Suggestions For Holding An Estate Sale After Someone's Passing

Following a death in the family, there are many things to do – arrange a funeral, find a grave site, reminisce with family, and so much more. Sifting through a loved one's possessions and holding an estate sale for their belongings is usually near the bottom of this long list, but it cannot be overlooked. When you decide to go through the home, you might decide that you can sell the belongings yourself. Of course, you might decide that the task is too large for you and your family to take on and hiring someone to hold an estate sale is the best option. Before making a final decision, however, read through these suggestions to help you decide which is best for you.

Sifting, Storing, And Selling By Yourself

There are benefits to holding your own estate sale or using other methods to sell the belongings of your deceased family member. However, it is a big task that shouldn't be taken on lightly. Here are some things to consider about doing this yourself:

Immediate Income: If you are selling yourself, chances are that a lot of the sales will be done over a period of time (holding multiple sales, selling online, etc.). Can you afford to sit on items, or do you need the money to pay off debts now?

Time Factor: There is a big time factor to consider when selling yourself. After the initial sale, you may end up spending more time online posting to auction sites than is worth the returns you receive.

Space Factor: Another factor is one of space. Do you have the storage space to hold onto items for extended periods? If you can easily store items at no expense to you, then holding your own sale can be really beneficial.

Appraisals: Even if you hold your own sale, it is a good idea to get your items appraised. If you ask prices that are too high, you'll have difficulty selling, but marking an item too low is cheating yourself.

Valuables: If you have really valuable antiques, it is a good idea to sell them at auction. It is sometimes difficult to sell these yourself because potential buyers may not recognize their worth and will try to talk you down in price. At an auction, your antiques are more likely to be recognized for their worth and sell at higher prices.

Handing Responsibility Over To A Professional

Holding a formal estate sale can help relieve family tension and keep you emotionally distanced from letting go of your loved one's possessions. If you are considering this option, keep these other factors in mind, as well.

Immediate Income: Holding one large estate sale means the money is received all at one. Not only is this good for paying off remaining debt, but it makes it easy to split earnings between living relatives.

Marketing: Estate sellers often have a set of "followers" or "regulars" that they notify before each estate sale. They also use other resources to market the sale, ensuring you have a good turnout and a successful sale.

Appraisal: Pricing items is left to the seller, so you don't have to worry about doing that yourself. However, it's still a good idea to get valuables appraised prior to the seller coming in so you know if they are selling items at fair market value.

Fees: While handing over the responsibility of arranging, pricing, and selling items is a great relief to you, keep in mind what your seller's fees are. Most estate sellers keep 35% of sales and have additional fees for removing unsold items from the property.

Holding an estate sale after the passing of a loved one can be an emotional and stressful event. However, you can hold your own estate sale or you can choose to hire a company to come in and do it. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each before making a final decision. For more information, check out a website like