Frequently Asked Questions
Is an estate sale right for me?
The need for an estate sale can arise under many circumstances, some of which are moving, relocating, downsizing, divorce, or when a family member has passed away. I concentrate my efforts on estates where selling it all or significantly downsizing is the goal.
If you find yourself in such a situation, an estate sale is often the best way to realize maximum profits for your estate. If we disagree after the consultation or can’t take on your sale for any reason (e.g., scheduling conflicts), we’ll let you know and set you on the right path.
Will you assess my estate, and do you charge for this?
When you contact us, we’ll schedule a consultation to come to your estate and make an assessment. The consultation is cost-free and risk-free.
What should i do before the consultation?
Don’t start throwing away “junk!” You’d be surprised what sells at an estate. Even small-value items add up quickly, and there are frequently items that have surprising value. We’ve frequently found things clients had already thrown out and sold them for the estate for hundreds or thousands of dollars! We know what sells and what doesn’t. Let us do the sorting.
Don’t worry about cleaning up or organizing. It’s good to throw away anything that is literally trash (e.g., spoiled food, pet litter), but the more you start sorting, the more tempted you’ll be to throw things away you think have no value.
Do have an idea of what items you will keep from the sale. A proper assessment of the estate sale can’t be done if we don’t know what is available to sell.
What do I need at the consultation?
The most important thing is documentation that you have the right to act on behalf of the estate. Family members, attorneys, real estate agents, or anyone else tied to the estate are also welcome if you’d like them there.
How far in advance do you need to book an estate sale?
We recommend 4-6 weeks minimum. This will depend on the size and complexity of the estate, but providing at least this much notice provides ample time to stage and advertise the sale.
What is your fee structure?
We take our commission plus applicable fees out at the end of the sale. Commission rates and fees vary depending on the requirements of the estate, but will be known and agreed on in the sale contract. Fees could include disposal services during pre-sale prep, post-sale cleanup, etc. We never ask for any money upfront.
What happens to the proceeds of the sale?
At the end of the sale, sales books are tallied, checked, and re-checked. The net proceeds, in the form of a Cashiers Check, along with a Final Sales Accounting Sheet (listing gross sales minus commission and expenses), is given to the Administrator/Executor/Trustee/Owner of the Estate. This usually takes place within 5 business days of the last day of the sale.
What forms of payment do you accept at sales?
We take cash, check (with proper ID), and credit/debit cards.
What days do you host sales?
Sales are typically held Thursday through Saturday, at almost any time of the year.
How do you display everything for sale?
We take care of everything to make your assets look their best for sale, first by using the available space and surface areas to attractively display every item, and then by supplementing staging tables, display cases, and lighting. Electronics are displayed where they can be tested, and furniture is arranged to facilitate the flow of traffic.
The garage, as well as any outbuildings and the patio are used for overload items and also tools and garden equipment. When necessary, a large display tent is also used with tables lining the inside to display estate items.
By the time we are ready for sale days, we have created an ambiance that is worthy of your merchandise, and a comfortable environment for the customer. When our customers see the estate displayed online, they can feel confident that your estate sale is worth coming to.
How do you advertise your sales?
We market through several channels, including our email subscriber list, our website, other websites such as estatesales.net and craigslist.com, social platforms, newspaper ads, and sometimes radio announcements. We also make sure people can find the sale with neighborhood signage in compliance with city codes.
Why do you price everything?
This encourages buying, as shoppers don’t have to wonder if an item is for sale or go through the hassle of getting a quote or haggling. It also makes checkout much smoother and prevents congestion at the register.
What happens to anything left after the sale?
Most items sell at the Estate Sale, but at the end of the sale we offer the remainder of the items to anyone who is in the business of buying "the rest" of the estate. If this happens, the purchaser must take everything that is left and cannot leave anything behind. If the remaining items do not sell, we recommend that our clients give them to worthy charitable organizations, which we can help facilitate. This puts your remaining items to good use, and can help the owner a little more in the form of a tax write-off.