What's the Best Way to Sell the Contents of a House?

A Comprehensive Guide to Simplifying the Process and Maximizing Your Profits


From having a general clear-out, to dealing with an entire family estate; whether you’ve thoroughly sorted through the property, or you don’t know where to start, there are several ways you could consider dealing with this task.

Firstly, you will need to identify all items you believe have a significant monetary value. This would include items such as fine & contemporary paintings, antique & modern furniture, decorative art, glass & ceramics, silver objects, jewellery, watches, clocks, and collectables.

Often a declutter is necessary. Consider donating unwanted items to charity or offering them to family or friends who may have expressed an interest at some point. However, keep in mind they are likely to offer you less than open market value, if anything at all. Indeed, they might expect you to gift the item to them.





We would recommend contacting a reputable auction house to assess items you feel may have a value. Whether you know an item is antique or believe it may be valuable, this crucial step will give you peace of mind that you haven’t just disposed of a long-lost Rembrandt or unwittingly donated a diamond and sapphire brooch which was hidden amongst a box of costume jewellery.

Contacting dealers is an avenue best avoided. Local jewellers will offer scrap prices for gold and antique items, and sadly those items often end up in the melting pot. More unique pieces which may be antique or have precious gems will be valued based on what sort of stock they are looking for and what sort of things are sought after by their clients. This means you probably won’t get close to a realistic value.



Another option would be to enlist the services of a local antique dealer, who would certainly be able to help identify items of value and may even offer cash for those valuables on the day. However, selling for a quick return can also bring its pitfalls. Dealers will only offer on items where they can make a maximum profit on, after all, they are working for themselves, not for you, so how can you be sure you have achieved the best price?

Auctions are the best way of selling valuable items. Reputable auction houses will promote your items to an international client base ensuring you achieve maximum value. You can transport items to an auction house for valuation, but when it comes to multiple items, it is much easier and safer for an expert valuer to visit you. A home visit will eliminate the possibility of valuables getting damaged in transit and additionally means that any items of potential hidden value are not overlooked.



If you are dealing with the death of a loved one, sorting through their property might be the last thing on your mind. Making emotionally charged decisions can cause complications, so take your time to grieve. When you are ready, contact an auction house, like Dawsons, that offers a complete solution. We will be able to meet you at the property and identify all items with potential auction value, as well as advise on items that have no commercial value. If needed, we can also assist with clearing the property when the time comes.

Whichever route you decide to take, consider “who” you are selling your items to, and will you be achieving the best possible price for your objects.


Are you looking to sell the contents of a house?

Please get in touch with a member of the Dawsons team today. We would be delighted to help you.

0207 431 9445 / info@dawsonsauctions.co.uk