Get Your Home Ready To Sell: Estate Sales 101

Phyllis Patterson

Preparing a home to sell can feel like a daunting task, especially when considering the years of collections, memories, and just plain stuff that gets accumulated over time. Whether you’re moving into a smaller home, clearing out the home of a loved one, or simply trying to declutter and pare down your belongings, these transitions can be an overwhelming process. But it doesn’t have to be!

Fortunately, with the right resources and professional help, the process can be made much easier. That's where our partner, Daniel Sanders of Four Sales, comes in. With years of experience in estate sales and auctioning off everything from collectibles and firearms to luxury goods, Daniel and his team have seen it all. Their traditional estate sale process involves organizing the client's home into a retail store to sell items on-site, while smaller sales can be taken away to be sold off-site as part of larger collections. Whatever the scenario, Four Sales is committed to making the clean-out, move-out, and downsizing process as seamless as possible for their clients.

The first question we always have is “what sells?” The quick answer is small, high-value portable items. This can include crystal, china, silver, porcelain, figurines, glass paperweights, stamps, coins, artwork, jewelry, antiques, collectibles, and tools. Although small items do the best at an estate sale, Four Sales also looks for vehicles (classic and contemporary), good hardwood furniture, hunting and sporting goods, and “anything else that is legal, moral, and ethical to sell” as Daniel would say. Amazingly, it’s the small items that end up bringing in the most value. Daniel shared that the sports memorabilia market is a valuable one with a recent sale of a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card fetching $12.6 million!

We are grateful for partners like Four Sales who can help make the transition to selling a home and downsizing easier for our clients. While the process may be challenging, there may be hidden gems that make it a rewarding experience. In our next post, we'll take a closer look at what sells best in the marketplace and, just as importantly, what items you may want to avoid selling. Stay tuned!


The Patterson Group is one of the most experienced and trusted real estate teams in the area, serving the community of Alexandria, VA for more than 30 years.

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