Whether you’re downsizing to a smaller space or are moving on after the death of a loved one, an estate sale is a great way to liquidate your assets. A well-planned event will clear out your home before you sell, and it may offer a wealth of financial benefits to your family. Unfortunately, many people make some avoidable mistakes when executing their sale. By identifying the most common, you’ll be better prepared to host a highly successful estate sale.
Failure to Do Your Research
When selling your items in an estate sale, it is important to understand what is in your inventory. Many people make the mistake of listing an item for a low price only to later realize that it was actually worth much more. To avoid feelings of regret, be sure to research items that you aren’t familiar with to determine their value. There are many useful websites that can help, and for older items, consulting with an antique dealer may be beneficial.
Inappropriate or Unclear Pricing
While bargaining is common during estate sales, it is still important to price your items. A price tag tells buyers how much you’d like to receive for an item, and it reduces their need to track you down during the sale. Items should be priced based on the value of the piece rather than sentimental value; otherwise, you may have many unpurchased items at the end of your sale.
If you want your estate sale to be a success, you need to have a healthy crowd of shoppers. Proper advertising is important to bring potential buyers into your home. Relying on word of mouth or a few yard signs alone will leave you with a very narrow group of shoppers. Instead, utilize newspapers, online estate sale listing agencies, and other modes of advertising to spread the word about your upcoming sale.
Staging is essential when it comes to preparing your home for an estate sale. Be sure to organize your space in a way that is both appealing and convenient for buyers. Move items to the side to make walking paths throughout the home, and clear away any clutter. You should also move any tripping hazards out of the way and ensure large items are secured or anchored to prevent falls.
Failure to Consider Parking
If you want people to visit your sale, they will need somewhere to park. Use orange cones or yellow tape to clearly mark where your customers can park their vehicles. Not only will this be convenient for your guests, but it can also prevent potential property damage should visitors attempt to park on the property itself. If parking isn’t easily accessible, potential buyers may simply bypass your sale and move onto the next one.
Moving Items to Other Areas of the Home
Estate sale shoppers are accustomed to finding items in specific places within a home. So, if a shopper is looking for a particular item, they will likely start in that part of the home to look for it. For example, someone in search of a kitchen appliance will head toward the kitchen. If they don’t see it there, they may leave and move on to the next sale and won’t continue on looking around the rest of the house. For this reason, you should never move items around the house to areas that they don’t typically belong.
In an ideal world, all of your customers would be honest buyers, and you wouldn’t have to worry about security. In reality, it is important to take care of your belongings. Valuables, especially jewelry and other small items, should never be left unattended in a place where they may be stolen. Proper staffing with enough people to monitor each room of the house will also thwart potential theft.
Don’t waste your time, money, and efforts on a poorly-planned estate sale. By taking care to avoid some common mistakes, you’ll finish off the day with an empty house and full pockets.