Were any items left unsold at your Estate Sale?

During the estate sale, the company you hired will do everything in their power to completely sell all your contents. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll be successful. Even if they drop prices, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to sell absolutely everything. Here are your options for the pieces that don’t sell.

Estate Sale Company Buyout

Before you hire an estate liquidation company, make sure you’ve discussed what they will and will not do. Some companies buy the remainder of the estate at a low prices. If you decide that this is the best option for you, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You will not receive anything close to the price you had on the items during the estate sale
  • Prepare yourself to sell those items for low prices
  • Most companies will turn around and sell the leftovers at an auction, charity, flea market, or dump

This doesn’t mean that the leftovers don’t have value. Your prices could have simply been too high or the factors of the day might have been against you. But if any of the points above bother you, an estate company buy out is not the route for you.

However, these are all moot points if the estate sale company doesn’t offer a buyout in the first place. After the estate sale, you might be left watching the liquidation company pack up their own materials and driving away. If the company you hired to manage your estate does not buy the remaining materials from you, you are left with the responsibility of cleaning out the property. Here are a few options for cleaning out what’s left after the estate sale.

Resale Shops

If you still want to try and sell your items off, there are a few resources left to you. Some things to keep in mind are:

  • Many antique and collectible dealers (especially the ones that have storefronts) might be willing to buy some of your antiques or collectibles.
  • There’s always Craigslist. Post an ad on online marketplaces with pictures of the leftover items. You could sell them individually or as “all or nothing.”
  • Check the yellow pages for auction services. Some businesses auction off household items like lamps, rugs, art, furniture, and mirrors. They will usually take a percentage off what it goes for at auction and send you a check for the remainder.

Charity Donations

Most charities are willing to come pick up estate sale leftovers. However:

  • Most come with the stipulations that it’s “all or nothing.” Before the charity arrives, make sure there is no junk or trash remaining on the property.
  • Individuals who choose this option end up renting a dumpster, which is an added cost to consider.
  • After disposing of the waste, create a spreadsheet list of everything left in the estate. This becomes your list of donated items, which can be deducted from your estate tax return.

Throwing Leftovers Away

Many estate sales companies will have a list of recommended junk removal services for you to consider. While this option may cost you additional money, consider the following points:

  • It saves you time and energy in the long run.
  • This “all in one alternative” is perfect for people who need properties emptied quickly and efficiently.


Now, if you have to hold an estate sale, it may be difficult to part with some items, but rest assured that liquidating your estate or your loved one’s estate is the best option.