How to Price Household Items for an Estate Sale

  • Things That Sell Well at Estate Sales
  • Things That Don’t Sell Well at Estate Sales
  • How to Price Estate Sale Items
  • How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Estate Sale Company?
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Figuring out how to price household items at an estate sale is no easy task. Luckily, the pros at Estate Pros are here to help! There are a number of variables that affect the price of items sold at an estate sale, such as the age and condition of the items, the current demand for these items in the public marketplace, and the type of items your home contains.


What Sells at Estate Sales?

The types of items sold at an estate sale vary widely, ranging from automobiles to antique furniture. Generally, high-ticket items are things like furniture, collectibles, jewelry, automobiles, rugs, and artwork. It is typical for the items at an estate sale to reflect the diverse interests of their owner, such as sewing machines, baseball cards, gardening tools, fine art, and other collectibles. 


Things That Sell Well at Estate Sales

  • Certain antiques: Mid-century furniture has been hot for a number of years now and shows no signs of slowing down soon. There is always a market for interesting pieces and exotic furniture.
  • Rugs: Many people look for handwoven and antique rugs at estate sales.
  • Kitchen appliances: Kitchen appliances that are modern or in good working condition can be sold easily at an estate sale.
  • Paintings: Many people who are in the market for paintings, photography, and other art shop at estate sales.
  • Designer clothing: High-quality and well-kept designer clothing holds value and certain brands can be highly sought after for vintage pieces.
  • Tapestry and sculpture: Price these similarly to how you would price art on canvas.
  • Automobiles: Automobiles are always in demand, and classics or modern cars in good condition can catch prices very near fair market value.

Things That Don’t Sell Well at Estate Sales

  • Old electronics and TVs: With the exception of a few things like IBM mechanical keyboards, which are highly sought after, old electronics don’t hold a lot of interest or value to many people these days.
  • Pianos and organs: The market is pretty flooded with these large pieces (and they are hard to move).
  • Brown furniture: Much of the high-quality, brown furniture that can be found in an estate sale just isn’t in style anymore. Today, people favor cheaply made, modern furniture from Ikea and the like.
  • Collectible figurines: Though these can fetch excellent prices for the right buyer, they typically aren’t appreciated as much in the estate sale market. Things like Hummels or other porcelain figurines don’t typically suit the tastes of the current generations shopping at estate sales today.
  • Books: Books can be difficult to sell at an estate sale, but there are a number of resellers that you can contact who deal only in books.
  • China: Fine china also isn’t appreciated by today’s generations as it was decades ago. It may be better to sell it somewhere else, such as an antique shop, where it will find the market that appreciates it.
  • China cabinets: Just as people’s collections of fine china used for special occasions are dwindling, the cabinets used to store these collections are no longer as popular.
  • Decorative glassware: Vases and tchotkes and such aren’t extremely popular these days.


How to Price Estate Sale Items

Correct estate sale pricing takes expertise in a broad range of specialties and interests. Items sold in an estate sale are typically priced below what they would sell for through consignment or at an auction, and they are typically priced higher than they would be priced at a garage sale.

High-ticket items such as artwork, furniture or automobiles are usually sold individually, whereas smaller items such as kitchen appliances, tools, and clothing may be priced in lots. If you don’t know how to price household items for an estate sale, a professional can make helpful recommendations. Items that are old, in poor condition, or not “in vogue” may need to be priced rather aggressively if they are to sell at all.

The following are some factors to take into account when figuring out how to price estate sale items:

  • Condition: Items that show a lot of wear and tear will not be valued as favorably as items in mint or near-mint condition.
  • Demand: How popular is the item in the marketplace? Checking sites like eBay, Poshmark, and other online resources can give you an idea of the current demand for a particular item. For example, mid-century furniture is in; traditional brown furniture is out.
  • Sentimental value: It is not uncommon for certain items to hold much greater sentimental value to a person than the market reflects.
  • Flexibility: Allow room for flexibility in your pricing in the event that a buyer offers a lower price than the listed price.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Estate Sale Company?

Estate sale companies are typically paid by commission, taking a percentage of the revenue from the lot sold. This ranges from 40% to 60%, depending on the deal you negotiate. A number of different factors play a part in determining what the final commission will be; these factors will either lower or raise the percentage.

While this percentage may seem high, many consider it to be more than worth it when the benefits of using an estate sale company are brought into consideration. The benefits of using a professional estate sale company can maximize your profits tenfold when compared to selling things yourself in a garage sale (with much less work on your part) or selling items individually at auctions like eBay. It is not uncommon for companies to set a minimum sale amount to ensure they are compensated for their time and effort in hosting the sale by cataloging, marketing and displaying the items in their best light.


