Where to Sell Estate Items

Where to Sell Estate Items

In a world where trends come and go, there's something timeless and captivating about old estate items. These pieces hold a unique charm, a sense of history, and a story that stretches back through generations. Whether you've inherited a trove of treasures from your grandparents or have been collecting antiques over the years, the question arises: where do you go to sell these old estate items? Fear not, for this blog is your guide to navigating the world of selling estate contents and finding the perfect new homes for your cherished possessions.

 

What Estate Items Sell

As you begin looking to sell your estate items, understand that some will sell more easily than others. The more in-demand an item is, the more likely it will sell. Each estate item will have its own unique appeal and potential market value. 

Below, we have highlighted some types of estate items that you might consider selling individually because of their demand:

 

1. Antique Furniture
Pieces like vintage chairs, tables, cabinets, dressers, and sofas can be highly sought after by collectors and interior designers.

 

2. Fine China and Porcelain

Sets of antique or vintage china, porcelain figurines, and decorative pieces can be sold to collectors, enthusiasts, and those interested in elegant home decor.

 

3. Silverware and Flatware

Sterling silver or silver-plated utensils, tea sets, and trays can find buyers who appreciate their craftsmanship and historical value.

 

4. Vintage Jewelry
Rings, necklaces, bracelets, and brooches made from precious metals and gemstones can appeal to jewelry lovers and collectors.

 

5. Clocks and Timepieces
Antique grandfather clocks, mantel clocks, pocket watches, and wristwatches can attract horology enthusiasts.

 

6. Art and Paintings
Original paintings, prints, lithographs, and sculptures can appeal to art collectors, decorators, and those who appreciate visual aesthetics.

 

7. Books and Manuscripts
First editions, rare books, autographed copies, and historical manuscripts can be sought after by bibliophiles and collectors.

 

8. Coins and Currency
Rare coins, old currency notes, and numismatic items can attract coin collectors and history buffs.

 

9. Collectible Toys and Games
Vintage toys, board games, dolls, action figures, and model trains can be of interest to collectors and nostalgic individuals.

 

10. Decorative Glass and Crystal
Antique glassware, crystal vases, bowls, and glass figurines can be popular among collectors and those seeking elegant home decor.

 

11. Musical Instruments
Antique pianos, violins, guitars, and other instruments can appeal to musicians, collectors, and those with an appreciation for musical history.

 

The value of estate items can vary widely based on factors such as rarity, condition, historical significance, and current market trends. Items of lesser monetary value can still sell in a group of items but may not sell for anything on their own. 

 

Where to Sell Estate Items

When it comes to selling estate items there are many options to choose. Each option will have its own pros and cons and will be ideal for different situations. Explore them each and find what is best for you. 

 

Antique Shops and Boutiques

Traditional antique shops and boutiques remain a classic option for selling estate items. These establishments are frequented by collectors, history enthusiasts, and those who appreciate the allure of vintage pieces. By partnering with a local antique shop, you gain access to a ready-made audience interested in acquiring unique items. Owners and staff at these shops are often experts in appraising and evaluating antiques, which can help you determine the fair value of your estate items.

 

Online Marketplaces

The digital age has revolutionized the way we buy and sell, and estate items are no exception. Online marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, and Ruby Lane have transformed antique trading into a global affair. You can reach buyers from around the world, increasing the chances of finding the perfect match for your estate items. These platforms also allow you to set your own prices, display high-quality images, and provide detailed descriptions, all of which contribute to attracting potential buyers.

 

Auction Houses

Auction houses provide a thrilling and dynamic way to sell estate items. Whether it's a local auction house or a prestigious international establishment, auctions can generate competitive bidding that drives prices higher than expected. This option is particularly appealing for rare or high-value items, as the auction environment can lead to exciting surprises. Some auction houses even offer online bidding, expanding your reach beyond geographical boundaries.

 

Estate Sales

Hosting an estate sale is akin to inviting buyers into your own personal time capsule. This approach is especially fitting if you're selling an entire estate's worth of items. Estate sales can be managed independently or with the help of professionals who specialize in organizing and promoting such events. This immersive experience allows buyers to interact with the items, creating a stronger emotional connection and potentially leading to quicker sales.

