take out a local license for their estate liquidation business.

More discussion in the future.

Sequestration – will it effect you?

Sequestration may effect estate sales buyers and sellers in parts of the country where there are numbers of federal employees. Furloughs or unemployment can diminish proceeds and inhibit sales.

If you are not buying as an antiques dealer or reseller on Ebay disposable income influences your impulse buying.  General household items prices eventually become lower with a smaller audience or tighter budget.

Of course not all areas of the country may see some of these changes. We’ll be watching for you.


Don’t let these stories happen to you.

Megan Feldman published an article in Consumers Digest in November 2012 entitled The Truth About Estate Sales. In the article she chronicles some of the serious issues that happened when some consumers hired some questionable estate sales companies. They appear not to have been informed on what to ask, look for and expect. That’s why Estate Sales News is here. To provide helpful information.

Not all estate sales companies are alike so choosing an estate liquidator armed with information can prevent many problems.

Here is a link to her article.

The Truth About Estate Sales by Megan Feldman