How to Find Great Estate Sales and Goodies

by Nancy Brenseke 11/15/2020

Photo by MoneyforCoffee via Pixabay

Online tools make it easy to find good estate and moving sales. Here's how to catch the best of the local offerings.

Your Smartphone Can Keep You Posted.

Do a search for find garage sales near me and you'll immediately see online apps that work on your phone to tell you about yard sales and estate sales in your area. These even show you the photo albums, lists of major available items posted by sellers, and routes to the sales.   

Use the app you like to set up a free, weekly alert. You can request a listing of all sales within 10 miles of your home. 

Except for a few weeks in the winter, you'll get more listings every week than you can possibly plan to hit in a weekend. Choose about three sales within five or six miles of each other, and hit them all in one foray. If one is so-so, another may be just what you wanted. 

Extra Weekend Time? Hit the Sales!

We're big fans of local estate sales, and here's how we make the most of them:

  • Look for cues in the listings. When you see the term "huge, multi-family," it often isn't. The real gems generally turn up in the architecturally interesting or older homes.  
  • Look through the pictures posted online by the seller. These will show you whether the focus is knickknacks from the attic, office furnishings, antiques, or something else.
  • Bring cash. Most sellers take local checks, but a limited wad of cash helps you get a nice bargain for the items you pick out.

Weekend events run by professional estate sale companies are more expensive. All items have price tags. But the professional sellers managing the sale often have permission from the homeowner to bargain.

What Are the Top Estate Sale Finds?

Top finds are chairs, tables, and desks. Estate and moving sales are fabulous for offering older furniture. Well-made furniture can last generations. Focus on pieces 20 years old or more. Worn upholstery or mildly scratched wood can usually be renovated. 

Estate and moving sales can also be the source of beautiful dishware and like-new kitchen gadgets. Some are treasure troves of Tiffany lamps, fireplace tools, useful touches for home offices and gardens, or vintage albums.

Meet People. Appreciate Their Stories. 

The early bird is overrated. Get the best bargains on overlooked finds late in the sale schedule. It's a less hectic time, and a time when sellers are most willing to let their hair down.

Hear seller's stories, appreciate their life changes, and, if it feels right, you may be able to pitch in with a little moral support.

About the Author
Author

Nancy Brenseke

I love the ocean, sand and sunshine! That's why I call Hilton Head Island/Bluffton my home! I relocated to Hilton Head Island over 20 years ago from North Carolina after graduating from East Carolina University - Go Pirates! I continue to be successful in real estate for the past 13 Years and with my experience working with top resorts and gated communities, I have cultivated attention to detail, understand the importance of listening first and have the positive "Can Do" attitude in all situations. I offer my sellers and buyers the BEST advice to achieve their real estate goals. I enjoy spending time with my family boating on the May River, attending festivals along Old Town Bluffton and building sandcastles on HHI beaches.  

"Nancy Brenseke is the type of realtor that everyone should contract to sell their property. She is very knowledgeable and gave us valuable information when listing the townhome. The whole process went smoothly and Nancy was responsible for that. She always communicated with us which kept us confident that all aspects of the closing were under control and on track. I highly recommend Nancy Brenseke." ~ Deb Bluffton, SC

"I would highly recommend using Nancy for your real estate needs. She is extremely knowledgeable and responsive. Nancy's representation is top-notch." ~ Jill - Nashville, TN

"Nancy went the extra mile on everything around selling the condo. I would use her again and would recommend her to anyone I come in contact with. Our condo sold in 1 day! She was excellent and hardworker. She helped in all aspects of selling, from marketing with great number of pictures, to home inspection with helping us find contractors to fix the inspection issue so were were able to close." Eric - Cumming, GA