 

Antique Shows and Fairs

Antique shows and fairs are gathering grounds for enthusiasts, collectors, and dealers. Renting a booth or table at these events provides an opportunity to display your estate items in a vibrant, communal setting. Visitors to these shows are actively seeking unique pieces, making it an ideal space to find interested buyers. Engaging with potential customers in person allows you to share the stories behind your items, fostering a deeper appreciation for their history.

 

Social Media and Online Communities

Harness the power of social media to showcase your estate items. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest enable you to create visually appealing posts that highlight the beauty and significance of your pieces. By joining antique-focused groups and forums, you can tap into a community of like-minded individuals who might be interested in purchasing your items or connecting you with potential buyers.

 

Mobile Buyers
Mobile antique and contents buyers provide a convenient service way to sell your items. They will come to your estate and give an offer on the items they are willing to buy. This approach is great for those who are unavailable to travel with the items or do not wish to spend the time and energy traveling to different places in hopes of selling the belongings. These mobile buyers offer the service of antique or coin shops but in a more convenient way.


Selling old estate items is a journey that can be both emotionally rewarding and financially beneficial. The key is to choose a selling avenue that aligns with your goals, values, and the unique nature of your collection. Whether you opt for the charm of a local antique shop, or the vibrancy of antique shows, each avenue offers a distinctive way to connect your cherished pieces with new admirers.

 

Setting Realistic Expectations for Estate Item Values

While estate items can hold sentimental value and historical significance, not all of them necessarily have significant monetary value. People tend to hold their belongings or those passed down to them at a higher monetary value than what someone else is willing to pay for it. 

As estate owners look to sell these items, it’s important to look at the values from the lens of the buyers not from their own sentimental value. 

The value of estate items can vary widely based on several factors, including:

It's important to recognize that while some estate items may have substantial monetary value, others might not command a high price on the market. However, even items that are not particularly valuable in terms of money can still hold immense sentimental or personal value. When deciding what to do with estate items, consider their significance to you and your family, as well as any potential value they may have in the broader market.

If an offer seems too low, you can always get a second opinion or wait for a higher offer but this can cause delays in settling the estate or cause an estate to remain cluttered with the belongings you sought to get rid of.

 

What to do with leftover estate items that don’t sell? 

After the estate sale, auction, and after the items have been picked through by antique buyers, estate owners are almost always still left with items that didn’t sell. These items don’t have to get in the way of settling an estate. There are several options to handle the leftover items that did not sell. 

Everyone’s situation will vary. The easiest option is to simply leave the items in the home. However, if you’re looking to sell a home this could decrease the offer price or turn off buyers. 

Donating unneeded items is also another great option. It provides the opportunity for the items to have a second life. The only real drawbacks to donating are the time and energy necessary to put into collecting all the items and taking them to a donation center. 

For those who want to get the estate cleaned out quickly and conveniently, they might consider hiring a cleanout company. A cleanout company will remove all the unneeded contents of the estate, donating what they can and disposing of the rest. This is the only option that will cost you, but can be the best option when unable to do the job yourself. 

 
Whether you are cleaning up an estate to live in, downsizing, or preparing it for sale, you will be faced with the task of letting go of some unique or sentimental items. It is not always an easy process, but there are many options to help along the way. 

 

What we do for you:

Count on Sanford & Son for Friendly and Fast Estate Clean Out Services

"No job is too big or too small for Sanford & Son"

We provide top-to-bottom Estate Clean Out and Liquidation services. We proudly service all of Central Maryland including Annapolis, Glen Burnie, Columbia, Catonsville, Towson, Bel Air, Pasadena, Parkville, Perry Hall, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County

Why Go with Sanford & Son Estate Specialist?

  • We're open seven days a week from 7am - 7pm.
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  • We offer fair pricing, attention to detail and an extremely professional demeanor.
  • We're liscensed and insured!

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