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 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

Excellent4.8Anita CassettaAnita Cassetta ★★★★★ We used cleanout service. Very professional, helpful and thorough. Great service.Response from the ownerThanks Anita! Kimberly SikandKimberly Sikand ★★★★★ Jonathan and the Estate Pros team did an amazing job! Everyone was super friendly and they left the house super clean! Thank you, Estate ProsResponse from the ownerThanks Kim!!! RichardRichard ★★★★★ Estate pros are very professional. I used them to clean out a house and they did an excellent job. Johnathon was very helpful and his crew did an an excellent job. I would definitely use them again.Response from the ownerThanks Richard! Kristy StevensonKristy Stevenson ★★★★★ Jonathan and his team are fabulous. We really appreciated that he coordinated with Habitat for Humanity to donate items from my mom’s house to help families in the community. The team then cleaned out the house, including sweeping and vacuuming the floors. They worked tirelessly on a hot and humid June day. From the start Jonathan promised my mom’s house would be cleaned out in 1 day and that is exactly what happened. We highly recommend Estate Pros.Response from the ownerThanks Kristy!!! karen meldrumkaren meldrum ★★★★★ Top notch company, from first phone call to the day of pick up. They were wonderful to work with, Will definitely be using them again!Response from the ownerThanks Karen! Martha TaylorMartha Taylor ★★★★★ Amazing and speedy service! Left the house immaculate. Couldn’t recommend more strongly!Response from the ownerThanks Martha! We appreciate you using our Express Estate Liquidation services! Meghan LaRoccaMeghan LaRocca ★★★★★ Jonathan made the process so easy! We would recommend him and Estate Pros to anyone. Thank you!!Response from the ownerThanks Meghan! Chris ArthurChris Arthur ★★★★★ Estate Pros was amazing to work with. Jonathan was always quick to return calls or texts with any questions we had. He was very honest and accurate with the options available to us and was true to his word.Closing the estate of your loved one is extremely emotional and challenging. Jonathan walked with us through the process with great care and compassion taking a lot of the stress and anxiety off our shoulders. Thinking of having to pack up and disburse of our loved ones items to places that would make good use them for charity’s was daunting and overwhelming. Estate Pros handled it All and we know that the items will be used to help others.Thank you Jonathan! We highly recommend Estate Pros!Response from the ownerThanks Chris!!! Doug HunekeDoug Huneke ★★★★★ Quick and complete. Also liked the cleaning after hauling out the stuff.Response from the ownerThanks Doug! We appreciate you using our Express Estate Liquidation services! Diane MeakinDiane Meakin ★★★★★ Response from the ownerThanks Diane! We appreciate you using our Express Estate Liquidation services! Cynthia MeyerCynthia Meyer ★★★★★ Although paring down and "getting rid of" all your stuff is quite emotional and not for the faint of heart, Estate Pros made the process professional, quick, and compassionate. Letting go is not easy. They made it OK. If you are faced with the decision of paring down, moving or dealing with a whirlpool of sadness oreven excitement for that next adventure, you might want to consider Estate Pros. They will give you confidence in your decision and when the job is done - whether an estate sale or the full house donation process, you will not only have a clean house, you will also have a new peace of mind.Response from the ownerThanks Cynthia! We appreciate you using our Express Liquidation Services! Q ZQ Z ★★★★★ Estate Pros are absolutely amazing to deal with. Emptying out years of furniture and just 'stuff' is a very stressful experience and Jon Tamlonovich, the owner, is very professional and makes it emotionally manageable and easy. Really easy! Just tell them what you want to get rid of and they show up with men and trucks and for the items to be donated to charity they bring the Habitat For Humanity people with them at the same time. Jon can then give you a "qualified appraisal" so that you can take a tax deduction on your next tax return. They provide the ultimate of 'one stop shopping', delivered on time and professionally. I could go on and on and on, but suffice it to say if I could give them and Jon ten stars I would!Response from the ownerThanks QZ! Chuck DeprezChuck Deprez ★★★★★ Estate pros was great to work with, I’d recommend them to my friends and family. Excellent communication along with good and timely work.Response from the ownerThanks Chuck! Anna DwyerAnna Dwyer ★★★★★ John and his team were extremely knowledgable and kind in handling my father in law's needs. Will work with them again once he is ready to move.Response from the ownerThanks Anna! Janis KotulaJanis Kotula ★★★★★ They are very accommodating, clean, and kind!Response from the ownerThanks Janis!!! Luann BarrettaLuann Barretta ★★★★★ Estate pros made it very easy and efficient for us. Great job. Highly recommendedResponse from the ownerThanks Luann! Kristy KasapisKristy Kasapis ★★★★★ Absolutely incredible company! On time, efficient and professional. Did a great job at our home and would definitely use again. Jonathan is very friendly and so were his men. They left the house clean as well.Response from the ownerThanks Kristy! ELIZABETH PATTENELIZABETH PATTEN ★★★★★ Jonathon was very easy to work with. We contracted for clean out services. The did a great job. We would definitely use them again.Response from the ownerThanks Elizabeth!!! Kendra MalloryKendra Mallory ★★★★★ Excellent service and communication! They cleaned out our grandmother's house of 77 years in 1 day!Response from the ownerThanks Kendra! Jim BarbaressoJim Barbaresso ★★★★★ After interviewing 3 estate sale companies, we chose Estate Pros, and it was a great decision. Communication, documentation, sensitivity, respect, responsiveness, friendliness, and candidness were extremely important to my family as we dealt with the contents of my mother’s house (during a time of heightened emotions) to prepare the house for sale … and Jonathan and his team excelled in all areas. They’re experts in handling estate assets in the best possible way.Response from the ownerThanks Jim & Suzy!!! 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!


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