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What is Fair Market Value?

One of the most commonly asked questions we get as estate sale pros is, “What can I get for my [insert cherished item here]?” At Blue Moon Estate Sales, our answer is always, “Fair market value.”

So what is fair market value?

Let’s cut to the chase. In layman’s terms, fair market value is what a willing, knowledgeable buyer would likely pay for an item being sold by a similarly knowledgeable, willing seller in the current market. See how we specified “current”? Fair market value is always fluctuating depending on basic supply and demand. There are many factors that can affect the value of an item including changes in trends, location and availability.


These fluctuations are why a relative of ours still laments the day that she went off to college, leaving her Beatles Fan Club memorabilia behind, only to be thrown away by a younger sibling. As time went by, and John, Paul, George and Ringo continued to skyrocket in popularity, the fair market value of those original fan club items skyrocketed, as well.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the mom who physically fought tooth and nail for a Princess Diana Beanie Baby in 1997. She went all out thinking that she was securing a massive future return on investment. Unfortunately, if she were to sell that little purple bear today, even with its pristine, plastic-protected tag, it would probably fetch around $4.  

As you can see, not only does fair market value shift and alter, the fair market value of each and every item is different. The process of determining the value of a specific item can be incredibly complex and time consuming. As a seller, getting it wrong could mean losing potential profits or even losing a sale. If you’re thinking about pricing out an entire estate, especially within a relatively short time frame, you can see how that could become overwhelming very quickly.

Not to worry…

At Blue Moon, we use a variety of proven methods to determine appropriate fair market value both efficiently and effectively. From our in-house specialists to expert research methods and years of cataloged sales data, we’ve got you covered. We take the guesswork out of fair market value for both buyers and sellers. We’re proud to say that it’s one of the factors that sets us apart in this business.

Interested in having an estate sale? Contact us for a free consultation.

Want to hunt for some estate sale treasures of your own? Check out our top estate sale shopping tips, and find a sale near you!