10 Tips on How to Conduct an Estate Sale

10 Tips on How to Conduct an Estate Sale

The spring season is upon us. This is a time of new beginnings and a time for change. For many homeowners this is the start of the spring home selling season. For seniors this may be a time of transition. This may also mean a transition from your home of many years into an active adult community or a senior care facility.

This often raises the question of what to do with your home contents. Do you want to keep them and bring them with you to your new home or do you want a change as you transition into your new home? If you want a change, and want to look into buying new furniture, then this presents another challenge; what to do with your current furniture and your other household contents?

Exploring an Estate Sale is one option.

This is part of a continuing series of article and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior transition services by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com )  Personal Property Managers specializes in senior transition services such as downsizing, content clean out and removal, estate sales, full service real estate and property sale and moving.

Selling the house, de-cluttering, cleaning-up and clearing-out your house and its contents can be both an exciting and daunting challenge. With the cost of senior care and perhaps moving into an active adult community being extremely expensive, the desire to maximize the value of a lifetime of memories becomes especially important.

With the help of an Estate Sale professional such as Personal Property Managers (http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com/estate_sale_liquidation_services.htm ) the desire to convert a lifetime of possessions into cash can become a reality.

One of the first steps in downsizing is to recognize that not all the belongings you have in your current home can fit into your new home. Often parents would like to pass their belongings to their children. This presents  another challenge, because their  grown kids are often very busy or have totally different tastes. As a result, many parents will simply throw away, give away or donate everything in a belief that these items have no real value to others.  Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers, a certified Estate Sale specialist says that you’ll be surprised as to what people will actually buy at an Estate Sale if it is conducted properly and advertised and promoted professionally. Nick says that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.  

Nick Santoro advises his Personal Property Managers Estate Sale clients that to get the most of out of your Estate Sale, clients should consider his 10 Estate Sale tips:

  1. When client are trying to sell something, they should think like a buyer. Make believe that the shoe is on the other foot, and set up your sale accordingly.
  2. The success of an Estate Sale will depend on three things – 1) marketing; to create awareness, 2) selection of items for sale with lots and lots of pictures (to be included in your advertising) and 3) realistic and attractive prices to get people to buy; remembering that what one paid for an item and what it will sell for at an Estate Sale are often two very different price points.
  3. Selection – an estate sale should encompass a household of different items (furniture, appliances, tools and more), placed in an attractive and clean display, and staged to bring focus to the items that are most likely to catch people’s eye.
  4. Pricing Estate Sale items at reasonable and realistic price points is critical. As a general rule of thumb, this usually means items may sell for about 20% of original cost…but this is a very general rule and depends on many conditions such as its condition, its uniqueness, its value and so on. Although many items will have great sentimental value or may have cost a lot originally, they will most likely not be worth as much to potential buyers as they are to you. Take the time to research various websites to make educated and professional price comparisons.
  5. Understand that an estate sale is really a full house version of a garage sale. Things are spread throughout the entire home, not just the driveway. It is important to have professionals cover the entire home as salespeople and for security to avoid theft.  
  6. Be prepared to negotiate. Negotiating prices is the foundation of every garage sale and estate sale.  
  7. Valuables like gold, precious stones or signed artwork should be tested and appraised, or left out of the sale. Estate sale buyers may not be the right buyers for true valuables. You may need to find more specialized sources to sell these.
  8. Proper Estate Sale promotion, marketing and advertising is critical to an Estate Sales success. Personal Property Managers designs special web pages dedicated to each of their client’s individual estate sale and then promotes them on a host of Estate Sale Websites and other proprietary venues. You’ll want to draw as much attention to the sale as possible by using signs along public roads. We have found that 40-50% of your buyers will come from the signs, so large noticeable signs with proper messaging and strategic placement is very important.  
  9. Prepare a fanny pack for each staff member with sales materials to keep the sale running efficiently and smoothly.
  10. Hand out tickets starting an hour or so prior to the sale to allow access on a first come, first serve basis. Make sure to only allow enough people in at a time to follow fire department regulations.

Personal Property Managers, LLC (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) can help you in the process of asset liquidation, Estate Sales and moving. At Personal Property Managers we specialize in downsizing, content removal and liquidation, Real Estate / property sales and moving. With one call, Personal Property Managers does it all.

For more information please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com  or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, full service real estate services via its association with Coldwell Banker to help sell homes and their contents.

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