Can people bid at an estate sale?

  • Yes, potential buyers who do not want to pay the tagged price may make an offer on items by using a bid box we set up in advance.  The bid box is opened at the end of a sale.  Unless there is a reserve price the highest bidder wins the item.

what happens to the things that remain unsold at the end of the estate sale?

  • After all the sales are completed, (as an option) we can arrange for one or more charities to take away useful donations. We provide you with an itemized receipt, for your tax records. 

what are your fees?

  • Our fees vary depending on the scope of the project.  If you want to do your own sale and just want a consultation on conducting a sale the cost is $25.00 per hour. If you want to rent display tables and signs; the tables are rented for $8.00 per table per day.  We can also rent estate sale signs or help you find a sign company who provides estate sale signs to purchase.
  • If you want us to conduct the sale, then let your family take care of the remaining contents, it is based on a percentage of the total sale.  
  • If you want us to complete the sale with all the remaining contents removed or donated then this is called a clean out sale.  The home is ready to be sold or rented.  Deep cleaning is not provided. This fee is also based on the total amount sold at the sale but at a higher percentage.

Sales tax and final accounting?

  • In the State of Washington we are considered a retail business and are required to collect sales tax. After the sale is completed you will get an accounting of the sale. Cash, Visa, MasterCard sales and sales tax collected. The sale tax and commission will be subtracted from the total. You will receive the final accounting within 2-3 business days after a sale.

Estate Sale Tips

Some estate sale tips to help you get the most from estate sales:


  • Do not throw anything away! One person's junk is another's treasures.  Let us evaluate what you have before you throw anything out.
  • An estate sale is a public or private sale of all the contents of a house, held inside the house itself.
  • Should you organize the estate sale yourself? It is possible to run your own estate sale - whether you should or not depends on your interest in managing the many details involved and time to make it all happen. Another crucial component is the ability to identify a valuable item and know what is it worth. If you think you want to organize your own sale we offer consultation services, tables rentals and other tips  to hold your own sale. See Garage Sale Tips.  If you decide to hire a professional team than give us a call.


  • After your family has removed from the house all the things you will keep, Flute Estate Sales LLC staff prepare everything else for an Estate Sale. Items are organized, cleaned, appraised, priced and displayed attractively.  The Estate Sale, which looks a bit like an in-home store is held for 1-3 days depending on the quality and scope of the property to be sold.
  • Your job (albeit a challenging one) is to decide what you want to keep and to move it from the house before the sale.  Leave everything else behind.
  • What is considered valuable for an Estate Sale?  Values of items constantly change depending on what local buyers are willing to pay for something at any given time. In addition to fine art and antiques, collectors and buyers are looking for almost everything that is in good condition. Some popular are sterling silver, costume jewelry, tools, kitchen items, linens, books, garden tools, military and scouting things, fishing and gold gear, clothing, and furniture.  There are often other salable items which seem not so obvious such as postcards, mid century d├ęcor from the 1930's to 1970's, dolls and old toys.  

who attends estate sales?

  • Buyers at Estate Sales include local collectors, antique dealers, residents of the area and people who enjoy looking for treasures. 

How and where do we advertise the estate sale?

  • We advertise on-line, in newspapers and with street signs in your neighborhood.  We send email notices to over 1500 potential buyers.  We also use social media to advertise the estate sale. Don't be surprised to have 200 to 300 people come to an estate sale.  Many are repeat customers who attend our sales.