House clearances carried out after someone dies can often reveal hidden gems. A wide range of valuable items can be found, depending on the nature and history of the household.

In series 12 of the popular daytime TV show Heir Hunters, the estate of the late John Powney turned out to be worth considerably more than initially realised, thanks to his extensive collection of vinyl, with some records worth as much as £25,000 each.

There was also the case of Peter Lay (known as Richard) from series 9. In an interesting twist, a specialist house clearance firm sent into Richard’s house uncovered a passion for cars and vehicles, and a collection of original Dinky model cars still in their packaging.

The collection was sold off at auction so its value could be added to Richard’s estate and the collection was sold for about £6,500, giving a final value to the estate of approximately £300,000.

What other valuables can turn up during house clearances?

Old furniture

Old furniture, artwork, ceramics, vintage clothing, rare books, coins, stamps, and other collectible items can be valuable if they are in good condition and have historical or cultural significance.


Rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, watches, and other pieces of jewellery may be uncovered. Precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum, as well as gemstones like diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, can hold considerable value.


Other items, such as electronics, high-end televisions, audio systems, gaming consoles, and computers can also be valuable. Vintage electronics, like retro video game consoles, old cameras, or vintage record players, may also fetch a good price from collectors.

Fine China

Sets of fine China, bone China, and silverware can have significant value, particularly if they are from renowned brands or feature unique designs.


If someone was a dedicated follower of fashion, their home might contain clothing items from past decades, and if there are designer pieces or rare vintage finds, these can be sought after by fashion enthusiasts and collectors.

Musical Instruments

Guitars, pianos, violins, saxophones, and other musical instruments can hold considerable value, particularly if they are high-quality, well-preserved, or made by reputable makers.

Rare coins

Rare or limited-edition coins, stamps, and other philatelic items can be what collectors are looking for. Uncommon or historically significant currency may also have worth.

Paintings and sculptures

Paintings, sculptures, lithographs, and other forms of art can have significant value, especially if they are created by renowned artists or are part of a specific art movement.

Vintage toys

Vintage toys, especially if they are in their original packaging or are from popular franchises, are often highly prized.


First-edition books, signed copies of books of historical or literary significance can be worth a fortune, with rare or out-of-print books that are in good condition fetching high prices.

The value of items varies widely, depending on condition, rarity, demand and market trends. If you are clearing out a house and come across potentially value items, it is worth consulting with antique dealers or auction houses to get a proper evaluation.


Finders International Public Sector team work with councils, coroners, hospitals, housing associations and care homes across the UK and Ireland. We assist with tracing heirs to property, estates, assets and unclaimed funds, as well as locating next of kin to arrange and attend funerals.

Finders International can also quickly and easily identify the owners of empty homes across the UK. We specialise in cases where the previous owner has died intestate, locating their rightful beneficiaries, no matter how distant, so that the property can be cleared and returned to the housing market.