@Clayton deepest condolences on your loss. This has got to hurt. I’m so sorry.
Recently, I’ve become acquainted with estate sales as a buyer, so I can share that side of the experience with you.
The first day, everything is full price.
The second day, everything is 25% off.
The third day, everything is 50% off.
The fourth day, everything is 75% off.
At the end of the fourth day, I was told “Anything you can fit in a paper bag is $10.”
As an example, I purchased a 90’s era treadmill for $15, and yes, it works. I bought an antique sewing machine for a friend for $25 including the cabinet. These go for around $250 on ebay.
As a buyer, it is very uncomfortable, but at least I know the family is getting something and not nothing. On the flip side, you could ask an accountant for tax advice on whether making a donation to a place like Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a better way to go.
It would be a very good idea to clear anything out of there that you can sell for more on ebay.
This is a traumatic process. You and your friend’s brothers might want to weigh the costs/benefits of letting the possessions go for significantly less than you’d like vs. being stuck with them. I have had friends who have taken on their parents’ belongings into their homes, and fitting two households’ things into one household is a recipe for clutter. It can also be the start of epic hoarder-style clutter, because it is simply too overwhelming to deal with all of those objects.
I’ve been to estate sales run by the family, too. Everything is priced similarly to what you would pay for it new, which means a lot of people leave without buying anything. It’s got to be awful to be in the space with the buyers, so for that reason, a company might be the way to go. Interview them, a lot of them. Ask them how they promote the sale. Ask them what signage they provide from the street directing customers to the sale.
Again, I am so sorry you and your friend’s family are going through this. ((Virtual Hugs))