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what is an estate sale

What Is An Estate Sale

Essential tips to understanding what an estate sale is

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What Is An Estate Sale

An estate sale is the sale of an entire estate/home. It is a way to liquidate the entire belongings of a household. If you are planning to attend an estate sale to explore and potentially purchase items for your new home, we have outlined some tips on what to expect.

What To Expect

At estate sales, you’ll often find a large assortment and sometimes, a diverse amount of items. Some homeowners have been collecting for decades. Estate sales are common for finding some of the best antique furniture, vintage clothing’s, and fine china along with some exceptional pieces.

Estate sales are advertised online, usually with pictures, allowing you to preview some of the items that will be for sale. Estatesales.net is a good source for finding upcoming estate sales. It is common for estate sales to take place over a 3-day period, Friday – Sunday.

Generally, everything in the home will be for sale. However, there are some “rules” to bear in mind when attending estate sales. Listed below are some Do’s and Don’ts.

Attending the first day of the estate sale, at the time it begins will allow you to see the best selection of merchandise for sale. If you see something your interested in, but it is too expensive, you may be lucky and find that its still there on the last day with a reduced price.

  • Arrive early and wait in line. Some estate sales will provide you an entry number. Often, for security reasons, the organizers will limit the number of people in the house at one time.
  • Don’t take a large bag with you, as you may not be permitted to enter. Organizers don’t want anyone stealing any of the smaller objects, and depending on the size and the number of staff, it can be difficult to monitor every movement, therefore, if you are being watched while you look around, or asked to show a receipt, don’t be offended.
  • Estate sales are not typically the place to haggle. Especially if the sale is being managed by a professional company. Private sellers may be open to your offers. Prices are generally set and on occasion, there may be multiple bids for one item. Naturally, the person with the highest number will be contacted to collect the item. For better bargains and markdowns, the last hour on the last day is when to be present.
  • Make sure you understand the payment terms prior to purchasing large amounts. Some estate sales will accept credit cards, while others will only accept cash.
  • Make sure to ask about pick up policies of large pieces before handing over your money.
  • Don’t expect to have help from the estate sale organizers to lift and load your purchases. For a fee, some estate sales will have helpers available to assist with lifting and loading.
  • Don’t feel uncomfortable about checking out the whole house. This includes bathrooms, closets etc. If there are any areas not open to the public, it will be clearly marked.
  • Inquire if there are items for sale in other locations of the property. For example, the garage, backyard, a pool house, or guesthouse. You can also inquire into hardware, lighting or any other fixed object. Usually the house needs to be emptied completely down to the bare structure.
  • Before buying any item, check its condition. Especially any antique, vintage or upholstered pieces. Most items are sold as is and cannot be returned.

And remember, if there’s something you see that you want, pick it up!

If you or someone you know is considering an estate sale, knowing How to Plan an Estate Sale is advised. It’s also a good idea to understand The Differences – Garage Sales, Yard Sales, Estate Sales.

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