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Why do people use professional estate sale services?

There can be any number of reasons to use our services, but here are the ones we encounter often:

  • The passing away of a loved one.
  • Downsizing from a large home to a much smaller residence.
  • A move into assisted living.
  • Moving out of town or out of state, and not taking much to the new home.
  • The need to empty a house of all contents in order to prepare it for sale.
  • The desire to turn a collection into cash.

What's the best time of the year to have an estate sale?

In this area, ANY weekend's a good weekend for a sale, with the exception of mid-December through New Year's Day. But boy, those first sales in January are usually REALLY well-attended ... everybody's itching for a new year of treasure hunts!

There are valuable items in the home, such as fine jewelry, artwork, a large collection of something, or fine antiques. Should I call some dealers to buy those items before I call you?

NO, NO, a THOUSAND TIMES NO! Estate sales are a primary source for dealers to acquire the goods that they sell. By keeping these items in the sale, you accomplish several important things: 1) You attract a much larger crowd to the sale. 2) You ensure that the item has been properly researched for the current market, and that it has been priced correctly for sale. 3) Because collectors also attend sales, you may very well command a higher price through the estate sale than you can hope for by selling privately.

We have a house full, but there aren't any antiques or anything. Does that matter?

What makes an estate sale work is to have a large volume of items, and, of course, to have the kinds of items that people are interested in buying. There's always a market for antiques, but right now the "hot" decades are the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Everyday items such as tools, sports equipment, clothing, toys, kitchen items, appliances, electronics, etc. also move well at sales. The more, the better. The greater variety, the better.

Besides - there may be things in the house that are actually much more valuable than you realize. We've been known to sort through junk drawers and find hundreds of dollars worth of goodies (see next question).

There's a lot of junk in the house. I should throw that away before I call you, right?

WRONG! Please, please, pretty please don't throw out a single thing before we come to see the house. There is so much "junk" that is actually very collectible, and we don't expect you to know what it is. That's our job.

In fact, we would prefer that you not do ANYTHING to the contents other than to pull out the items you don't want to sell. We'll be moving everything around anyway, so it's not a good use of your time to try and organize anything.

The success of an estate sale depends on a large variety of contents. If you toss out or donate items BEFORE you call us, you may eliminate our ability to conduct a sale. IF IT NEEDS TO BE TOSSED, we'll toss it! You could be throwing away or donating hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of collectibles. "Junk drawers" and old boxes of papers often hold very valuable items! We know what they are and how to price them to maximize your sale potential.

OK, so let's say we hire someone to do an estate sale. What's the fee?

Conductors earn a percentage of the gross sale. Sometimes they will offer a flat fee on a smaller sale. They usually pay for the staffing, the permits, and the advertising.

Percentages should be quoted at the on-site visit. If the sales potential is quite large, DO NOT SHOP FOR AN ESTATE SALE COMPANY BY COMPARING PERCENTAGES! A percentage is only a number until you know WHAT it's a percentage of. A low percentage could mean that corners are being cut somewhere, and that cannot possibly be to the estate's advantage.

ALWAYS be willing to pay for expertise, because expertise ALWAYS pays off for you! To quote a percentage without seeing your situation assumes that "all sales are the same". Nothing is further from the truth.

What happens to all the stuff left after the sale's over?

That's up to you. Some people opt to call in a charitable organization to take anything left after the sale that they can put in their thrift stores, then have a clean-out company quote the cost of getting rid of the rest.In some situations, we may be able to assist with the final clean-out service.

You make it sound so simple, and yet I'm overwhelmed!

We know that settling an estate and emptying a household is a daunting task. By letting a professional work for you, it allows you to focus ONLY on those things in the home that you want to keep as heirlooms. You can ignore all the rest and let them take care of it.




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