6 Steps to Holding a Successful Estate Sale


It doesn’t matter what your reason is for holding an estate sale. The key to a successful one lies in being organized. Preparations for estate sales can take anywhere between 3 weeks to 3 months depending on your situation. You can reduce your workload for the estate sale by getting others to help you out. It makes the entire process less stressful. It is also helpful in keeping track of when you are required to do some things for preparation and when you need to get others to do things for you. Here are some tips to remain organized and ensure that you will not miss out on anything.

  1. Develop an inventory: Before you decide the time and date of your sale, first have an inventory. Prepare a list of items in each room and categorize them properly. Some of these categories can be “keep”, “sell, or “gift”. You can have more groupings if required according to your situation. Prepare a plan for the things you will not be selling. How quickly can you get these things out of the house? Or, can you have them as “not for sale” at the time of the sale? Whatever your decision is, you need a plan in place that will allow you to track what happens to every item.
  2. Create an estate sale inventory: Keep in mind that everything you own will not sell for a good price.You will increase motivation if you could provide a touch-up to the lesser value items it can boost the value. Every item that you can sell for $5 instead of $4 will make a difference. A group of 20 such items that are worth a few dollars can get you $100 or even more. Other items that are more expensive and worth $15 or $25 each, will bring a greater deal of money if they are well prepared and displayed. Making reasonable repairs and adding polishing can prepare the items well.
  3. Decide the price of the items: Another difficult question is how to put a price on the items. There are some things you need to remember and the most important one is research. Too high pricing can stop items from selling and if the pricing is low, it means you will lose out on the cash you may have received. Take a look at the pricing of similar items online on Facebook, Craigslist, or eBay to find out relative pricing. For selling valuables you can get help from appraisers to get the exact price.
  4. Display the items for sale: How you display the items you are selling will make a big difference in whether they will sell or not. Items such as chairs, dressers, and desks can get overlooked. You can opt to provide proper dusting to them and store them so that prospective buyers can find their value in their house. You should place the bedroom furniture in the bedrooms and kitchen items in the kitchen. It is a good idea to group similar items for prospects.
  5. Set up yourself for buying: Before you arrive on the day of the sale, you have to be ready for the buyers. Take into account the layout of the things. Are the items more crowded in certain areas? Have the best possible layout that allows people to walk around and browse through without getting a feeling of being cramped. Have a cash table in place for letting people know where they can pay the amount and buy things.
  6. Have security measures: In any kind of garage, yard, or estate sales, it is easy for the prospects to walk off with things they did not pay for. Although you do not expect this from people, it is a good idea to take additional security measures. You can get some people to help you with entrances and exits. There can be some people that will walk around but it might make the shoppers uncomfortable.


While you are downsizing you can be tempted to hold onto certain belongings. It is tough to eliminate items saved from a lifetime. In case you are struggling with this problem, you can ask a friend to help you in sorting out things and decide what you need and will have space for in the future. You also need to decide what you are going to do with the money you will make.

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