Estate Sale vs. Garage Sale

A question we often hear is “Which is best? An estate sale or a garage sale? “

Normally, the best answer would be an estate sale liquidation. However, there are several considerations when answering the question. Even if there is little time for planning, it is always good to seek information from those whose insight may help determine your decision.

The first thing you must consider is your knowledge of the varying aspects of the contents to be liquidated. When determining if you have the experience and knowledge needed to make a correct decision, there are a few things to consider:

  • How many items are to be sold/liquidated?
  • Does your inventory contain a full or partially full house of contents?
  • Does it contain any high-end items such as jewelry, firearms, old coins, or anything that has varying degrees of appraisal criteria?
  • Is it overwhelming?
  • Do you sense any fear that you do not know what all you see before you?
  • Do you feel tempted to begin discarding items or donating items to remove the clutter?

These questions may help you to decide that it would be a good idea to call an estate sale specialist. To prepare for that phone call, it would be ideal to be in the presence of your inventory, to have several panoramic photos, or to have a list of the items. Your phone call should provide enough insight for the specialist to want to assist you, which is good.   On the other hand, you may have full awareness that what you have is garage sale items. If your inventory consists of mostly clothes, books, family photos, inexpensive furniture, home accessories, etc., then you may be on the right track.

On April 4, 2012, a gentleman purchased a framed piece of art for $5 at a local garage sale.  It turned out to be an early piece done by Andy Warhol when he was 11 years old.  It has been appraised at over $2 million.  What you do not know may hurt you! Make the call.