What is estate liquidation?

Liquidating an estate is the process of selling (liquidating) all its contents, usually during a period of transition, such as when the owner moves, downsizes, restyles or passes away. While real estate (land or buildings) is typically sold by a realtor, the contents of an estate (which may include furniture, art, jewelry, collectibles, vehicles, clothes, etc.) are often sold at an estate sale (sometimes called a ‘tag sale’). One White Orchid is a Miami based estate liquidation company, specializing in luxury estate sales.

How do I liquidate an estate?

Typically the contents of an estate are liquidated (sold) via an estate sale or auction (see also: estate sale vs. auction below). Estate sales are held on the property where the estate contents are located, and promoted to local buyers. Setting up an estate sale is a labor intensive process that requires expertise in event management, value appraisal and marketing, so owners usually engage the services of estate sale experts like One White Orchid to plan, manage and execute the sale.  If you’re wondering how to liquidate an estate, talk to us!

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

Estate sales are similar to auctions in that the goal is the same, to sell the contents of an estate. They differ in that, at an estate sale the selling price is set by the seller and may decrease as the sale progresses, whereas at an auction the selling price is determined by the bidders. During an auction a buyer may have more time to inspect a product, whereas at an estate sale, items are sold on a first come first served basis, and popular items will be sold very quickly. One White Orchid specializes in planning, managing and executing luxury estate sales.

How do estate sales work?

Typically an estate sale is held on the property where the items for sale (estate contents) are located. When executed professionally, the space is staged and sale items priced and merchandised to increase their appeal and make it easier for buyers to find and purchase them. The sale is heavily marketed to attract customer traffic, and may take place over one or more days, and include periods when buyers are invited only by appointment and/or days when the property is open to the public.  Estate owners usually engage a local estate liquidator like One White Orchid to help with estate sales, as organizing a successful sale event is a labor-intensive process, and letting go of personal possessions can be emotionally draining for the owner. 

How do I have an estate sale on my own?

Because of the large volume of work involved in preparing, staging and wrapping up after an estate sale, most estate owners usually engage help from one of their local estate sale companies, like One White Orchid. The best estate liquidation companies are often well worth their cost to an estate owner, because of the additional revenue they are able to generate from a sale as a result of more accurate pricing, professional marketing and merchandising, and their large networks of buyers.

If you still want to know how to have an estate sale yourself, there is nothing stopping you going it alone and setting your own estate sale rules, but you should first make sure you are aware of the  full scope of work involved and the importance of proper pricing, merchandising and marketing. If you’re not sure how to price items for an estate sale, you may be better off partnering with a professional estate liquidator like One White Orchid

How do I have an estate sale in one week?

If you're wondering how to have an estate sale in one week or even less (we’ve done it!), you’re in the right place. Even though having more time can often yield better results, sometimes that’s just not possible, say if a house sale is closing, a property needs to be vacated or a financial goal must be met. Fortunately, we have strategies for rush sales, which generate immediacy and excitement, drive customer traffic and inspire purchases. If you’re looking for companies that do estate sales on a rush basis, call us now! We have staged very successful large luxury sales in 7 days, from set up to clean up, and can do the same for you.

What area does One White Orchid service?

One White Orchid predominantly services Miami-Dade and Broward counties. If you are looking for local estate liquidation services in this area, please get in touch. If you are outside of this area but need the help of a professional estate liquidator, give us a call, as are always happy to discuss all the options. Most of our estate sale events are held in or around Miami, specifically Coral Gables, Pinecrest, South Miami, Coconut Grove and Miami Springs. 

How do I choose an estate sale company?

Knowing how to choose an estate sale company is important to ensure a successful sale. 

You will be more confident of a company that has a proven track record and testimonials from other clients like you to support it. One White Orchid posts testimonials on its website and can provide references and photographs from past sales on request. Our team has decades of combined experience in estate liquidation, as well as retailing and marketing at the highest level, so always ask about your estate liquidator’s credentials. 

You will also want to work with an estate liquidation partner that carries insurance. Ours is with the industry standard provider, the Antiques & Collectibles National Association. Of course, we want you to choose One White Orchid, but whoever you choose to partner with, please make sure they are insured!

Last and certainly not least, your estate liquidation partner should be someone you can trust and can get along with. When we meet with potential clients to walk them through the process, answer questions and put their minds at ease, we usually find that they want to work with us!

How much does an estate sale cost?

How much estate liquidators charge can depend on several factors. One White Orchid typically charges 30%-40% commission on the proceeds of an estate sale, depending on the nature of the sale. If you need to liquidate an estate and want to compare the cost of partnering with an estate liquidation company like One White Orchid against hosting the sale on your own,  you may want to consider the costs of your time, marketing the event, and your out of pocket expenses (like phone calls, travel & hired helpers). You should also factor in that your sales proceeds are likely to be lower than a professional estate liquidator like One White Orchid would achieve, because of their expertise in event planning, pricing, merchandising and marketing. We also have a large network of local customers who are ready to travel and buy, as well as a multi-channel marketing strategy and visual merchandising tools and collateral to create appealing presentations of sale items. All these resources have a significant positive impact on your sales. The cost of an estate sale company's commission percentage is usually offset by the increased sale revenue they generate. Want to learn more? Get in touch!


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