For now, Ms. Hall said, most estate sale companies are mom-and-pop operations that cater to a regional clientele. But in recent years, she added, a handful of successful franchise businesses with wider-than-local ambitions have emerged.

One of those is Blue Moon Estate Sales in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., south of Raleigh. After six years in business, the company, run by a married couple, Ken and Debra Blue, now has five franchises in North Carolina and Texas, and its home office.

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