Home owners downsizing – Can an auctioneer help?

The short answer to this is a definite yes.

But why would a home owner require the help of an auctioneer, when they sell a large property.

It is explained by the old saying You cannot get a quart into a pint pot.

When someone moves from a large house, decisions have to be made about what can fit into a smaller flat or bungalow, and what needs to be to be sold.

A recent example was when I was called to see a house in Moseley. A house blessed with high ceilings, good size rooms and a delightful garden. A property I am sure while that local estate agents are fighting over to get on the market. The owner was planning to move to a much smaller property and wanted some advice about potential auction value of his antiques, paintings and some good reproduction furniture.

I am always conscience that in these cases it is better to listen rather than talk. Auctioneers do like to talk, some would say waffle on, but in these cases it is best to draw out of the owner what they want to retain and what they are open to selling, and then advice about prices.

Following our chat, a number of items came to Biddle & Webb for auction including three large pictures, some clocks and an impressive reproduction cocktail cabinet.

All our Saturday Interior Auctions now have items consigned by vendors moving from large houses often in Moseley, Edgbaston, Harborne and Sutton Coldfield.

A large upcoming item is Lot 150 in our July auction – A late 17th Century oil depicting Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene, that “weights in” at a substantial 157.5cm x 120cm.

An impressive item, but not something that is going to fit into a small bungalow.

The other type of items that are consigned when people down size is the dining room furniture.

Often impressive antiques, people nowadays do not try and squeeze dining tables into their new homes. We no longer dine with friends like we used too, and many dining tables are used only on Christmas Day.

This change in social habits was bought home to me when I visited the same large house in Edgbaston after an 18 years break.

The house is one of the largest in the city, and back in the 1990s had a grand piano in the entrance hall, and the owners who were downsizing said they had held dances in the entrance hall and dining room. The dining table I recalled easily sat 14 people, was sold at auction.

I was invited back to the house by the current owners, this time to advice about the chandeliers. These were the last items from the original furnishing and décor. The earlier viewed dining room was now a games/cinema room, with the family entertaining and living in the now greatly extended kitchen. A room complete with a huge TV, and folding doors that linked the garden to the house, and not a dining table to speak of.

From Jeremy


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