Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Sales
What is an estate sale?
An estate sale is the sale of the personal property from an estate that may encompass furniture, china, antiques, books, pictures, and all household items including appliance and items in a garage and outdoor items from furniture to fixtures to potted plants. Estate sales often run from 2-3 days and take 1-2 weeks for plan, design and execute the sale. We will work with you to sell the ENTIRE estate. We ask that you mark and/or remove anything that you want and leave all the rest for us to evaluate. We all have heard the expression that "One man's junk is another man's treasure" so we ask that you let us determine all the candidate items we will be offering for sale.
Why would I need an estate sale?
If you have many items that you need to sell, a professionally designed and executed estate sale will bring the most money from the sale. All of us have tried to run a garage sale and you know the hassle and how little money you actually make at one of those while you see your favorite all painting that doesn’t fit on your wall space any more sell for $20. Our customers know in advance what we will be offering at the sale and what the description and value of the pieces are that we will be selling. How many times have your head the story of the guy who bought an original oil painting at a garage sale for $5 only to later find out it was worth thousands. We will not let that happen to your items: we research and fairly price everything for sale. Read an article we wrote on our blog site called Estate Sale Psychology to understand more about the why's of an estate sale (one of us is even a pyschologist to help with the issues of parting with sentimental items)
How many items must I have in my estate sale to be able to use your company?
Feel free to contact us for even a single item as it may be able to be sold on consignment in our retail store. In some cases we may be able to combine two small estate sales into one at a location providing for a more varied sales experience for people coming in to buy.
What type of items do I need to have for the sale?
In an estate sale, we wi9ll work to sell everything that is considered personal property during the sale. We can offer jewelry, china, furniture, coins, watches, LPs/CDs/VHS/DVDs, clothes, shoes, linens, lawnmowers, shovels... you tell us! Of course, antique furnishings and valuables will likely be the first items to go at the highest prices, but people come to estate sales to buy everyday needs and those sales pile up to add to the profit made during the sale.
How much does it cost?
We charge a percentage of the total price for all items sold. Many factors go into determining the percentage including amount of preparation needed, type of items to be sold, etc. We request a small retainer fee that we deduct off the total amount of the total sale at the end to help us arrange the right staff for the job.
Who and what determines the price for the items for sale?
We use a team approach, gathering our experts to make the judgments about price and desirability of the items for sale. We respect your idea of what you want for particular items based on known value/appraisal. We may ask you for a lower price as a negotiation point. We work to sell your item at the original price, but if is often best to get the highest amount for your items that we can by selling it during negotiation. For our estate sales, we price every item we have agreed to sell for you. We will also be offering advance bids on items as a service upon request Bids allow buyers to preview items in advance via our website and allow buyers to bid in advance of the sale. Once the sale is open to the public, the price listed for the item is the current highest bid price. If no one buys the item for that price it goes to the highest bidder. By having a retails business that ships items internationally, we know this is an advantage we have over our local competitors. We have a proven track for selling things online and shipping them to our buyers safely almost anywhere.
How is my property left after the sale?
If required, all items will be removed and the house will be cleaned by staff brought in for that job. If an item does not sell, we offer several options for your consideration including consignment in our retail store, selling to third-party brokers and donation to charities with receipts provided for the tax deduction for the donated goods.
How and when do I receive my money from the sale?
We use professional estate sale management software to aid us in the conduct of the sale. We will provide you a full accounting of the inventory offered, list of what sold for how much, items donated to charity with fair market value obtained on the contribution receipt and full accounting of gross sale, cost of operations (our commission) and net payment to you. You receive the proceeds from your sale after we have processed all monies paid via cash, check and credit card in 14 days after the sale by certified or business check.
What are your qualifications?
Our team consists of experienced antique and vintage retail and wholesale appraisers, inventory accounting using professional-level software, research professionals, artists, furniture restorers, professional movers, sales specialists, and designers. All of our staff and consultants we bring in to help with the sale have many years experience in this industry. We will provide professional sales people whose job it is to sell your items, encouraging buyers to open their pocketbooks.