Estate auctions are one of the favorite types of auctions for a large segment of the auction buying crowd. They come for all the great items, from those specialty items to the everyday stuff. Of course, they're hoping to get some bargains, too.
From the other side of the aisle is the Seller, the family... perhaps a spouse, the children, siblings, cousins, aunts & uncles and parents. Of course, an estate auction may be from the result of the passing of a relative or the living estate of a relative that is no longer able to care for their self and having to let go a lifetime of acquisitions... their treasures of memories, collections of fondness and passions, to that special chair they curled up in to watch TV and many other personal possessions.
As an auctioneer, this is the side that is often the most difficult to handle. I'm not talking about the problems that sometimes arise, when a family member thinks something should be worth a lot of money ("because it belonged to great-grandma"). No... the hardest part is dealing with the emotional side of their situation, combined with the economic side they now have to deal with. In some cases, the auctioneer may only be working with an executor with no real strong family ties, but in most cases, it is one of the family that has been chosen for this daunting task, which just adds another emotional load to their own feelings that they are also having to deal with.
My heart goes out to these folks, as I take on the role to help them solve just one of the many problems they have to face. Yes, it's part of the way in which I make my living, but it doesn't make it any easier when I have to tell them that grandma's silver-plated ring, that she loved so much, wasn't worth more than maybe $35. The double-edged sword... since it's not worth much, then "Jenny" decides to keep it OR if it turns out to be worth $3500, "Jenny" decides to keep it. Either way... there are a lot of emotions and feelings that folks have to deal with and sometimes it's hard to let go of things with the memories attached, no matter how big or small they may be in actual value. Then, to watch strangers dig through the "stuff"... those lifetime treasures... well, below is a link to this "side of the story," which provides more insight to this than I can start to offer. After you read the article, also read the comments:
Going, Going, Gone - Sold To The Highest Bidder
Jim Ford, Lic. 12478