Estate Sales: A Billion Dollar Business You Never Heard Of
A Bit of The Cash We Recently Found in an Estate
Estate Sales are a Billion Dollar business in America. 2 million of our fellows will pass this year. Most of them will have some sort of personal property that forms a part of their estates. This means that every single day as many as 5,500 families will have to face the job of selling a loved ones personal property. And they are for the most part as ignorant of what to do with an estates stuff as a plumber who decides it’s time to build a new home.
It is clear to me that most of the families who are in this sort of predicament don’t know that there are professionals out there who can help them; that these professionals are called Estate Liquidators.
This Summer Many People Won’t Have an Estate Sale
Instead of having an estate benefit from the sale of a loved ones personal property many people will give all of a houses contents away to a charity. And that’s fine, if the estate doesn’t need the money, or if this is what the decedent wished. But more often than not families do this because they don’t know about estate sales. They have not heard about them. But, just because you’ve never heard about them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
I promise you, estate sales exist. They are a powerful way to sell personal property. They are a real way to profitably sell off a lifetimes worth of accumulations. In fact there are few better options for you and your family to sell a household full of personal property than through an Estate Sale.
Don’t live in an out of sight, out of mind misted fog of a mindset. Open up your thinking. Set your sights to learning about estate sales. This weekend while you are out taking a drive, look for some estate liquidators directional signs, and go check out your first estate sale. Talk to the folks running the sale. If they seem cordial, ask them to come over and take a look at your families stuff. You never know, you could have a treasure lurking in a drawer or cabinet. Something you had no idea was even salable could turn out to be worth a fortune.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. When a person is pressed for time they tend to make mistakes. Start your investigation early, check out your options sooner rather than later.
When it comes to Estate Sales, Ignorance is Not Bliss
I don’t know the whole story about the bottle above. I don’t know where it came from, other than that it was sold in an Albuquerque Flea Market to some lucky shopper for $4.00. That’s right, $4.00. That shopper took it to Heritage Auctions where it sold for an eye popping $13,750.00. That’s dough people!
I am certain I have been to that Flea Market. Don’t you wish you had found that bottle; no doubt. What I ‘d rather have seen though, is that the person who sold this bottle at the flea had first taken some time; had sought out some friendly professional advice. That they had hired a professional. If they had, they would be much richer today. Also my attention is drawn to the thought: I wonder what else they innocently brought to the flea market…
Ignorance is Not Bliss!
- If you don’t know what to do and are fairly certain you are out of your element - Get Help.
- If you are getting contradictory advice from unhelpful family members and friends – Get Help.
- If you are beginning to wonder whether or not you should have agreed to be a trustee or an executor – Get Help.
Moments like the three above are when you as the person who is responsible for the financial well-being of an estate might throw up your hands in despair, and say “Why Me?”
Can You Do Your Own Estate Sale?
Yes you can! Check out our web based Estate Sales Guide, but do yourself a favor first, before you conduct your own sale using its guidance, have an estate sales pro look over your stuff. Pay them if you have to. As the above illustration about the Coke bottle demonstrates, it may very well be worth it.
Every day I hear about someone who decided to do their own estate sale. I wish I could tell you that their experiences were always positive ones, but while they occasionally are, they sometimes result in utter disaster.
If you have a modest estate you can successfully stage and conduct your own estate sale. However if your estate has antiques, collectibles, jewelry and/or sterling silver or paintings; you are doomed to fail without either an appraisal document or the good services of a competent estate liquidator.
As I stated at the beginning of this article, Estate Sales are a Billion Dollar Industry. Do your best to protect yourself. Seek the consul of close friends, your attorney and anybody else who has gone through the estate sales process.
My book “Liquidating an Estate” covers in detail a host of options to liquidate an estate, other than doing it yourself. It also contains a very thorough and comprehensive estate sales guide.