Category Archives: How to Avoid Estate Sales Conflicts

The Estate Sales Circus

…or How to Drive an Estate Liquidator Crazy…

Cole Brothers Circus paper sign promoting The Great Florenzo

(Sold By Dan Morphy Auctions for $770.00)

I kind of think that most Estate Sales Professional start their day fairly sane – that they have a reasonable expectation that they will be civil and cordial to their customers while conducting their sale – that they will endeavor to try and sell their clients items to their estate sales customers in as easy of a fashion as they possibly can.

…but then something sometimes happens…

Houdini in the Amsterdam (Holland) Prison Jan. 1902 poster

(Poster Sold by Swann Galleries for $65,000.00)

The Estate Sales Process Gets Weighted Down By “The Haggle.”

Estate Sales Professionals have to walk a very taunt and thin tight rope. They have to satisfy two kinds of people. Their clients who want the most income for their personal property and their estate sales customers who are looking for the best, or in their minds “A reasonable purchase price.”

This leads to all sorts of Estate Sales Acrobatics…Like Tumblers at a Circus…

La Montie Family circus poster
Poster Sold By Cowan’s Auctions for $510.00

Part of the fun of going to estate sales is finding or negotiating for bargains. It’s intrinsic to the process. Negotiating the price helps me sell and my customers buy, about 90% of all the personal property contained in a home during a 3 day estate sale. So let’s negotiate. No problem there…

And let’s celebrate the conclusion of our negotiation as a Win for both of us….

Sterling Super-Bru chromolithographed tin sign

(Sold by Cowan’s Auctions for $1,667.00)

Three Negotiating Suggestions

  1. Stay Loose
  2. Remember there are two sides to the process.
  3. The other side is not the enemy.

Also, there are so many estate sales out there, and there is so much “Stuff.” If you don’t successfully conclude a deal at one estate sale you may find it at another just down the road.

If you want to learn more about Antiques and Collectibles Values, then read my post about how to get 10% off Prices 4


Martin Codina

Where to Purchase Our Book "Liquidating an Estate"

How to resolve Estate Liquidation and Estate Sales Conflicts…

Or, How to avoid the estate sale tug of war…

Some Suggestions:

The following suggestions for resolving estate liquidation conflicts is in no way an attempt to replace sound legal advice, but is offered as an additional estate liquidation resource.

Everything, all decisions about the estate – from what to do with the house, financial instruments, and personal property is all about the answers to the following questions.

What did the the decedent want, and in the case of someone who has past away without a will, what would the decedent have wanted?

As an executor you are in a rare position, a position of trust, a position of acting on the will and authority of another person.

This following list is meant to give you some guidelines, which will help you ponder better ways to resolve your families estate liquidation conflicts

A simple executor guide to help you resolve Estate Liquidation, and Estate Sales conflicts should they occur…

  1. Carefully read the will and make notes.
  2. Meet with your attorney, and let them know that you are going to have a family meeting.
  3. Before any family meeting, compose a letter to each of the heirs, asking them to write down 4 principals that they remember as being important to the decedent.
  4. Ask each heir to bring their list with them, to the family meeting.
  5. After everyone has read their list, establish and remark upon any common ground.
  6. There will be some commonality, and agreement among the heirs, about the principals of the decedent. Highlight these agreements.
  7. Discussions will unfold about what to do with the personal effects of the estate, refer as much as possible to the agreed upon principals of the decedent.
  8. Ways to prevent a free for all atmosphere at this juncture, is to ask each heir to use the following questions as a guide for choosing items from the estate: What’s important to keep and What’s OK to let go of?
  9. Decide if the decedents principals can be aligned with what ever estate liquidation options are available to the family.
  10. Choices for what to do with the remaining personal property are fairly clear, and are narrowed by the geographical area where the estate resides, and the temperament of the family – guided by the decedents principals, and are as follows: Estate Sales, Auctions, and Charity.

For a list of questions to ask an estate liquidator go to Questions to ask an Estate Liquidator

My name is Martin Codina and I am an estate liquidator who cares…

Back to Fine Estate Liquidation, Inc.

If you find that you have a desire to stage and conduct your own estate sale, try our kit:

The Do it Yourself Estate Sales Kit