5 Keys to a Successful Estate Sale

1. What is an estate Sale?

Let’s start our 5 keys to a successful estate sale with the basics: What is an estate sale? An estate sale (sometimes called a tag sale) is a sale or auction used to remarket large amounts of items quickly. The most common reason to host an estate sale is to sell the personal items of someone recently deceased. Quickly liquidating personal belongings of a deceased individual is important for a number of reasons. 

  • An expedited sale can help with closure and after a death. 
  • The surviving parties don’t have extra space to store items at high volumes.
  • The surviving parties may not be interested in bulk personal belongings.
  • The will or other legal agreements made by the deceased may require a sale to cover debts.

Other reasons to host an estate sale include divorce, foreclosure, or downsizing to facilitate relocation. Estate sales are one of the best options to move fast into the next stage of life when liquidating personal property.

2. Hire an Estate Sale Company? or do it yourself?

Estate Sale Setup

Hiring an estate sale company is a big decision that deserves serious thought. The biggest advantage to hiring an estate sale company is their ability to organize and market your sale.  They will send a representative to appraise all of the items and provide a time estimate of how long it will take to price and stage your sale.

Choosing the right company is vital. Don’t be afraid to shop around and find the best fit for your needs. The three questions you should ask estate sales before hiring are:

  • What percentage of sales will they charge?

A common range for estate sale companies to charge is between 30-50% of your sales. When vetting estate sale companies, make sure you know the percentage agreement to avoid any hidden fees or higher sale percentages. Get your quotes in writing from each company before committing to the best option.

  • What strategies will they use to market and spread the word about your sale?

Reputation for an estate sale company should be high on your list when deciding which company to employ. Companies with a great reputation in your area will bring in bigger crowds resulting in a better sale. Choosing a well established company can make or break your sales experience.

  • How many staff members will they provide for the days of your sale?

Ask how many workers the company will have on hand during your sale. If the company is well organized, they will provide enough staff to help keep crowds moving and help shoppers move or carry large items to their vehicles after they have been sold. A company that provides enough sales associates and labor makes a world of difference.

3. Preparing for your sale

If you want to avoid paying an estate sale company a large percentage of your sales, running a DIY estate sale is still an option. The success of your sale depends on your ability to stage all items, price fairly, and spread the word in your area to attract the largest crowd possible. Here are a few tips to running a successful DIY estate sale.

  • Setting up your sale from Thursday-Sunday is a standard length of time for a medium to large sale. Research and select the best weekend to run your sale. Don’t let a holiday or the weather ruin your payday.
  • Take advantage of social media. By posting in Facebook groups, listing on Craigslists, and spreading the word on your other favorite social media platforms should take precedence over hours of making flyers and signs.
  • Have a good system in place to collect payments. Providing a cash only option could limit your customers. Try providing multiple options like PayPal or Square that allows visitors to use debit or credit cards for transactions.
Organizing an Estate Sale

4. During The Sale

Keeping a light and fun atmosphere at your sale will help visitors shop longer. Playing light music, keeping your house well lit, and talking with new visitors are great ways to make your sale feel welcoming and energetic. Providing water, soda, and a few snack options is another great way to keep your estate sale friendly and encourage shoppers to stay longer.

Be prepared to talk about your items for sale. Your guests may ask about the condition and history of your larger, standout items. Being ready to answer questions can be a deciding factor for some shoppers and can help you close the deal on expensive pieces.

5. After the sale

Whether you use an estate sale company or decide to do it on your own, you might have some items left unsold. A great way to limit how many items you have left over is offering free items to visitors in the last couple hours of your sale. That will incentivize people to help clear out your clutter.

Another great option is to donate items once your sale is complete. Contacting your local Goodwill or independent thrift stores to confirm they will accept your left over items is an easy way to move your remaining inventory.

Not sure how to haul away your large items for donation? Bungii is ready to help with your delivery needs. Bungii is an on-demand delivery app that puts a pickup truck and driver right at your fingertips. It is a perfect solution for anyone who needs large items delivered fast and at the most competitive rates. Download the app today. Find out if Bungii is in your city by checking out our markets page here.

Organizing and selling large amounts of personal items can be intimidating, but following our 5 keys to a successful estate sale and choosing the best option can turn a tall task into an easy win for you and your assets.