How to Liquidate an Estate, from Knickknacks to Furniture

When faced with a task you’ve never had to tackle before, it’s often best not to procrastinate because it’s likely going to take longer than you anticipate. A death in the family hits like a ton of bricks. And before you have time to properly mourn, you’re forced to learn how to liquidate an estate of a loved one.

How to Liquidate an Estate in Asheville

With the compassionate team at Art of Downsizing on your side, you’re never alone in the process. When you begin to plan how to liquidate an estate, you must first know what exactly it is you’re selling. Removing or sequestering the things you know you want to keep and then nailing down a list of items you want to include in the sale eases your stress and keeps you organized. Once this is done, you can roll up your sleeves and start researching, tagging and pricing.

The Game Plan

The reality of any successful operation begins with extensive planning. Do you think the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018 without a rock-solid plan for success from the start? Nope! Developing a plan of attack where everyone does his part is as essential to the success of an estate sale as it is for a football game. Believe it.

Arranging and staging items in highly specific categories may seem tedious in the moment, but it ultimately helps you organize a successful estate sale. For example, don’t simply create a section or room of furniture and collectables. Instead, group and display items according to categories, such as:

  • Outdoor summer furniture

  • Antique furniture

  • Hummel figurines

  • Baseball card collection

Divide and Conquer

One thing we always have to remind people is that it’s OK to ask for help. American culture really puts pressure on people to do things themselves, sometimes to the point of nervous breakdowns. When you are forced to learn how to liquidate an estate because there’s no one else in the family who has time to do it, don’t go it alone; not only will it be labor-intensive, but you’ll make mistakes as well.

Whether you choose to hire Art of Downsizing or rally up some willing friends and beg family to aid in the liquidation process, getting help is a positive move in every way. Use your strengths in organizing or in sales, and let others pick up where you lack the skills or expertise. There’s no shame in asking for help. Follow instead the rule of that great 60s band and “get by with a little help from your friends!”

Process of Elimination

The main facet of how to liquidate an estate is knowing when to compromise. It can come in the form of a haggler trying to whittle down the price of an item or settling debates between two family members who want the same keepsake. Because all of the pieces in your sale might not be high demand liquidation material, it’s important to keep things in perspective.

If there are certain “big ticket” pieces you want to sell first — like expensive furniture, china or jewelry — place those on your list of high priorities. Market them properly to your potential buyers so they understand you know the value. Consider holding the sale over two or three days with sequential discounts in order to entice buyers back who were hesitant to purchase on the first day. Offer a bid box for those who want to make an offer on an item in the case that it doesn’t sell.

Be sure to exhaust all your options. Develop back-up plans upon back-up plans. Focus less on things with low monetary value, especially if you don’t mind donating them. And bring in professionals when you just can’t do it alone or when you want someone else to take care of everything for you. Call Art of Downsizing at (828) 772-5959. We listen to your needs and make informed suggestions to help accomplish what you need done.

Michelle Munson

Art of Downsizing, 1465 Sand Hill Road, Candler, NC, 28715