Do You Have Enough for an Estate Sale?

Not sure exactly what an estate sale is? Be sure to read before calling any estate sale company.

Kim Johnson
July 6, 2021

So you know you need to hire someone to come in and clean your home, price and sell your items, and then clean it up before you sell it. Good for you! Knowing you need to sell your, or a loved ones, personal items isn’t the hard part. Trying to figure out if you have enough for a sale is the tricky part. We’ve compiled this helpful checklist to see if you're ready to pick up that phone and start interviewing the likely lengthy list of local companies.

It can be a very grueling process, so why waste your time if you don’t need to?For the sake of reference, I will be focusing on the likely basic minimum requirements for an in-demand company with a large and experienced full-time staff, dedicated equipment, exceptional online resources and marketing reach, useful digital tools for both customers and clients to take interest in doing your sale.

But remember, every estate sale company’s ability to help you is completely dependent on their unique resources, staffing and experience. And, remember, the number one rule above all else before hiring a company is to visit one of their sales to see if you want them representing you and your family while doing business out of your home.

The Golden Rule is Amended for you

Every company should be telling you “Don’t throw anything away!” If they’re not, you should probably find someone else to work with. Before you even consider downsizing, stop throwing stuff away. So many time people want to “help” by donating or throwing away things they feel won’t sell. Many times, they have gotten rid of so many items they deem “trash” that, when an estate sale company comes in to assess whether there is enough for a sale, there isn’t. Your definition of “trash” is likely completely different from your neighbors. Here’s a list of some things we see people commonly want to dispose of because they think it’s “trash”.

Things NOT to consider trash:

· Rusty metal objects

· Outdoor statuary (broken or not)

· Household chemicals and paint

· Clothing, shoes and accessories

· The “stuff” in the basement, garage, attic and shed

Taking your stuff with you? Double-check your moving rates first

Many moving companies charge by the pound, and in our experience, once most of our clients who are moving cross-country find this out and decide to sell a lot more than they originally planned. They typically decide to sell their framed artwork, old trusty beds, orsemi-sentimental pieces they could be making some good cash selling instead of transporting.

A great sale requires a good mix of items

Think about it - you have thousands of items for sale and there’s no way a company can put pictures of every item online. A company needs to entice shoppers to want to visit their sale. If you only have beanie babies (which sadly don’t sell very well anymore) and cheaper-by-the-dozen collectible dishes, you’re not likely to draw a big crowd.

Spice it up with sellable furniture, modern electronics, classy dishware, desirable home decor, collectibles, and matching linen sets and you’re immediately appealing to most secondhand market shoppers. Once you get people in the door, they’re more likely to purchase something they fall in love with and never really needed. Each estate sale company has a different minimum requirement to hold a sale, as well as a different niche.

Is your stuff in good condition?

Estate sale shoppers want things like new to be sold for much less than new and in great condition. They don’t shop to buy things that need to be recovered or repaired. ‘Tis a harsh reality. If a company doesn’t think you have enough quality items to bring people to a sale, they’re not likely to take it. There’s a fine line companies walk while pricing, too: price too high and people turn around and walk out; price too low and they will always expect prices to be low. (Of course, they will still want to talk you down in price!) Be sure to ask the companies you meet with what their pricing structure is.

Make sure your items are in sellable condition.

This includes:

Electronics and appliances that turn on and have all cords and passwords necessary

Linens with no stains or tears

Dishware with no chips, cracks or discoloration

Mattresses that have no stains and aren’t too worn

Furniture not damaged by animals or too worn

Things that sell well:

Collectibles (all the small items you see in antique malls or flea markets)

Old toys and games

Basic Kitchen items and small appliances

Tools, both power and hand as well as yard tools

Yard decor and furniture


Modern furniture (not too dated with bright colors or designs)

Working appliances

Holiday and home decor, both vintage and modern

Is your house clear of debris, bad odor and true trash?

It happens sometimes, there’s a smell you can’t get rid of. Shoppers and companies know that. But, if your house is filled with mold or mildew, or you’ve left true trash around that a company will hae to put a lot of man hours in to clean up, there’s a good chance the company will walkaway.

They will likely have a labor charge or increased commission rate if they take the sale in this condition. There’s a golden rule every company will likely tell you on their first phone conversation with you: Don’t throw anything away! Fine and dandy. But practice some common sense on this one. You’re hiring a reseller company, not a cleaning service. Throw out your old bills, recent magazines, actual bags of trash in your home, and any animal debris. If there’s a bad odor coming from your carpet, clean it up. If you can’t stand it, customers probably can’t stand it either. And, if you don’t clean itt up, the company you hire may deem it necessary to clean up so their customers actually buy your stuff, and then charge you a fee.

Just a quick rule of thumb when hiring a company - they’re in this business to make money. If they don't make money, neither will you. If you have a clean home, a range of sellable items with a good mix of categories, and what looks to be a promise of profit, start visiting some estate sales in your neighborhood or pick up the phone and start interviewing.

If you’re in the Johnson County area and think you have enough for a sale, or still aren’t sure, give Green Frog Estate Sales a call or easily submit an online form from our website We’re ready to help you figure out what your next step might be. We are here to help, whether we can do a sale for you or not. And remember, we always provide service with a smile!!!

We can't wait to help you with your sale.

We've served Johnson County and the surrounding area for over six years. We're here to discuss your unique needs and can't wait to hear from you.