Many of us have antique furniture sitting around our homes, and the pieces are usually things that were passed down to us from our relatives. Most pieces have stories that add to their character and value. Some people buy antique furniture because they feel it was better built and is often more beautiful than modern furniture in their thinking. When the time comes to sell an antique piece of furniture, there are methods you should use to go about it that will help you get the maximum amount of money from the sale.
Research the piece and gather as much information as you can about the antique. Look for information like the kind of wood is it made of, the style of the construction, the name of the piece, the finish on it and if it is the original finish. Things like this are very important to collectors.
Find the history of the piece. This may be a struggle if it is not an heirloom, since it is very hard to trace an inanimate object without paperwork. However, appraisers specialize in dating furniture based upon several factors, many of which you found in Step 1 as well as the way the wood was carved or cut, and the hardware holding it together. You can look online for free websites that will allow you to upload a picture of the antique for a simple evaluation. (See Resources)
Clean it up and take some pictures of it in natural lighting. This does not mean that you should sand or wax it - just use a lightly dampened cotton cloth to remove the dust. Set it in an uncluttered area, preferably lit with sunlight, and take a few digital camera shots.
Look at online antique selling sites or go to libraries for antique furniture pricing guides to get an idea of its value. Sites like eBay can be used by finding similar items that have sold and seeing what people are willing to pay for your antique. Antique prices change as people's demand for the style changes.
List the antique with pictures and a short story about its history for the public to see. This can be done for free on sites like Craig's List, or for a nominal fee on eBay. You can post it in your local newspaper to avoid shipping problems or even talk to a local antique consignment shop about adding it to their inventory.
Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.