Negotiating a lower commission rate for larger and more expensive items like vehicles is often possible. A large estate containing many items that may need to be donated or disposed of if they do not sell may cost you a higher commission because of the extra work involved for the estate sale company you use. Similarly, a cluttered or messy house that entails a thorough cleaning or reorganizing before the sale will mean extra hours for the team sorting your belongings.

The benefits of hiring a professional estate sale company:

  • Expertise of a personal property appraiser
  • Tasteful staging of items in the home
  • Tried and true marketing methods and materials
  • Permitting is handled by the staff
  • Cataloging of items and inventory
  • Handling payments


Estate Sale Companies Make Pricing Easy

A professional estate sale company can be an invaluable tool in helping you figure out how to price household items for an estate sale. Holding an estate sale is a heavy undertaking for an individual so you’ll get the most bang for your buck with an estate sale company. Beyond the emotional burden that often comes with the task, sorting through an entire house is physically demanding. Pricing items takes expertise and cataloging them requires thorough organization. Once everything has been priced and organized, the items should be staged in their best light, the sale marketed appropriately, and all permitting requirements handled. If you are thinking of having an estate sale, contact Estate Pros today to schedule a free consultation.

Thinking about hiring an Estate Sale Company?

Contact the Estate Pros!!!

Call 248-266-9817Free Consultation

The Estate Pros are the most professional estate sale company in the area serving homes like yours all across southeast Michigan. We are consistently ranked amongst the top estate sale companies in America, recognized by and other industry authorities.

We pay meticulous attention to every detail as we handle each aspect of the estate sale process from start to finish. Our experts will work with you from the initial free consultation to the complete execution of your event and everything in between. You don’t need to lift a finger; the Estate Pros will take care of everything for you!

