Estate Sales vs. Estate Auctions
Paul Williamson – December 1, 2019
Paul Williamson – December 1, 2019
Liquidating the estate of a deceased or relocating a loved one is a huge responsibility. Moreover, it lands at the most fraught time—in the midst of grief, apprehension, and transition.
The estate probably includes a massive collection of possessions, built up over a lifetime. You and other loved ones will no doubt want to select mementos to keep in the family, but any unclaimed items must be disposed of—either (A) donated, (B) trashed, or (C) sold for cash.
Many estate executors prefer option C. Not only can the beloved possessions find new life in the hands of a new owner, but the cash can help defer expenses or add to the cash value of an inheritance.
You can take one of two approaches when liquidating an estate for cash: an estate sale or an estate auction. These two approaches have some similarities, but also important differences.
Let True Legacy Homes unpack those differences with the following deep dive into Estate Sales vs. Estate Auctions.
1. What is an Estate Sale?
2. Pros of an Estate Sale
3. Cons of an Estate Sale
4. What is an Estate Auction?
5. Pros of an Estate Auction
6. Cons of an Estate Auction
Estate sales, also referred to as “tag sales,” invite shoppers into the home of the estate owner. The house gets turned into one big second-hand store, with every possession tagged and displayed for sale.
You can organize your estate sale yourself, but many executors prefer to entrust this big task to a professional estate sale manager, also known as an “estate sale liquidator.” The manager will handle every aspect of the estate sale, including:
Estate sale companies offer all of these services in exchange for a commission on sold items.
Typically estate sales run one to three days, with price reductions toward the end of the sale to liquidate as many items as possible. Selecting the right estate sale liquidator can ease the burden tremendously.
A version of an estate sale could be held online using eBay or Craigslist. This will typically net more cash, but it takes a lot of work, from price research to building out the listings, complete with photos and an honest assessment of the condition of each item. Listings with multiple high-quality photos tend to sell for much higher prices. As of now, no easy method exists to hold an estate sale online.
As you probably already know, an auction is an event at which property or goods are sold to the highest bidder. An estate auction puts the entire contents of the estate on the auction block.
You can hold an estate auction yourself, but most executors hire an accredited auction company to run the event. The professional auction facilitator markets the auction to a network of buyers and auction enthusiasts, sets starting bids, handles the logistics, and runs the auction (complete with the patter-talking auctioneer).
An auction is typically open to the public and can reap surprisingly high prices for your loved ones’ possessions. Professional auction houses and auctioneers usually have years of experience and extensive training in the auction business.
Auctioneering is one of the oldest occupations in the world, dating back thousands of years. Today, networks of auction houses serve the entire country, even remote or rural areas.
It’s hard to beat the auction when it comes to determining the value of an item—after all, what is value if not the most a person is willing to pay for it in a public setting?
Online estate auctions are a growing segment of the auction industry. Ask your auction house about the possibility of an online platform for your estate auction.
Trouble deciding between an estate auction or estate sale? Contact True Legacy Homes to discuss your specific estate liquidation needs. We can recommend the best course of action to navigate the challenging process of estate disposition.