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Estate Sale Secrets

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Estate Sale Secrets

Are you considering selling your house and moving to a smaller home, apartment, apartment community, or other senior living arrangement?  Maybe you have a parent or loved one that is considering making that transition or may have already made the transition to a senior living community, and you're tasked with taking care of all the "stuff" left in the house and getting the house sold.

One of the most common items I hear when talking to home owners considering downsizing or that have already moved is, "I'm thinking about having an estate sale for the items that I or my family don't want or need."  Although this is a very common thought to have, I'd like to discuss some of the realities of estate sales and various options available to take care of that "stuff."

Evaluating Your Possession

Initially, you need to conduct a thorough assessment of your belongings.  This could involve labeling or creating a list of items into categories, such as:  must keep, sentimental items, and non-essential or unwanted items.  This initial step will provide a good foundation for downsizing and the transition to a new home.

Keepsakes and Sentimental Items:  It's important to identify items that are of value, both monetary and that have sentimental value.  Items like antiques, collectibles, artwork, and some furniture might be suitable for an estate sale.  If items have sentimental value and cannot be easily replaced, you may want to consider what happens with these items more carefully.

Donations to Charities:  Items that are in good condition that you no longer need or want, and that you would like to see be used or of value can be given a new home through donations to local charities or organizations you support.  

Something that I don't think most people realize though, is how picky most charities are.  Whether its because of potential liability or other reasons, most charities do not accept items unless they are in great condition or brand new.  Many items that we'd think a charity would accept typically are not.

Gifts to Family & Friends:  If you have items that you want members of your family to have or that has significance to family members that will appreciate them, utilize this opportunity to ensure those items go to a good new home.

The Estate Sale Option

An estate sale can be a great way to sell your belongings when downsizing.  These sales are typically conducted by professionals who manage the process from start to finish.

Inventory:  Do you have enough inventory for an estate sale?  Its very common for most estate sale companies to only work with sales where there is at least $10,000 to $15,000 of inventory.  Because of the time and effort that goes into having a successful sale (for the estate sale company as well as the home owner) having enough value in inventory is essential.

Preparing For The Sale:  Estate sale companies take care of organizing, pricing, and presenting items for sale to potential buyers.  They also handle marketing, advertising, and managing the event itself, which may be at the house, online, or a combination of both.  For the home owner, this relieves the stress and hassles of handling all of the details that can come with an estate sale.

One challenge that I often hear about is the timing of the sale in regards to needing funds to get the home owner (parent or loved one) into senior living, selling the house, having the estate sale or getting funds for the the belongings in other ways, and cleaning out the house to get the house sale ready.

Home Downsizing Solutions can solve these problems by BUYING the house, getting the funds from the sale of the house to the seller/family immediately so that funds are available for senior living, having the estate sale to generate additional funds if possible, and then handing possession of the house to Home Downsizing Solutions "as is," with or without any stuff.  Home Downsizing Solutions will take care of any of the stuff you don't want, need, or can't sell.

Other Options When You Don't Have Enough Stuff For An Estate Sale

What happens in situations where there's not enough inventory to have an estate sale?  This can often happen once you've determined the items you want to keep, items you want to give to family and friends, and items you want to see donated to a favorite charity.

Some home owners decide they still want to try to monetize the items they have left, which can lead to trying to sell items individually or by having a garage sale.  This can be financially successful, but you will need to consider the time and effort of organizing all of the items, pricing the items, marketing the event, and what it takes (especially your time) to have the actual sale.

An easier "done for you" option is to have a company, like Home Downsizing Solutions, purchase your house and all of the "stuff" in it!  This allows you to just make one call to have your house and all the stuff in it sold, making the transition to a smaller home or apartment less stressful!

Additional Resources For Downsizing Your House

Although dealing with all of the stuff in your house to be able to make the transition to your next home can seem daunting, it doesn't have to be with the right resources. 

There are great estate sale and other companies that help with a person's belongings and the transition to a smaller living arrangement.

There are services that can assist with packing & moving, finding the right senior living community.

And, there are great services, like Home Downsizing Solutions, that can buy your house, take care of the stuff in the house, and facilitate moving to your next home, apartment, or other senior living arrangement.

If you have questions, or we can be of service to you and your family, please contact us at (855)-291-5005 or at

Ben Souchek is an author of the book Home Downsizing Secrets, and the owner and founder of Home Downsizing Solutions, a company that specializes in helping home owners transition from their current house to a new home, apartment, or other senior living community for more than 25 years.