Why Holding Your Own Estate Sale Can Be a Bad Idea

Successful sales require extensive research, planning

Self-conducted estate sales carry pitfalls that many don't anticipateFamilies often use estate sales to sell belongings after death or divorce vacates a home. If you find yourself in this situation, it may seem wise to save money by setting prices and holding your own sale. Unfortunately, this approach can lead to a range of costly and time-consuming problems.


Estate sales call for a different pricing strategy than Internet auctions or lawn sales. Some people mistakenly set high prices that only a few distant collectors would pay. They usually fail to attract such buyers to their homes, so the items don’t sell. Other sellers demand unrealistic sums because they remember paying retail prices.

Worse still, you may ask far too little for an item. You can easily assume that an old ashtray or clock doesn’t hold much value, but this isn’t always true. A used book that you sell for $1.50 might end up on “Antiques Roadshow.” With the help of price guides and various other resources, estate evaluators can prevent these expensive mistakes.


Estate sale companies use newspaper ads, websites and professional signs to attract customers. Many firms maintain large email lists that help them notify buyers of upcoming sales. If you decide to hold your own sale, you’ll have to pay for advertising with no guarantee that it will produce the desired results.

Time, Effort

It might take several days to research, price, label and arrange the contents of an entire home. Many people consider this an emotionally draining process. You will also have to write advertisements and put up signs. It may prove difficult to set aside enough time for these tasks, especially if you have a busy schedule.


Another disadvantage of holding your own sale is that it raises the risk of theft. Elder Options warns that some thieves target estate sales when people try to sell gold jewelry, antique stamps or valuable coins. You can easily watch a few tables at a yard sale, but it’s hard for one or two individuals to keep track of every item in a house.

The Dregs

When sales end, owners are usually left with possessions that no one wanted to buy. Professional estate liquidators often purchase, donate or dispose of the unwanted merchandise.

Premier Gold Silver & Coins can help you gain adequate compensation for your family’s belongings. Our experienced staff appraises individual items and entire estates in the Buffalo, NY, area. Furthermore, our personal asset brokerage maximizes the selling prices of high-value items by identifying ideal sales venues.

To get started, please call 716-204-8800 today, or visit us online.