If you are in charge of an estate, you want to get the most for all of the items, both everyday household items and precious family heirlooms and antiques. Holding an estate sale can be a simple way to clear out the home and raise money, but it is a good idea to carefully document every item before you call in the auctioneer. Creating a detailed household inventory will make it easier to plan and execute the sale, and that could mean higher prices for your treasures.
Photograph each room in the household. Take one or two long shots of each room, trying to get as many sale items in the picture as possible. Then take a number of close-up shots of the various items in the room. Download the digital pictures to your computer and label each one with the name of the room where it was taken, i.e. bedroom_fullshot, bedroom_bed, etc.
Walk around the home with a clipboard or a tablet and record a brief description of each item. Record the approximate value of the item and the estimated year of purchase, if available.
Separate any items you believe may have special value. These items can include antiques, collectibles, fine jewelry and pieces of artwork. Set those items aside for further evaluation by a professional.
Create a spreadsheet listing all the items you recorded on your tablet or clipboard. List the description of the item, the name of the manufacturer and the estimated value. Cross-reference your spreadsheet against your photographs to be sure you did not miss any items.
Contact an art expert or antiques dealer to evaluate the items you pulled out during your inventory. Add those items to your inventory after a value determination has been made.
Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.