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What is the difference between an estate sale and an auction?

While estate sales and auctions share the same objective of selling property, they are quite different in nature. The first key difference is in the way prices are determined. In an auction, the group of bidders determine the price based on demand. The owners of the property may set a minimum price, but otherwise the bidders will place bids until there is a winning bidder. An in-demand item may sell for much more than expected. The opposite could happen, where an item doesn’t sell at all. 

In contrast, the estate selling company sets the prices of items in advance. Prices are reduced with each passing day. This means that there is no opportunity for a price war. Further, buyers might even try to haggle for a lower price.

The second key difference is time frame. An auction typically takes place over a few hours, and items are auctioned off efficiently. Even the most heated bidding war over a particular item will only take a few minutes. In contrast, an estate sale may take over a few days. 

Be sure to factor in the amount of time that it takes to prepare for each event. With an auction house, you would need to present each item to be auctioned off to your auctioneer and have your items appraised. The auction house would also need to arrange for transport of all the items from the estate to the location of the auction. An estate sale usually takes place at the home, so there is no need for transport. The estate sale company also takes care of pricing items and putting price tags on them. Keep these conditions in mind when weighing the overall efficiency of each type of event.


The most common approach to disposing of unneeded and unwanted assets is to conduct an auction or estate sale. Both methods can help achieve the same result of selling the assets, yet it is important to first answer a few key questions to help narrow your search process.

  1. Are there any special or high-value items in the home to be sold? A collection perhaps: art, stamps, coins, jewelry, antiques, wine, etc. These may require a special appraisal and be handled off-premises.

  2. What is your timeline to move out of the property?

  3. Is the convenience of the process more important or financial gain from selling through the items?

The process of getting ready for the estate sale is also the very process of inventorying and valuing many of marital fixed assets and is a way to get it done without having to pay someone to do it for you - the professional estate sales staff will appraise and price your valuables for you. Of course, you will review and agree to the pricing of the most valuable items.

In addition to on premise sales, several estate sales & auction companies offer items online so their outreach is nationwide, even international. This includes online auctions as well as bidding for items that are posted.

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We understand this can be a very stressful time, especially if the divorce is forcing you to downsize to a new home or move into a lease home or apartment. Managing the division of property in a divorce is difficult and emotional, particularly when combined with years of memories. The realities of the situation must be faced and we are here to provide guidance and support to help you through this time. 

Our professionals that handle all our estate sales and auctions, handle them with the care and pride we would give to our own family members. Our dedicated professionals have decades of experience serving the Greater Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and its surrounding areas.

Like staging a home for sale, we have found if you take the time to properly stage your items for sale with professional photography, it will add value to the event. Whether it's in person or an online estate sale or auction, the presentation and organization of a sale will maximize each estate’s potential profit.


We work with professional estate sale companies and/or Auctioneers to market the event. This not only provides our divorcing clients a very secure and trusted way of turning assets into cash, but also gives them greater market exposure to more potential buyers and higher prices for the home for sale.

Selling a home, furniture, antiques, collectibles, and other quality items is our business--we know our markets and buyers as well as the items we sell. 


Do you need to sell your home and the majority of items in it? 

I can provide a list of estate sale companies or an auctioneer.

CALL 469-556-1185

Book a No Obligation 15-Minute Consultation

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