CHARLES RUTENBERG REALTY INC
MARK WIEGAND, CHARLES RUTENBERG REALTY INCPhone: (727) 277-0134
Email: [email protected]

Estate Sales: Find Your Hidden Gem

by MARK WIEGAND 01/19/2020

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

MARK WIEGAND

Florida Lifestyle Expert: In the Tampa Bay area, homes are more than just residences; the native features that characterize their locales reflect a life lived to its fullest. A former golf professional, Mark raised his family on a lake in Michigan where they enjoyed water sports from skiing to wakeboarding to tubing and fishing. His insight about local waters and area golf courses proves invaluable to his clients. 

Property Specialist: The owner of BMW Properties USA, LLC, Mark’s first-hand knowledge of investment property management allows him to counsel both buyers and sellers in the achievement of their goals. With expertise in property acquisition financials from VA to conventional loans, home buyers will benefit from a comprehensive assessment of the mortgage products that support informed decisions. Mark’s years of working with building contractors also advantages clients with his keen evaluations of construction and renovation alternatives. 

Personal: Prior to relocating to Florida full-time, Mark and his family enjoyed their Vero Beach vacation home before taking up permanent residence in the Sunshine State. Married to his wife Belinda since 1981, they are proud parents of their daughter Kathi, the Manager of Retail Sales and Community Relations for the Toronto Blue Jays organization in Dunedin, Florida; their son Danny, a PET/CT Technologist for HCS Group in Plymouth, Michigan; Son-in-law Ryan the Head Baseball Coach at St. Petersburg College and Dan's Girl Friend Catherine. They are especially fond of spending time with Grandchildren: Reese, Elena, and Brady. The Wiegand clan is a family of enthusiastic golfers and boaters who love cruising the Intercoastal waterways and the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico.