Learn all about the do’s and don’ts of selling your items

If you’re planning to downsize your home or cleaning out a relative’s house or apartment, you may want to consider auctioning off items you no longer want. While auctions are a good idea for some circumstances, it’s important to understand the do’s and don’ts of using these services.

DO understand the different types of auctions

There are generally two types of auctions: online and in person. Some of the most popular types of auctions for downsizing or clearing out a home are online. These services will gather your things, take photos, set prices and sell them on the auction’s website. People can bid and pay the auction house directly.

In-person auctions are the type you might see in a movie or TV show. There is an auctioneer in charge of the sale and items will come up for bidding. As audience members vie to purchase an item, the auctioneer will manage the price and encourage purchases. Auctions of this type usually involve larger estates or a number of bigger pieces such as furniture.

DON’T wait until the last minute

Setting up an auction takes time. Start by researching different auction services in your area and find out how much lead time they need to set up a sale.

DO ask about commissions

Whether you’re planning an online auction or one that’s in-person, ask the company up front what types of commissions and fees they will charge you as the homeowner. Pricing will vary and while you might be surprised that some auctioneers may take as much as 40-50% of the sale, auctions tend to get a higher price on items than you can get by selling something yourself.

Need help downsizing or organizing? WayForth‘s moving experts have you covered! Our complete move solutions help you navigate the organizational and downsizing needs for your next move. Contact our professionals today.

DON’T expect to rake in a fortune

Unless you have something very collectible or rare, you will probably not pull in the big bucks with your auction items. Auction houses understand the value of pieces and while Grandma’s favorite tablecloth may feel valuable to you, there might be hundreds out there for sale. Make sure you are realistic about your sale expectations.

DO take the stress off yourself

One of the best reasons to use an auction service is that they do the work for you. That means you don’t have to set up a garage sale or list your things on online marketplaces. Organizations such as WayForth can help you set up an auction, assist with downsizing or even take donations to a local charity if you choose.

For additional advice on estate sales, read our blog here!

DON’T forget to ask about things that are left over

What happens to the items that don’t sell? Every situation is different so ask up front. Some auction houses will donate items directly to charity or simply discard unsold pieces. If you want things back, make that clear when you are signing any contracts. There may be fees associated with sending items back to you.

DO get an appraisal for valuable items

If you have a baseball that was signed for your dad back in the 1950s or a painting that Aunt Carol said was done by a famous artist, it might be worth the time to get a professional appraisal. Often these items are overlooked by homeowners and sold or donated to places such as Goodwill when they could have been sold at auction or to a private collector. Be sure to work with a reputable person or organization that deals with memorabilia or art.

DO reach out to the professionals at WayForth

We have valuable experience and knowledge to help homeowners and family members figure out the best way to utilize auctions and other methods during downsizing.

For more helpful tips on downsizing, read our blog here!

WayForth can help you or a family member with our comprehensive moving solutions including downsizing, space planning, packing and moving, unpacking, and setting up in your new home. Contact our moving professionals today at 1.844.WAYFORTH. 


About the Author: WayForth

WayForth is the definitive provider of comprehensive and personalized moving solutions for life and business. Since 2016, WayForth has led the way in move management, providing solutions to over 15,000 individuals and families. How you move matters and no matter the destination, WayForth serves as a guide making life’s transitions easier to navigate. Call 1.844.WAYFORTH today to learn how we can help with your next move!
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