Everything You Need to Know About Estate Buying in 2018

Need to get rid of everything? Ready to liquidate an estate in the New York area? Don’t know where to turn?

GEM Pawnbrokers can handle the job for you! Our professional estate sale liquidators have spent decades managing sales throughout the New York Tri-State Area. We appraise and buy everything from fine jewelry to electronics.

Make your life easier. Call us today at 718-596-5626!

What Is an Estate Sale?

When you need to sell everything or almost everything in your home, you hold an estate sale. It’s a great way, sometimes the only way, to get rid of a lot of stuff quickly.

If you rely on estate liquidators, it’s easy. You call in the experts, open the doors to your house, and let people rummage through your old belongings in search of the next great bargain.

At the end of the day, you get rid of things you can’t afford to keep, and you make money while you’re at it.

Sellers love estate sales because they’re quick, easy, and lucrative. Buyers love them because they can get their hands on incredible items—silver, jewelry, even video games—for impressive prices.

Estate sales can also be emotional affairs. It’s not always easy to watch people sift through a lifetime of belongings and make bids on your memories.

On the other hand, liquidation can free you from a great burden. No longer tied down by a houseful of objects, you can begin to plan for the future.

Why Hold an Estate Sale?

People typically hold estate sales after major life events such as death, divorce, bankruptcy, or retirement.

When someone dies, surviving family members may divide up their belongings. Some items may go to charity. The rest gets sold at an estate sale.

If there are no surviving family members left to manage the sale, an attorney will handle the details, usually with the help of professional estate sale liquidators.

Others may sell their possessions before they die. Perhaps they need to downsize to a smaller home after their children have fled the nest or before they enter a nursing home.

Whatever the reason, people hold estate sales when life forces them to make changes.

What’s the Difference Between an Estate Sale and a Yard Sale?

organize yard Sale to get rid of things no longer want


You hold a yard sale to get rid of things you no longer want. Perhaps you’re hoping to de-clutter. Maybe you just need to make a little extra money on the side.

You hold an estate sale because you need to liquidate your belongings. Circumstances have changed, and you can no longer hold onto your house or your possessions.

Yard sales are more relaxed. You can hold them whenever you want. You can pick and choose a few items that take up too much room in your home.

Estate sales are more urgent affairs. You plan them in response to a sudden need, such as a death or a divorce, and you typically sell most if not all of your stuff.

While yard sales are held outside the home or in the garage, estate sales are almost always held inside the home. That allows people to wander through the house and see the items in a more natural setting.

What Type of Items Do People Buy at Estate Sales?

Woman and Man Looking for Antiques Decor at yard sale

Anything in your home can be sold at an estate sale. From antique décor to modern furniture, from bicycles to televisions, if you can name it, you can find it at an estate sale somewhere.

That being said, some items fly off the shelves faster than others. The most popular merchandise includes:

  • Jewelry
  • Silverware
  • Large Furniture
  • Fine China & Dishware

Should You Hold an Estate Sale?

An estate sale isn’t the only way to get rid of belongings. You could hold a yard sale. You could sell individual items to a pawn shop. You could list items on sites like eBay.

So, why would you organize an estate sale? You might open up your entire home if:

  • You have a lot of stuff.
  • You have items that might be worth a lot of money.
  • You need to get rid of your belongings quickly.
  • You don’t want to sell stuff yourself.

When Should You Hire an Estate Sale Company?

hire professional estate liquidators

Some people handle estate sales on their own, but most hire professional estate liquidators to manage the details for them.

There’s a reason few people go the DIY route. Doing it yourself takes a lot of time. Before jumping into it alone, think about everything that needs to get done. You’ll have to:

  • Sort through everything in the house to find things that people might buy. That means everything. You’ll have to dig through attics, basements, rooms, closets, sheds, cupboards, and drawers.
  • Research each item and set an appropriate price. The older, more unique pieces you have, the harder it will be to find accurate prices.
  • Remove items you don’t want to sell. That includes personal things like photographs, medical records, letters, documents, etc.
  • Advertise the sale on social media, Craigslist, and around town.
  • Arrange the house so people can walk through and items can be displayed.
  • Organize merchandise in a logical way to make buying easier.
  • Hire security and/or invest in cameras to guard your stuff and catch thieves.
  • Answer buyer questions.
  • Staff the cash register and collect money.
  • Clean up the mess afterward and dispose of unsold items.

When all is said and done, you’re talking about at least a month of hard work before the big day, a lot of work during the sale, and plenty of cleanup afterward. No matter who you are, you probably won’t be able to do it alone.

Tips for Holding a Successful Estate Sale

Vintage White Furniture at Estate Sale

If you want to carry off a successful sale, you should consider the following tips:

  • Talk with other family members and come up with a plan.
    • Tip: If you’re dealing with the death of a loved one, be sure to include family members or any other interested party. They may want to keep some items or help plan the sale.
  • Go through your possessions or the belongings of your loved one.
    • Tip: Even if you’re not organizing the sale on your own, you’ll want to get a sense of what you’re selling.
  • Look for anything that might be of value.
    • Tip: You may have to do some research online or talk to an appraiser.
  • Hire professionals to do the job for you.

Tip: Think about the time it will take you to plan and organize a sale and remember that time is money. Hiring a company to do the job will probably save you money in the long run.

  • Find a reputable company to handle the sale.
    • Tip: Plenty of untrustworthy businesses try their hands at estate liquidation, but you want a company with long history and a proven track record.
  • Draft a written contract.
    • Tip: It’s always good to get everything in writing, and a well-respected estate company will oblige.
  • Be realistic.
    • Tip: People almost always overvalue their possessions. You’ll rarely get as much as you hope for your stuff. If you know that ahead of time, you won’t be disappointed when the time comes to part with your most cherished belongings.

Tips for Buyers

What about those who show up at an estate sale looking for great finds or incredible deals? Here are some key tips for estate sale buyers:

Handmade stuffed toys and clothes at yard sale

  • Show up early to snag items before they disappear.
  • Conversely, show up late to get the best deals.
  • Do a walk-through first to see everything before you commit to a purchase.
  • Negotiate with the seller to get a better price.
  • Inquire about the price if you see an unmarked item.
  • Ask if you must pick up big items immediately or if you can wait until you’re able to hire a mover.
  • Bring help since you may need to transport heavy items on the spot.
  • Be sure you want something before you buy it since all sales are final.

Why Use GEM Pawnbrokers?

With more than 70 years in the business, GEM Pawnbrokers knows how to appraise and sell valuable items. We don’t just run the largest chain of pawn shops in the nation; we also help people liquidate their homes or the homes of their loved ones.

Our estate buyers help people unload:

  • Fine Jewelry
  • Gemstones
  • Fine Watches
  • Silver

Ready to downsize? Need to clear out an estate after a death? Contact our experienced estate sale liquidators to get started today.

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