How to Prepare for an Estate Sale or Downsizing Sale



Don’t throw away anything!! Not until a company visits and tells you that it has little or no value. Old linens, towels, pots and pans, have a potential buyer.

First and foremost, go through all paperwork and remove any items that would disclose personal or financial information. There will be many people coming through your house or the estate of which you are the executor. Social security numbers, birthdates, credit card numbers, and bank accounts can easily be copied and used.

Secondly, go through pockets of clothes and any other areas that you suspect could have been a hiding place for valuables. Reputable companies will do this for you and present to you any valuable items they discover. However, prudence is needed.

If you own jewelry, coins and other collectibles, it is always a good idea to go through any jewelry to identify gold or silver. Point these items out to the

  1. Estate Sale Companies you have chosen to perform the sale. Most established estate sale companies have high end clients who purchase gold and silver for a much higher price than local gold and silver buyers in the commercial market.

Gold and silver should be weighed and value given to not only the gold or silver content but also designs.

Sterling silver flatware should be weighed first, then the pattern identified and current value. There are many dealers that would purchase good sterling flatware.

Jewelry, a good estate company will value costume jewelry based on design, desirability and of course makers mark on the back. Remember, just because it is old does not mean it has a high value.

If you own old figurines or other collectibles that you believe have value, be sure and point this out to the estate sale company. They will be able to examine and give you an idea of value.

It is extremely important that you identify what you or someone in your family will wish to remove from the sale. You should be able to identify what is going into the sale before you consult with any company. The estate sale company needs to know exactly what they are selling before they agree to perform the sale.

Remove all items that are not included in the estate sale. If that is not possible, and it is furniture, place a “Not for Sale” sign on each piece you are not selling. Small items should be boxed and clearly identified “Not for Sale”. Place all boxes in one area.

Day of sale – If you are still living in the home, do not open the door for early birds. Wait for your estate sale company.

When the sale is over, you will probably have some items left that did not sell. Ask the estate sale company for their recommendations of final disposal.

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