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  • Sarah Booras

Estate Sales In-Home vs Online Estate Auction, Which is Better?

Updated: Apr 15


A lot changed during the pandemic, and one of those things was the popularity of online auction platforms to liquidate a home. The pandemic has made all of us view shopping in a crowded home in a new light. It no longer has the safe feel it once had. More and more people are heading towards online auctions to do their estate sale shopping! We have more clients requesting auctions than in-home sales now! Many are asking what the difference is, and which one is better. We believe online auctions are the future and it has already begun! Having done MANY in-home sales and now MANY online auctions we feel we have the knowledge and experience to tell you the benefits of an auction over an in-home sale. The images are from an actual estate sale with the actual sold price (June 2022).

Transparency: You can watch your items live as the bidding happens while keeping track of sales. No guessing at what your sale was worth!

No Crowds in your home: A typical 2-3 day estate sale brings in 300-400 people walking on your carpet, touching everything, and bringing their children who inadvertently damage or break things. If your house is under contract, you especially need to keep it in good condition.

No Haggling or 50% off days: A typical 3-day sale looks like this; day one is full price, day two is discounted and day three is 50% off in the hopes of selling everything off. However, there is a lot of haggling on day one and two regardless. It is the nature of an estate sale. Auctions eliminate haggling and discount days.

No Theft: When you have hundreds of people in a home who can easily steal, many do. This has always been a problem with in-home estate sales. We can place extra employees throughout the house, but if it fits into a pocket or purse, it will.

Much larger audience: Small items like jewelry, watches, militaria, designer purses and shoes, sterling, signed sports items, etc. can be seen by thousands of shoppers around the country who can choose to have the items shipped. No weather complications and no conflicting schedule complications.

Gated Communities can have sales: Many gated communities do not allow estate sales. An online auction gets around this wall and allows homeowners to sell their valuables where they otherwise cannot.

Underpricing: When pricing items for an in-home sale it is very difficult to ask top dollar knowing that if it doesn’t sell on day one or two, it will go for half off in the end. That is a built-in incentive to price lower at the starting gate. Auctions eliminate this.

Auctions are much more exciting and fun: We have been told by shopper after shopper, as they are picking up their winnings, how fun the auction was and how they “spent more than they wanted, but they were determined to win”! That pretty much sums it up for me!

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