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Hello all, 

I am new to this community. Hello!  I can't tell you all how helpful your posts and information has already been to me. 

My elderly father wants to leave his house to a senior community but he feels hindered by the stuff in the house. My mother died a few years back, leaving a mountain of stuff not only that she had saved, but also from my grandmother's estate.  Much of it is unsorted, in boxes and just everywhere.

A couple of things to note: one, for various reasons my parents never upgraded the interior of the house. Walls are in sore need of painting, the 40 year old carpet is stained,  and there's clutter everywhere.

Second, I know a lot about what's worth money and what isn't.  I am a former dealer of vintage clothing and collectibles.  In the basement here I've been storing boxes of inventory that I also need to unload.

Three, I currently live in the Netherlands.  I have to keep coming back to the US to try to help, but I can't do this forever.  My only sibling who lives nearby has thus far been of little help.

I'd love to bring in an estate person or dealer to help, but I don't want to pay for services like valuation since I know in general what's worth money and what isn't.  Also, my dad is a little leery of people coming in the house because of the condition. 

I think the plan is to take most of the valuable items (furniture, smalls) to a local auction house.  But my question is what to do with the stuff that is too valuable to donate but not valuable enough to auction off. Would a dealer be interested in box lots?  What about lots of vintage clothing? I know as a dealer I would be, but the few dealers I've spoken with won't take anything that isn't individually worth over $50.  I'm interested in getting rid of box lots.  I'm also thinking of selling some stuff on online auctions, but I know firsthand what a hassle that can be and how long it can take.

Suggestions?  We're in the Baltimore/DC area, btw. 

Views: 352

Replies to This Discussion

why not have an onsite auction?

or onsite living estate tag sale,

all over all gone 

it is all about labor cost box lots usually are cheap but takes time to tag every little thing you get out of them or throw away stuff

online auctions are fine for individual things but shipping gets expensive for larger groups of low dollar items

Thanks for the reply.

I want to do exactly what you suggest, but I don't think we could because of the state of this house.  As I said in the post, it's pretty bad. I think people would be put off by the condition of the carpets, walls, etc.  Hard to know what I mean without being able to see it, but trust me -- it's bad. 

some estate sellers and auctioners rent halls to have sales into 

Hi Linda, I like Craigs Idea to, but you could also contact an estate liquidator and just have them do an estate sale for you.

I'm a bonded and certified appriaser and often do estate sales as well. But in order to do that, you should first get Dad situated in his new living space, and take the items he wants or family items that you and your sibling may wish to keep first.

Then just call a few people and see who you like and feel most comfortable with. Where in the states is your Dad located?

Hi Vicki and Craig,

Thanks for responding. Do you think estate liquidators would want to do a sale in a house with such a dilapidated interior?  I would think it might turn people off.  The outside of the house is fine and it's in a good neighborhood -- just that the inside was neglected for years and looks terrible. 

Craig - that's a good idea.  I'm just not sure I want to haul all that stuff out of here.  There's a TON of stuff in this house.  It's packed!

Vicki - my dad is located in the Baltimore/DC area.

Hi Linda, No problem! LOL - you cannot believe some of the homes I have held sales in. Dilapidated would be a huge understatement! Hoarder to, I've done many!

I will look into a few companies in your Dad's area when I have some extra time and get them back to you. I'll try to find three or four for you to interview. It might be the best solution for your family! :)

Vicki, thanks!  Whew, what a relief.  :-) 

And thank you for the offer to research. No hurry at all; we're still in the sorting phase and this is going to take some time. But any suggestions you can send my way would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you so much!

it is the stuff not the home alot come looking for , some will come to see the home, but don't worry about them, I have been in some questionable places wonder if the roof or floor is going to give way 

yes get dad and what he wants out of there, and what you and your sibblings want and get some one to come in and take a look.


Great advice, Craig and Vicki.  I really appreciate your input.  Thanks!

Ok, I've located a few for you to talk to. Remember if you don't like what your hearing, or your not comfortable with one company, you certainly don't have to hire them. Go with who you feel most comfortable with. I've tried to find licensed and experienced people, so that should help you to. Here's the list:





Good Luck to you and Dad, Hope all works out great for ya! :)

After reading up on each of the contacts listed by Vicki, I feel one of these would help you out.  If you need someone to help you make a decision with any of these,  I am only 1-1/2 hrs away from you.  I am only offering to help you as a friend, and as a friend of iantiqueonline. 

Thanks so much, Vicki!  that's great.  Really appreciate it.

Linda: thank you! I will let you know.  We're trying to go through the mountains of stuff and it's slow going because I don't live in the area and I have little help from dear brother and our family is very small.


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