What Our Clients are Saying

Excellent4.7Elena MettlerElena Mettler ★★★★★ Response from the ownerThanks Elena! Terese BaltesTerese Baltes ★★★★★ ESTATE PROS is THE TEAM you will brag to your friends about. The entire experience from 1st phone call to last exchange exceeded expectations. Top notch communication, responsiveness, professionalism and courtesy. Trust them to provide the most comprehensive service. We wanted quick action and they delivered. Thank you Estate Pros - you earned our sincere thanks and appreciation.Response from the ownerThanks Terese!!! Yvonne VerschuerenYvonne Verschueren ★★★★★ Estate Pros (Jonathan) as well as the guys that came out were hard working, friendly, and kept me in the loop. I love that they work with Habitat for Humanity which also came out. He assured me that as much as possible would be donated before using the landfill.I contacted Jonathan shortly after my father died, but did not use his services until I was ready several months later. There was never any pressure and he was very easy to work with.Response from the ownerThanks Yvonne! We are glad you were pleased with our donation and clean out services! Misty WilkinsonMisty Wilkinson ★★★★★ Super helpful team. Great experience buying from their sales.Response from the ownerThanks Misty! Jill Turner ZdyrskiJill Turner Zdyrski ★★★★★ Jonathan and his team were amazing! They were quick and tidy. Would recommend to anyone needing their services!Response from the ownerThanks Jill! We are so glad you were pleased with our donation & clean out services! Peggy PrimmPeggy Primm ★★★★★ Fast and friendly service, great prices! Would use them again for sure! Highly recommended!Response from the ownerThanks Peggy! Pamela BarnardPamela Barnard ★★★★★ They were quick, courteous, and nice to be around. No complaining, no grumbling just really good workers.Response from the ownerThanks Pamela! We’re glad you are pleased with our donation and clean out service! Pam JumpPam Jump ★★★★★ The absolute best there is in the estate sale business! It’s the content of a business owner’s character that speaks directly to what level of service you will receive from the business. Jonathon T is an exceptional human and remarkable business owner! He and his employees go above and beyond to make each person feel valued and appreciated. All the stars and more for Estate Pros!Response from the ownerThanks Pam! Andrew MadvinAndrew Madvin ★★★★★ The service was professional start to finish. The consultation, communication and conduct of the sale was a success! Highly recommended service.Response from the ownerThanks Andy!!! Sara RizaSara Riza ★★★★★ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Working with Jonathan at Estate Pros for the estate sale of my grandparents' condo was an absolute pleasure, and the results were beyond impressive. As my co-trustee and I navigated the intricate process of liquidating an extensive collection of art, fine furniture, and antiques, Jonathan's knowledge and expertise proved to be absolutely priceless.Jonathan's professionalism and attention to detail were evident from our initial consultation. He took the time to assess the unique aspects of our estate, providing valuable insights and a comprehensive plan tailored to our specific needs. His understanding of the art market, fine furniture, and antiques was not only impressive but also reassuring, setting the stage for a successful estate sale.Throughout the process, Jonathan's organizational skills and strategic approach were remarkable. He expertly curated and showcased each item, creating an inviting environment for potential buyers. His marketing efforts were equally effective, drawing in a discerning audience that appreciated the quality of our collection.What truly sets Jonathan apart is his commitment to client satisfaction. He communicated with transparency, keeping us informed at every step and addressing any concerns promptly. His dedication to maximizing the value of our estate while maintaining a respectful and considerate approach added immense value to the overall experience.The outcome of the estate sale exceeded our expectations, and we owe a significant part of that success to Jonathan at Estate Pros. If you are in search of a professional estate sale service with unparalleled knowledge, expertise, and a client-centric approach, I wholeheartedly recommend Jonathan. Thank you for making a challenging process seamless and rewarding! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Response from the ownerThanks Sara! Katie WilliamsonKatie Williamson ★★★★★ Not only did Jonathan and his fabulous crew perform above and beyond, but he is also instrumental in calming all sorts of squabbles, queries, and conflicts with Zen-like resolutions. All the while, getting the best price possible for your household items ~ big and small. His care for your worldly goods and personal effects is akin to having a member of your family take care of you. Maybe even better.Response from the ownerThanks Katie! Dawn BaldwinDawn Baldwin ★★★★★ Jonathan, the owner, has been a lifesaver!!! We never could have accomplished this move without his many service's. Jonathan and his staff are caring, honest, and hard working.Response from the ownerThanks Dawn! Kellie DevitoKellie Devito ★★★★★ Johnathan and his team were very helpful and made a difficult time much easier. Highly recommend the team!Response from the ownerThanks Kellie!!! Annette SpencerAnnette Spencer ★★★★★ Jonathan and his team are the best! You will be in such wonderful, professional and experienced hands. Jonathan made the whole process seamless and stress free. Give him a call, you will be glad you did!!Response from the ownerThanks Annette!!! Dana RochlenDana Rochlen ★★★★★ Jonathan did a fabulous job. He was caring and kind during a very difficult time for my family. We had a successful estate sale and then he made arrangements for everything else to be donated and provided a comprehensive itemized list for tax purposes. I would recommend Jonathon and the Estate Pros to anyone who needs their services. Thank you Jonathan!Response from the ownerThanks Dana!!! Kari DahlquistKari Dahlquist ★★★★★ We had a very short window to liquidate my dad's estate when his house sold quickly. Jonathan and the Estate Pros dropped into our laps like a gift from the heavens and I cannot imagine doing business with anyone else! There are not enough superlatives to describe our experience, but professional, personable, and punctual will get the ball rolling. Their marketing efforts drove astonishing traffic, their preparation ensured our sale days went smoothly, and their follow up throughout the process was second to none. Jonathan and his team handled our sale with so much care and commitment that at every moment we felt like we were family and they were always in our corner. I whole-heartedly recommend the Estate Pros.Response from the ownerThanks Kari!!! Don SmithDon Smith ★★★★★ Very professional, friendly, and thorough. I would not hesitate to use them again.Response from the ownerThanks Don!!! Brian NolanBrian Nolan ★★★★★ Jonathan Tomlanovich and the team from Estate Pros are absolutely the best! After learning of an unexpected time crunch to conduct the estate sale, Jonathan could not have been more responsive in getting the complete sale process accomplished within a week. And the successful results were beyond our expectations! I would recommend Estate Pros and Jonathan to anyone looking to conduct an estate sale. They are courteous, professional, highly skilled, excellent communicators, and they kept me informed every step of the way. I highly recommend Estate Pros to anyone considering their options for an estate sale. Thank you Jonathan for running a great sale and for helping me and my family. You have a fan for life!Response from the ownerThanks Brian! Ray SalernoRay Salerno ★★★★★ Great experience and service.Response from the ownerThanks Ray! BritneyBritney ★★★★★ They were amazing. Jonathan was great, very informative. All the guys made the day go by fast. Super friendly, fast and respectful. I would use them 100x over. Thanks so much, you made this process much more bearable ❤️Response from the ownerThanks Britney! js_loader

Southeast Michigan Estate Sale Service Area

The Estate Pros have been proudly serving Oakland, Macomb and parts of Livingston, Genesee, Lapeer & Wayne counties for the past 15 years. No matter what your situation calls for, the Estate Pros are here to help!


Upcoming Estate Sales



To Be Announced
Waterford , MI, 48329
March 2, 2024
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