Finding Estate Sales

Estate sales, also known as estate liquidation or estate auctions, are typically held when there has been a death, divorce, or bankruptcy. Some people will also want to host an estate sale before a large-scale move or whenever someone has a desire to change the entire style of a home. During an estate sale, all the material possessions are either auctioned off or tagged for sale to potential buyers. Estate sales are fairly common, but they can sometimes be difficult to locate. However, if you know where to look, you’ll likely find that your area is full of potential estate sales.

With the advent of the internet, finding things has become much easier. Try typing ‘estate sale’ and the name of your city (or the nearest city to you) in any search engine, such as Yahoo, Bing, or Google. For more details, go directly to the website of any estate company that appears in your search results. Usually, these websites will have a listing of all upcoming sales in a given area. Some sites even have the option to sign up for e-mail notifications. Joining these mailing lists will make your search much easier. You may have to wait a while, but eventually there will be a sale in your area.

Pick up a local newspaper, preferably on a Thursday. As most estate sales are held on the weekend, your best chance to find an estate sale listed in the paper is on a Thursday. In the realm of estate sales, Friday is typically considered to be the start of the weekend and is the day most sales begin. As a result, few estate sales will advertise in the Friday paper, though you might get lucky and find the occasional sale that starts on a Saturday. Because people who hunt for estate sales by the Thursday paper, sales advertised only in the Friday paper tend to have fewer potential customers, and so less competition.

If you’re interested in sales that may not be hosted by a professional company, you can check websites such as,,, or for additional listings. Most professional estate sales will not be listed on these sites, however. As an alternative, search for any listings you may have missed. Most of the sales listed on this site will be hosted by a local professional.

Sometimes, local real estate agents will have knowledge of some estate sales in your area. They are often familiar with the reason a particular property is being sold, and often know about a potential estate sale ahead of time. Get to know a few real estate agents in your area and ask that they inform you about any potential estate sales.

It might seem surprising in this era of technology, but many estate sales are advertised in the old fashioned way. Check out community bulletin boards at local churches or supermarkets, and if you don’t meet with success, drive around your neighborhood. You will often find signs and posters for local estate sales this way. Sometimes, sales advertised in this way will include a phone number or website where you can gain more information about the items in that particular sale. This is a good way to preview a sale and determine if it will have items you might be interested in.

Many companies will list the inventory for an estate sale on their website, complete with pictures. Check the site in the days leading up to the sale. If you’re looking for a particular item, this can be a good way to decide if it’s worth attending a particular sale. Also, if you’re looking for the best deals possible, attend on the last day of the sale. Usually, prices will be lower on the final day, perhaps as much as 50% off the original price. However, selection will also be reduced, you so might have to take what you can find, or keep looking.

Estate sales are open to everyone, so if you want the best selection, arrive early and be prepared to compete with professional dealers. You’ll probably need cash, as most sales do not accept checks or credit cards, and you’ll need to supply your own bags or boxes to transport your items home. Finally, most sales are final at estate sales, so examine each item carefully before purchase. Ask about any possible warranties, especially for electronics.

Estate sales are a wonderful way to obtain beautiful, useful, and often rare items, sometimes at a great price. If you’re interested in purchasing items from these sales, do your homework, know what you’re looking for, and what you’re willing to pay.


“How to Find Estate Sales?”

Huffstetler, Erin. “How to Find Estate Sales.’