The Ins & Outs of Estate Sales



Having dealt with real estate probate and estate sales, we’re acutely aware that many people have a certain amount of anxiety when it comes to selling items that have been in the family for some time and hold a degree of sentimental value. We’ve helped many families as they go through this stage of a property sale, and we’d like to answer any questions you have about estate sales.

We’re only a phone call away, but we’re providing this written resource for starters. Here are a few FAQs about estate sales, as well as a checklist we’ve assembled to help you maximize your profitability from a sale while maintaining your sanity.

Isn’t an estate sale just another name for a garage sale?

Not at all. A garage sale is typically held by a homeowner selling a collection of things they no longer want or find useful. An estate sale is usually professionally run and is intended to sell all of the items in a home. Buyers expect to pay more per item at an estate sale, which often includes furniture, china, antiques, jewelry, yard, and garage items.

Who uses estate sales services?

Executors of estates, people moving to a retirement or nursing home, a family downsizing to a smaller home, or anyone needing to sell most of a home’s contents.

Who determines pricing?

If you use an estate sale professional, they will typically determine prices based on their experience, and their research and knowledge of the current market value for your area. As a client, you have the opportunity to review and approve the pricing of any and all items.

Do I need to be available during the sale?

Being there is totally optional for you, and many estate sales services prefer that you not be there. Many times, it’s very emotional to watch family items go up for sale; heirlooms carry sentimental value. And, many times, family members live in another state. However, you can absolutely be present if you wish.

What services does an estate sale service provide?

Professionals will pretty much do everything for you. They’ll sort, organize, clean, set up, display, and price everything in the house, yard, and garage. They’ll then conduct a marketing campaign to advertise the sale. Finally, after the sale is completed, they’ll make sure all remaining items are disposed of according to your wishes and make sure the home is professionally cleaned.

How are estate sale services paid?

A reputable service will charge you nothing upfront. They work on a percentage basis of the total sale proceeds; the fee is deducted from the money collected at the sale. You will typically have your portion of the proceeds within 10-14 days from the sale’s completion.

Some Do’s and Don’ts of Estate Sales

Here are half a dozen tips we can share with you from our experience to help you have a more prosperous, less stressful estate sale.

  • Start by having heirs take memorabilia and inherited items before professional estate sales professionals view the property.
  • Don’t throw anything away. As the saying goes, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”
  • Don’t hold a yard sale first. Estate sales professionals know what’s valuable and what’s not, and they’ll help you get a better sales price for your items.
  • Don’t sell anything to anyone before your scheduled estate sale. Local antique dealers love to come in and buy from estate homes. They try to “take the best and leave the rest,” leaving the estate sale service little to attract buyers. Selling off items before the sale will cut into your profitability.
  • Keep your homeowner’s policy in effect until the home is sold. This will cover all of the estate sale items in case of liability or damage.
  • Read the estate sale contract. Questions should be asked and agreements reached before you sign an agreement.

David Pannell & Cities Real Estate can help you and your family realize maximum profitability when you’re selling your home and having an estate sale. We won’t manage the sale of your possessions, but we will handle the sale of the home.

We can’t eliminate all of the stress related to probate sales and estate sales, but our experience in this area will make sure you and your family remain calm and confident during the entire transaction.

Give David a call today at (817) 797-9047. We’re here to help with all of your probate sales needs.

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Information is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS or NTREIS. The information being provided is for the consumer's personal, non-commercial use, and may not be reproduced, redistributed or used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Cities Real Estate (Home Team) are marked with the NTREIS IDX logo and information about them includes the name of the listing brokerage.

NTREIS data last updated February 6, 2023.

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