An estate sale can be a lot of work, especially when you attempt to put one on in one week. However, with enough motivation, determination, help and a good plan it will come together successfully. As the owner you should be able to answer any questions that people will have about sale items, so be sure you know a little about everything such as when the last time an item was serviced or how old a painting is.
Enlist the help of family and friends to assist with pricing, errands and to act as watch dogs the day of the estate sale to help prevent theft. Place ads with your local newspaper and for free on local on-line sites. List the large items you are parting with in the ad to help draw the crowds. Rent a storage shed or make arrangements for a place for non-sale items to be moved to.
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Purchase or make pricing tags and pick up a large tag board to make street signs with. Price everything in the home that you will be selling. You can visit an antique dealer help in pricing older items, or find some pricing assistance online. Clean any items that have collected dust and dirt. The pricing and cleaning process will likely take two days, depending upon how much you have to sell. Create a bid box and bidding slips that include a spot for the bidder's name, bid and phone number for expensive items to give yourself an option to sell for less at the end of the sale.
Move everything that will not be included in the sale out of the house and into storage or another secure location on day three or four. Place it all in one room of the house if you can and block off that room, preferably with a locked door to prevent theft.
Determine what rooms of the house the sale should be conducted in and close off all rooms that will not be in use. Establish a nice even flow of traffic by positioning sale pieces along walls rather than in the center of each room. This will allow customers to move around freely from one room to the next.
Devise a game plan that will tell all of the helpers where they will be and what their duties are during the sale. Make sure you assign someone to rotate positions to provide breaks for everyone and be prepared to provide lunch for your helpers. Conduct a meeting with everyone that will be helping the day of the sale to go over the plan and ask for input.
Create signs and display them on busy street intersections as well as on the windows of the home that face the street to let everyone know about the upcoming estate sale. List the hours of the sale and make sure the letters are large enough to read from the street. Hang entrance and exit signs around the home. Set up a payment table or two near the exits and pick up at least $100 in various denominations for each cash box you will be using.
Wake at least two hoursprior to the start time of your estate sale and eat a good breakfast. Take a head count and start calling friends and family to make sure they will arrive soon. Make sure everyone is clear as to where they will be and what they will be doing. Set up the cash box(es) at the tables near the exits and place the cashier at these tables just before start time.
Hold a second day sale with discounted prices if you're unsatisfied with the amount of items that sold.
Things You'll Need
Money for change