4 Steps To Prepare For A Family Estate Sale

Preparing for an estate sale is at least half the work of having one. How can you prepare for your upcoming estate sale? Here are four steps for any family.

1. Know What's for Sale. Whether you are doing this alone or with an entire family, it's important to understand thoroughly what you want to sell. Have a frank discussion with a family about all items you plan to list to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This will speed the process once you get an agent involved, and it will help prevent hurt feelings and disagreements. This is the time to let family members choose personal keepsakes for themselves, but consider setting a value list or agreeing among yourselves what to do if items have monetary value. 

2. Get Appraisals. Potentially high-value items deserve their own appraisals. This includes any pieces of artwork, firearms, collectibles, fine clothing, and antiques. If in doubt, make your own internet searches on any markings you can find, names on the items, and unique elements so that you can determine if you should investigate further before the sale. Begin this process as soon as possible so that you have plenty of time to work with professionals before the sale starts. 

3. Decide What's Not Worth It. Once you've decided what's for sale and what may have particular value, think about what may not be worth your time to sell. Estate sales are held in place, and so the cost of trying to sell them is minimal. But you may want to whittle away items that are unlikely to attract enough attention. Don't be too hasty to donate items of modest value, though, because your estate sale agent will want to have enough to make the trip worth the while for the public.

4. Combine Items. Things of modest value can be combined to form a sort of collection that would be worth purchasing. Small collections, mid-price antiques, or groupings of similar items work well this way. Look for ways to group together things that could have some value with other similar pieces that may be worth more or less. Clean up all the potential pieces, so they are at their best, but take care not to risk damaging any of them.

Although this is likely a difficult time for your family, putting the effort into preparing for your estate sale will help it go as smoothly and successfully as possible. For more information, contact your local estate sale services.

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