An estate sale is a sale of items from the estate after someone has passed. It also is a sale of a home that has been either abandoned or foreclosed in the city of Los Angeles, California.

“Simply, it refers to selling, en masse, of most of someone’s possessions in Los Angeles, CA,” Kelly Johnson writes on Pinterest. She explains that she and her husband opened their home to bargain hunters and sold about 95% of their unwanted possessions.

They sold anything from tiny items such as picture frames and candles to bigger-ticket items like furniture and a wide-screen TV. A sign-up sheet is used and /or a number system and there are policies that contain certain rules. The self-number system is used by some companies. Though it is vulnerable to many cases of abuse, and companies that use this system have a strict policy in how they are handled.

Organizing the sale

To make things a whole lot easier, remove all the objects from their original places and sort them by function, or, by value. For example, categories might include appliances, clothing, or works of art. And create a separate category for pricey items. As for the really expensive antiques, you may want to sell them separately entirely for a greater profit.

Assess the quality and condition of objects

Clean the furniture, jewelry, and fine dishware very thoroughly but carefully. Make minor repairs as you go through the items, but leave damaged items as is- in case you do not know how to fix or restore them properly.

Create a catalog of all objects

Include the details of size, category, functionality, etc. Do a thorough, neat job and print multiple copies for siblings or those with a financial stake in the estate.

Set up displays for items

like artwork or furniture, and group items together by type on display tables, kitchen items on tables, or in the kitchen. Borrow, or buy tables as you need or that will fit inside the house. Place valuable items like jewelry near the checkout table or even inside a lock and key display case.

Pricing items

Based on catalogs, antique items, resale sites, and other estate sales will help give you a better idea of what items are worth. When you set prices too low, you will end up throwing your money away; when you set them too high, that could scare off potential buyers.

Take pictures of all objects

Based on the size, value, etc. do either individually or in groups to serve as references for merchants. Also for the use of advertisements. Post these photos in your online advertising, or use them by separately placing your most desirable items for sale online.

Set a date

The professional estate sales usually last 2-3 days, over a weekend. Keep an eye on local events and holidays and consider your dates carefully to not conflict. They may bring people in or keep people away, depending on your circumstances.

Avoid dates when others in your area are holding estate sales, to reduce any competition.

Prepare your home

By having an easily accessible home and good clear signage to direct visitors from the street view. Put items not for sale in off-limit areas. Keep one entrance/exit open and place the checkout table nearby to deter any theft. Any hazards, such as uneven floors, holes in the drywall, low ceilings, wobbly railings, etc. are all clearly marked or kept off-limits, as you can be held liable for any injuries that may occur.

Advertising with similar merchants

Find antique shops, thrift stores, resellers, furniture stores, and any other places that may be interested in purchasing your goods.

Run advertisements locally

Place ads for sale in the newspapers, and online, and distribute in your neighborhood using flyers and through avenues like social media and estate sale-specific sites. Keep your phone on loud nearby to answer any questions and respond to any e-mails you receive promptly, professionally, and courteously.

Note: Sometimes your estate sale can be accompanied by taking bids. However, you are taking a chance when someone else is willing to pay the market price. It is important to keep in mind, that when you have sold an item. Some customers will need a truck or a van to pick it up later, so you can mark the item as ‘sold’ to avoid any confusion.