What to Expect When Having an Estate Sale Before Downsizing

Estate sales are a great way to help your elderly relative clear out their home as they are preparing to move into smaller quarters. Not only is it freeing to be rid of so many objects, but it can also be a smart financial decision. A well-run estate sale can net hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to help your relative start out in their new home with a comfortable amount of savings.

When to Have an Estate Sale

It is advisable to have an estate sale while your loved one is still in good health and can be a part of the process if they so desire. The ideal time is when they are planning to downsize and are ready to part with some of their belongings that they no longer need or want.

Sadly, many people do not plan and wind up having to scramble and hold an estate sale after their elderly family member has passed away. Having to worry about holding an estate sale at such a time can be overwhelming and emotional.

How to Prepare for Your Estate Sale

  • Have a large number of small bills and coins to make change.
  • Close off any areas of the home that are off-limits to shoppers.
  • Separate out the valuable items and make sure that they are displayed in a location that is easily monitored.
  • Advertise! Post on local internet groups and estate sale listing websites, post easy to read signs around the neighborhood and consider placing an ad in your local newspaper or bulletin.
  • Check with your town to see if you need a permit to hold an estate sale. If so, give yourself adequate time to secure the permit before your sale.

Tips for Hosting a Successful Estate Sale

The most successful estate sales are ones that are organized, well priced and held on days and times that are conducive to the local population. Most sales are held over the span of a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the morning and afternoon hours. Avoid holding sales on holiday weekends or in times of poor weather.

Consider marking down items as the estate sale goes on from day to day. You can also consider offering bulk discounts to shoppers purchasing multiple items.

Be friendly. Shoppers are more likely to stick around and browse when they feel welcomed and encouraged to dig around for treasures to purchase.

What to Do After the Estate Sale

Any items that are left after the estate sale still need to go somewhere. Here are some options for what to do with the sale’s leftovers:

An estate sale is an excellent way to help your loved one start the downsizing process. Asking them to help orchestrate the sale may also give them a sense of empowerment and control.

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