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The Power of a House Clearance Auction

Debbie Porter

Clearing a house can be emotionally draining and time-consuming. At Potteries Auctions, we offer a comprehensive house clearance and transportation service to ease the burden on people struggling to make sense of the winding up of an estate.

Did you know that here at Potteries Auctions, 95% of our stock is house clearance? We offer these lots to the public at an extremely low prices, and we even start auctioning some of these lot items with no reserve! Whilst the process of clearing a house can be difficult, the benefits for sellers can be unbelievably rewarding.

How do house clearance auctions work?

With our full house clearance service, we will clear out everything remaining in the house after the family has removed any personal items or keepsakes. The process for this will involve one of our expert valuers coming along to the property and inspecting the contents of the house first.

Any recyclable items such as paper, cardboard, shoes and clothing that are not suitable for auction or charity will be taken away and recycled. At every stage of the process, we would talk through our actions and decisions and ensure you feel in control throughout. 

Our valuation team will remove any particularly valuable items such as choice pieces of furniture, ceramics, jewellery and watches and prepare these items for auction for which a receipt will be given to help you keep track of items removed. This is where our skilled team comes into their own and knows how to make the most out of the items going to auction.

Are house clearance auctions worth it?

Valuers often lot items well below the price they know it’s worth in order to attract interest in the item. This means our house clearance auctions gain lots of attention and potential buyers as the opening bids are so welcoming.

It also means these types of lots produce incredible value and you might be able to snag yourself an outstanding deal! Items can be hidden or undervalued and mixed together, resulting in the keen and well-researched buyer walking away with a wonderful find.

For example, in a recent house clearance auction, a lot was estimated at £50-100, but it included vintage McCallum’s whisky miniatures, which are worth more than that on their own. It happens in all our auction house, and we ensure it works well for buyers and sellers alike as no one wants an unsold lot.

Whisky miniatures are another area of great interest to many of our buyers. Lot 369 (left) featured 20 mini bottles including names such as The Macallan, James MacArthur, Singleton, and Robbie Burns, and sold for £620.

Another example of an incredible purchase and sale was during our July 2020 auction of 20th century British pottery, collectors’ items, jewellery and antiques. A bottle of Henekeys Jamaica rum sold for a huge £160, after a starting estimate of just £20.

Sticking with the rum theme, this 1960s Bottle of Lemon Hart 70% Proof Rum sold for a fabulous £120!

How to spot valuable items in a house clearance auction

With these incredible finds on offer, how can you look for rare and valuable items in an auction? We’ve listed these top tips to help:

  • Do your homework. Look at completed prices on Ebay, The Saleroom, Whiskey Auctioneer and many other sites, they’ll give you insights on what items could potentially make if you were to have a dabble at buying and selling.
  • Keep an eye out for trends. Vintage whiskeys are a good investment now, look for vintage malts and Japanese items. Some of the prices are unbelievable. Could you earn a fortune for your old whisky at auction?
  • The key to buying well is looking for the detail. The descriptions will always give you a clue, or even try to spell it out for you. Spend time reading and researching, it will pay off!

We want the best for both seller and buyers; we work with our valuers to ensure lots are appealing and draw a good crowd. If you’re selling or buying, take time to research and read up on what the best price to sell and buy collectable items from a house clearance is.

If it’s more of an asset division you’re looking for, rather than a house clearance, we can help. At Potteries Auctions, we can prepare specialist written valuations for items of value for division of assets reasons, whatever the underlying reason. This will give you peace of mind knowing you are dividing up assets fairly based on professional judgement.

How to attend a house clearance auction

If you’d like to attend a house clearance auction, keep an eye out for our upcoming auctions at our saleroom in Staffordshire, you never know, you could uncover some hidden treasure or bid on a rare and valuable item that everyone else seems to have missed!

If you have items for auction, or you’d like to arrange a house clearance, please get in touch and we can help you with a valuation.  Talk to our team of experts who will be able to give you an accurate auction estimate on a range of items from household goods to antiques. You can join us at one of our valuation days every Tuesday, email us for an appointment on or call us on +44 (0)1782 638100 Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

Email Valuations

If you can’t come in and see us in person but would like to submit items for auction or valuation, send us an email to with details and a photograph (eg make, model, model number, measurements, condition) and one of our experts will provide information and auction estimates. Alternatively, give us a call on 01782 638100 to arrange an appointment.