Estate Liquidation, Antiques & Collectibles, Jennie Krausse

Estate Sale Myths

"Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death."
Erik H. Erikson

You have to have a death in the family in order to have an estate sale.

As long as you are in possession of an entire estate full of items (a lifetime’s collection worthy of selling to collectors and dealers) then you are totally within your ethical rights to advertise your sale as an estate sale.

All the good stuff is gone by the time a liquidator takes over the estate.

This is absolutely not the case in most situations. What the general public doesn’t know is that in many families, there is simply no person who has a need for anything more in their lives nor in their homes.

Sure they may hold back the occasional family photo, birth certificate or coin collection, but in some cases the family take absolutely nothing from the homes we empty, leaving estate liquidators in charge of redistributing 80 plus years of their inheritance, years of hoarding, and collecting. What comes out of these homes would absolutely astound most people on the outside of liquidation.

Most of what is in an estate sale is just pure junk.

The fact is that some of the most expensive and sought after things in auction houses came from the exact same situation and homes that these sales are given inside of.

As estate liquidators, we have unearthed such things as rare gun collections, gold jewelry and coins, rolex watches, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and fine gemstone rings and jewelry, photo postcard collections, and California oil paintings. Not everything is a treasure, but most homes hold some if not many special treats to excite any collector. Some homes are just loaded full of loot.

Most antique liquidators takes first dibs.

An ethical estate liquidator doesn't pre-purchase from their own sales and would never think of taking the cream from the crop. The excitement and privalege of their return customers ensures those clients get the first choice of fine collectibles and rare antiquities, keeping them loyal and coming back for many years to come. When you attend one of our estate sales, you see exactly what the people had when they left the home.

All estate sale liquidators just stuff the house full of their own merchandise or bring things from one house to another so that they can make extra money.

In many cases this does happen. Ethical liquidators abstain from this practice as it sours the buyers and confuses the clientele by causing them to wonder, “Why did this old man have a bunch of new vases and furniture from pottery barn?” Reputable liquidators like people to come and see what the resident or deceased really bought, collected and hoarded for many years, and see if something catches their eye.

Estate sales just too expensive for most people to afford.

Some may be too high priced. Successful liquidators try to adjust the prices to about a third of the value to a collector. That way when an antique dealer comes to buy, they manage to make money on their purchases so that they spend more money and buy more than they would have ever intended, helping the homeowner to empty the house fully for a sale. Also, many liquidators understand that non-collectible everyday items can be bought at a bargain at any closeout store, so they try to mark lower than they do for your benefit.

Only the wealthy have estate sales.

Many middle and lower class families have collectible items that cost little or nothing to purchase initially such as premiums given away by merchants, sales samples, advertising pieces, and sports cards given with purchase of cigarettes, gum, and such. Many ephemera pieces and early tin pieces were inherited with family hand me downs, so many items of value are in farms, homes with little worth, and with very poor people. Estate sales of the rich are hardly the norm for most liquidators.

You must have antiques to have an estate sale.

There are ample sales where there are few if any collectibles that still do very well with their net worth. The fact is, if an item is needed for day to day living, it can be rehoused and sold at a profit above donating, giving or throwing into a landfill. There is no reason to ignore items of worth simply because they are new and everyday items.

I need to clean up first and have a garage sale before I do estate sale.

Please, do us and every other liquidator a favor and "leave it" alone. Be sure not to clean, throw, sort, or rid the house of ANYTHING prior to calling a liquidator to empty the house. Too many times your idea of "cleaning" is an estate liquidator's idea of stripping and wrecking the chance of a virgin estate to the public. We are professionals and can likely decide and sort, clean and merchandise this area for you with no burden on the families part.

Having a surety bond makes a liquidator more honest.

A surety bond is a financial back-up in case someone fails to pay or steals from a sale, or their crew does. If a liquidator is honest, and the crew is trustworthy, a bond is not needed. Having a bond doesn’t guarantee honesty, it only makes some people or clients feel more at ease.

If a dealer has lots of credentials or certifications for appraising, and pricing antiques, it makes the dealer more knowledgeable.

It doesn't matter how many certifications or credentials a liquidator has nor do the credentials necessarily reflect their knowledge or expertise. Most of the certifications you see embossed on appraisers' cards and listed on their websites can be purchased with a credit card for the ability to use the organization's seal or logo and they rarely have to even attend a single class.

E-mail your own myth to jennie (at)

Jennie helping a client