Are you wondering, “How do I plan an estate sale near me?” This blog post will tell you everything that you need to know. 

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What is an estate sale?

Many people have passed by estate sales and wondered what they were all about. In reality, an estate sale can mean almost anything, whether it’s from the recent death of a homeowner or a family that is uprooting and relocating.

An estate sale refers to the mass selling of someone’s possessions. It’s like a super-sized garage sale.

An estate sale can occur when someone wants to move into a retirement home or is downsizing from a larger home to a smaller home. These events may also be called “tag sales” or “moving sales.” 

You might wonder why someone would choose to downsize to a smaller home or apartment. Well, some people realize that that they’ve accumulated more stuff than they need. 

These estate sale owners will often try to get rid of everything they have. However, to get a good chunk of money from your event, here are the estate sale tips that you should follow. 

Inventory management

Start by making a list of everything you want to sell in your home – and yes, we mean everything. Also, make a list of the items you don’t want to sell.

Go from room to room and categorize the items based on the room it’s in. Then label the condition that each item is in on a scale from “poor” to “new.” This will help you price your items. For example, you can look online to see what other people are selling those kinds of items for. 

Pretty your items up a bit

By no means is this necessary for every item, but a quick polish or fixing some broken items can help improve resale values. 

Haggling – start high

When it comes to pricing, start by appraising prices using online searches. Look through catalogs, and if necessary, take certain items to antique dealers. Remember, when it comes to estate sales and garage sales, everyone is looking for a bargain. That means that if you’re hovering between two reasonable price points, it’s fine to go with the higher ones, as most people will try to haggle you down anyway. 

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When it comes to stickers, keep the same priced/same type items in one group. So all of the $2 picture frames should go together for instance. Display them in their own place as well. Whether that be a table, a shelf, or a box, it’s up to you. It’s all part of the fun of planning an estate sale.

Keep things moving

There’s a couple of things to keep in mind here for proper “foot traffic” through your estate sale. First, you’ll want to make sure that all of your displays (such as tables and furniture) are placed in the center of rooms or at the perimeter. You don’t want to display too many items on one table, shelf, etc. 

Doing both of these things will help to prevent bottlenecks and get more potential buyers through your estate sale. 

Use “Not for Sale” Signs

This step may actually not work for everyone. Oftentimes, even if an item is clearly marked “not for sale” or “off-limits,” that still won’t stop some people from inquiring about it anyway. If this happens to you, then you may have to hide these items in a separate room that is properly sealed off from everyone to prevent confusion. 

Don’t forget security

Even though you aren’t a storefront, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take security measures when running an estate sale. In this relaxed type of environment, it’s easier for thieves to steal without being noticed. To prevent this, there are security measures that should be put into place. Start by having helpers monitor everyone who comes and goes, preventing anyone from leaving without paying for their items. 

Remember to close and lock doors that shouldn’t be opened. Keep your cash in a secure strongbox and under constant supervision. And finally, keep small high-value items like jewelry at the cash register at all times. 

Market intelligently

This means putting your best items front and center to attract people to your estate sale. We all know that we should do this. But many of us don’t know what the most valuable and interesting items are to other people. Here are some of the biggest ones: furniture and appliances, sports memorabilia, collectibles, comic books, and antiques.

When it comes to your photos, brightness is important as it will give your items a fresh/new vibe rather than a spooky one. Remember, no one wants to go into some creepy old house and find even creepier old junk! 

Promote hard

Here are some places where you’ll want to place your ads:

  • The local town, city, and village papers one week before your sale. Make sure to use plenty of pictures in your ads so that people know what they can expect to find. 
  • Craigslist (listed under the “garage sales” category, but make sure to specify that it’s an “estate sale” in the headline to attract more attention)
  • Create signs with big and legible letters. Place these signs at major intersections. You can also take it a step further by adding arrow signs in between your main signs to point people to where your sale is. 

Hire a pro?

We added a question mark above because this decision is ultimately up to you. There’s no correct answer, but we can give you some reasons why hiring an estate sale professional is the best way to go. For starters, if the estate sale is the result of a loved one passing away, the sale owner might have no idea what the items were actually worth or where they came from. Trust is key.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of holding an estate sale, then Busy Beever is here to help you. We serve Kansas City and the greater metro area. Contact us and we’ll help you liquidate all of your belongings, stress-free.