Tips for Estate Sales
- Change the locks on the house, if possible. You might be surprised to know who might have a key to the home.
- Do not throw anything away, especially original boxes. It is amazing sometimes what can have value. Cleaning, repairing and painting an item could actually have a negative affect on value.
- Avoid zigzag organizing. Go through and organize one room at a time. Start with the items that are visible. Then go through drawers, closets, etc. Make sure you search attics, basements, garages, and under the house. Even cookie jars or pockets might contain something valuable. (This is even more important if the person grew up during the depression, search through books, behind and under dresser drawers, between mattreses etc.. because having been raised in an era of financial insecurity many of these individuals would store enough cash on hand to support them for several months.)
- Organize and group similar items together. Look for a list, receipts, or any kind of information a loved one might have left behind that could help you establish a value and provenance.
- Divide important papers and personal items in boxes. Label boxes: Pictures, Personal, Owners Manuals, etc.
- Make a detailed, categorized list of important items. Separate items that you want to keep and remove them or place them in an empty room.
- Now you’re ready to liquidate the estate. The most common methods of estate liquidations are the household sale and the auction process.