Do I need an estate sale?
When people think about estate sales, sometimes called tag sales, they often picture a whole property bursting at the seams with thousands of items - in the home, the garage, in outbuildings, even the yard! But estate sales come in all shapes and sizes, so how do you know if you need an estate sale, or whether a rummage sale or garage sale would do the trick?
What is an estate sale?
According to EstateSales.net: “An estate sale, also called a tag sale in some parts of the country, is a way of liquidating the belongings of a family or estate. These are usually much more than garage or yard sales… The public is invited into the home and given the opportunity to purchase any item that is priced for sale.”
An estate sale differs from an estate auction in that everything in a sale is individually priced and shoppers can browse and buy previously priced items, while an estate auction sells by offering items individually to the highest bidder.
When do you need an estate sale?
While many people hold rummage sales and garage sales simply to reduce clutter, estate sales are total or near-total liquidation events that are usually held for specific reasons:
- Death in the family: Most tag sales happen when a family member passes away and the family must quickly liquidate their belongings. Hiring an estate sale company removes a lot of burden from the grieving family by handling all the advance details, executing the sale and, if you hire a company that also does property clean outs, leaving the home emptied out and broom swept.
- Divorce: When a couple ends their relationship with a houseful of common property, professional personal property liquidators can be a neutral third party, help ensure proceeds are fully accounted for, and allow both parties to liquidate everything and start over.
- Long distance move: Depending on where you’re headed, it may be impractical or costly to move the majority of your belongings to your new location. Not only can a tag sale help clean out your house before you go, but it can also raise funds to get you settled in your new space.
- Bankruptcy or foreclosure: When liquidating your belongings all at once, a sale can provide needed cash and eliminate future storage costs.
- Major downsizing: Every day, more Americans are choosing to downsize and travel most or all of the year. An estate sale is a great way to handle your household liquidation.
You don’t need to be liquidating a large property with lots of valuables. Small-to-medium estate specialists like Property Cleanout Michigan can help you get the most for your sale items, and tend to offer a more personalized experience than large companies.
What’s the difference between a tag sale and a garage sale?
To understand the differences between rummage sales and estate sales (or tag sales), you just need to know that each has different goals.
A garage sale involves selling miscellaneous household and outdoor items no longer needed by the sellers. It usually takes place in the garage, on the driveway, or in the yard for one or more days. You as the homeowner are in charge of identifying the items to be sold, pricing them, setting up and attending the sale, and cleaning up afterwards. You get the final say in any haggling that may occur, and you have to figure out what to do with any items that don’t sell. The items being sold are generally lower in value, as they tend to be items no longer needed by the sellers. Garage sales and yard sales are notorious hunting grounds for bargain shoppers.
By contrast, estate sales are intended to liquidate most or all of the items in a household. They are run by professionals, so after you make the decision to hand over the reins, most of the “heavy lifting” is handled for you. Considering the reasons one might need an estate sale, avoiding the manual and emotional labor of doing it yourself can be a huge perk. You don’t have to sort through all of Grandma’s stuff and decide what to keep or take time off of work to clean out the house. Handing things off to a professional allows you to focus on your family, instead of dealing with logistical headaches.
In an estate sale, most or all of the contents of the home and property are being sold. Estate sale specialists have expertise in pricing your items according to their value. The client does not need to be present during the sale, which is typically held inside the home on a first come, first served or list basis over several days. It’s common to find antiques, collectibles, recent technology, and other high value items at an estate sale, so they tend to draw customers who know what they’re looking for and are usually willing to pay the “right” price.
Another big difference is in how the two are advertised. A professional estate sale company will advertise your sale on estate sale listing websites, in addition to social media and on their own websites. Garage sales and yard sales can be widely posted through the sellers’ personal social media accounts and often rely on handwritten signage for promotion. Property Cleanout Michigan’s estate sales are always listed on EstateSales.net with photos, descriptions, and sale details, and thousands of people in the right geographic area see every sale we hold.
How does an estate sale work?
An estate sale sells the greater part of the contents of your home. Usually it involves selling the items within the home. Most estate (or tag) sales are conducted by professional personal property liquidators – an estate sale company. They sort, organize (or stage) the contents within the home, price, advertise, and conduct a sale lasting two, three, or four days. Some, like Property Cleanout Michigan, also offer estate cleanout services for an additional fee. And if you work with us, we can apply sale proceeds to the cost of your cleanout first, often avoiding any out-of-pocket costs for you. And, after a reasonable service fee, the net profits also belong to you. A full description of our process can be found here.
After the sale has concluded, Property Cleanout Michigan will donate or recycle as many of the remaining items as possible. Finally, we’ll haul away any trash and even sweep the floors.
Property Cleanout Michigan services the entire state of Michigan. If you are ready to start the estate sale process, get in touch. Your peace of mind is assured when you work with our team of professional, courteous, and experienced estate sale specialists.
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