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What Is The Difference Between Estate Auctions And Estate Sales?

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019
learn about different types of auctions at High Plains Auctioneers

Having to sell property after losing a loved one or when it is time to downsize can be difficult. You must find someone who is able to sell a large amount of items quickly and professionally. The place you are looking for is either an estate auction or an estate sale. The following can help you understand the difference between these two events and which option will be best for you.

What is an estate sale?

Some people refer to an estate sale as a “tag sale” because all the items have a price tag attached. Many parts of the country use these sales to sell family belongings or when they want to reduce the amount of items they own. This type of sale is different from a garage sale in that most items are for sale. A garage sale only includes a small part of the property.

At an estate sale, the managers of the company handling the event determine the amount each item is worth. They attach a price tag to each piece, and if the article doesn’t sell the first day, the amount will be reduced the next day.

What is an estate auction?

At an estate auction, the prices for the items are determined by the bidders. The auctioneers do not control the price amounts at these sales. Potential bidders can walk around the items going up for bid to decide ahead of the sale how much they want to offer. When going to one of these sales as a buyer, you want to check items over carefully and check their condition and authenticity. If you can’t see the items in person for any reason, check online for a catalog of items.

The benefits of an estate sale

These sales often offer the best selection of items at the start of the sale. As the transactions progress, buyers will have less to choose from. It has been known that people get in line to enter some estate sales, especially when unique items of interest are advertised ahead of time.

The items at an estate sale are spread out all through the building. The disadvantage to this is the item someone is looking for may be in a room another person will enter first. On the other hand, they may be lucky enough to head directly to the treasure they want.

The benefits of an estate auction

At an estate auction, everyone attending gets the same chance to buy items. They will not have to stand in line for hours when attending an auction. The auction house should let them arrive early and review the merchandise going up for bid. If they don’t, they should provide an auction catalog with pictures and information about each item you are selling.

If bidders have looked at the items going up for auction, but will be unable to attend the sale, they have the option of leaving an absentee bid. They can leave an amount with one of the auctioneer’s staff so they can place the bid. Some auctioneers will request that buyers leave a check for the amount they are willing to pay. If the bid does not win, they will destroy or return the check to the buyer.

Another difference between an estate auction and sale is there are no regulations in the estate sale business. Auctioneers, on the other hand, are required to be licensed and they have to put their address and phone number on cards for unresolved complaints.

How do you know which choice is best for you?

When faced with the decision of selling personal property and choosing between an estate auction or sale, you may want to know the pros of each.

Estate sale pros include the fact you don’t have to move the items. Other advantages are:

  • the pricing options
  • the help you receive from professionals
  • the sale will be stretched over days to allow for more buyers

Estate auction pros include that your items could sell for more than expected with increasing bids. Other advantages include:

  • generally all things are sold at auction
  • the commissions for an auction are similar to those of estate sale companies
  • auctions are efficient
  • bidders cannot negotiate to pay less

Do you need help with an estate auction?

Call High Plains Auctioneers today at (806) 244-6776 to learn more about selling and bidding at an estate auction. You can also Contact Us by email for more information about how we can help you and check out our Upcoming Auctions.