In the last few years, most of us have had to tighten our belts financially. As a result many people are looking for cheaper ways to decorate their home for instance, other than paying full department store prices for furniture, rugs, decor, and artwork. Some trawl the flea markets and second hand stores, others lurk around internet auction sites and online classifieds. Still others keep their eyes peeled for notices of estate sales. If you've never been to an estate sale before, this article will explain what they are and how to find them.

When a person dies and their personal possessions pass to their relatives, in many cases the relatives have their own real estate already and do not need a whole heap of used books, furniture, decorations, and clothing. Sometimes the relatives will donate their dead relative's things to charity, but if the items are of good quality, they may decide to hold an estate sale instead and liquidate the items. The profits from the sale are then split between the heirs who inherited the home and possessions.

Estate sales are almost always held in the home of the deceased with all of the items still displayed as their dead owner had placed them - books on the bookshelf, sofas in the living room, etc. Buyers are invited to trawl the deceased's Markham real estate for anything they might find interesting and want to buy. Generally, if you see something you want you will make an offer to the relatives (or the sale coordinator working on their behalf), who will be at the sale. Sometimes the items may be pre-priced, but you may still negotiate with the seller if they are willing.

As you might expect, relatives often have no idea what the pieces they inherited are or what they would be worth if they were properly priced by an antiques dealer. As a result estate sales are the favorite choices of amateur and professional antique and collectible dealers, who see each estate sale as a potential treasure trove. Estate sales are usually announced in the newspaper and on community bulletins to attract the maximum amount of interest.

A word of advice, though, if you're planning on attending an estate sale: remember that even though it was the relatives' decision to hold the sale, they are often still hurting over the death and view you as an opportunistic vulture swooping in to take advantage of their grief. Therefore try to be as sensitive as possible when browsing and offering to buy. Whenever possible, reassure the relatives that you will value the item you are buying as their relative did.

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