Our probate valuers industry is absolutely littered with incredible stories of interesting and valuable finds when clearing a London and home county’s home. Probably the most famous is the Chinese Vase that sold at auction for tens of £millions, which was owned for many years by a lady in Pinner. It wasn’t until after her death when her son was clearing the house that the vase was found. These stories are always fascinating and a very good reason why a professional probate valuer should be commissioned to value a deceased estate. You never know what is hiding in an attic or sitting on a shelf, as in the case of the Pinner vase.
Manor House Clearance works in the capacity of probate valuers for a number of auctions to provide such a service. Before anything is removed from a home as part of a house clearance process, we are asked to go and value those contents. Once we have a comprehensive understanding, recommendations for selling valuables can be made, and you may not realise that much of what you see in auction sales have come via that route. People keep the most extraordinary items, some of which are either valuable to the family members left behind, or to a willing buyer bidding on the auction lot. The antique and collectables market in the UK is incredibly strong, so in many ways, we are constantly recycling items of interest to us when purchasing at an auction.
Much of our house clearance and probate valuation work is done in Greater London and home counties. In these areas, you have an abundance of long-standing family homes that have been passed down through the generations. This is the scenario that generates the most interest when it comes to incredible finds.
Some of our big surprises when clearing London houses are expensive antique jewellery which is at a minimum worth its weight in gold, valuable classic and vintage vehicles gathering dust in garages, and other forms of transport like bicycles. We have come across some highly collectable vintage and classic bikes that are now sought-after commodities with a growing interest in many new markets for collectable items. Other valuable items amount to rare furniture, very often in pristine condition having been previously loved and cherished by the deceased. We are continually coming across highly collectable memorabilia as the wide and diverse collectors market continues to grow.
People often ask us what is our most amazing find. That’s a difficult question as it is very personal to our own individual interests. However, on several occasions, we have come across some absolutely beautiful classic vehicles that were once someone’s pride and joy. The classic car market has increased exponentially over recent decades, with many of what were our standard or mass-produced vehicles now fetching a very tidy sum at auction. We are yet to find another £5M vintage Bugatti which was discovered in a barn a number of years ago, but we are continually finding some quite beautiful classics which had been stored under dusty sheets for decades.
It really goes to show just how important a professional probate valuer is when valuing an estate. We can pretty much guarantee a surprise with every house clearance in and around the suburbs of London.