When you’re left with a home full of furniture after a family member passes, it can be hard to let go – especially of any sentimental value attached to the pieces. However, unless you have unlimited storage options at home, chances are you won’t be able to keep everything.
So how do you decide what stays and what goes?
Many factors go into determining furniture values, which is why many people make costly mistakes. We’ve all heard the stories of priceless antiques hidden in the attic for decades before anyone noticed their worth and value.
To avoid cluttering your space (and donating items of high value), here are a few tips on how to value your inherited furniture.
Examine your furniture
The first step to valuing any inherited furniture is a lengthy assessment of the pieces you’re looking to value. Here’s some basic information you’ll need:
- What kind of furniture is it?
- What is the composition? (Type of wood? Is there marble?) – list all materials
- Are there any damages? (Scratches, dents, chips, cracks, etc.)
- Take clear photographs from all angles
- Have any previous repairs been made? (Like a new screw replacing an old one)
- Get any old photographs of the furniture together to help date it
- Write down any known provenance of the piece (Was it your grandfather’s? Did it come over on a ship during WWII? Whatever information or history you have, document it)
- Once you have all this information, call in an appraiser
All this information is going to be useful once you start searching for a buyer or working with an appraiser, as they will need this information to price or value your items.
Know the different value types
Unfortunately, one price doesn’t fit every piece of furniture. Each piece will have a different value or price depending on what you want to do with each piece.
Keep in mind these pricing points:
This value type is the fair market value of what a buyer would be willing to pay, which you would normally get from an appraiser. It is the highest value of the three options and is the hardest price to achieve when reselling furniture and other items.
Pro Tip: when used for insurance purposes, it’s known as replacement value – the cost it would take to replace a given piece if the item was lost or stolen.
If you haven’t had your items appraised but still approach a dealer for the value, they will most likely give you the wholesale value – which is the price they would be willing to pay for the item (can be 30% or even 50% less than the retail value).
Pro Tip: dealers only offer this reduced price so they can successfully make a profit.
Estates and attorneys often value inherited furniture and other antiques by their auction value. The value is usually based on what value your items can bring when being auctioned.
Pro Tip: it’s usually less than the retail price but at least more than the wholesale price.
If you’re worried about not having enough space in your home for all the furniture you’ve inherited – worry no further! Pink Hippo has plenty of room for you – plus, we have packaging materials on offer, perfect for keeping your sentimental belongings safe.