You need to remember that when downsizing or dealing with a deceased estate, furniture size matters! And not in the way you would think.
Instinctively, it is safe to assume that a 30-year old antique would be worth more today. Wine values with age, so why not furniture? It is sometimes the case that furniture’s value increases with time. However, this is often not the case. For example, a large item such as a 12-seater Victorian dining table does not increase in value. Sometimes, changes in fashion which are cyclical can account for year-to-year variations in demand in price. But generally, the large size of these antiques can be the downfall to their value.
Smaller living space is being the new long-term trend. This isn’t just baby boomers downsizing, but is a general trend across all demographics. This is being driven by the increasing cost of land. New houses rarely have dedicated dining rooms able to accommodate a formal dining suite. Instead, shared living spaces demand a need for multi-purpose tables. This makes large delicate tables with French polishes unsuitable for many people. They want a table that can take a battering and be wiped down without a thought.
When selling antique furniture, you may have better luck with an antique dealer rather than an auction house. A dealer is likely to attract people interested specifically in antiques. You may receive a better price for your furniture, but there are other fees to factor in. For example, the dealer will consider the cost of floor space your pieces uses in the showroom.
It is sometimes possible to find the right private buyer if you have unlimited time. However, this is not the case when downsizing or dealing with a deceased estate. Looking for the right buyer may mean offloading to a storage facility which adds further costs.
While these are by no means the only pressures on the market, they play a big part in the lower prices antiques are fetching at auction than in the past, so it’s worth keeping in mind that bigger is not always better when it comes time to sell your antiques.