(Or, Everything You've Ever Wanted to Ask About Having or Attending an Estate Sale)
I'm thinking about an estate sale, what do I need to know?
Don't throw out anything! You wouldn't believe where we can earn money for you. Whether you need help selling the contents of your home or one belonging to a deceased relative, it's best for us to begin working with you after you're certain everyone has taken what they want to keep. We have experience selling fine art, anitques, and collectibles as well as all the furnishings of more contemporary homes, so we know we can successfully market, merchandise and sell your items, too. Give us a call, or use this form to contact us today.
How do you know what to price to put everything?
Experience, research, and more research. We know the prices our customers expect, and what the market will bear. Furthermore, a few of us have sat for the rigorous USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) exam. These are the same standards and ethics the IRS requires of anyone providing professional written appraisals for fine art, machinery, real estate and businesses. We don't perform written appraisals; rather, what we do is provide a valuation service in the context of the secondary market of estate sales.
Aren't estate sales always due to a death? Or, Did the owners die?
We'd be rich if we had a nickel each time someone asked us this. No, estate sales are not just for selling the possessions of the deceased. Many of our clients are simply downsizing or rezising, while others are moving out of the area and don't want to move with so much stuff.
(We once had a client return near the end of his sale to observe the last of the shoppers. He was astonished to overhear a customer ask, "Did the owners die?" Although he had intended to keep his identity unknown, he laughed out loud and exclaimed, "Not yet!")
People turn to estate sales to sell the contents of a home for a number of reasons. Whether planned and for the best, or completely unexpected, the circumstances can be stressful, and we are always mindful of our clients' privacy. While it's compelling to wonder about the people who lived in the house as you shop, our responsibilities include being thoughtful and compassionate, so our clients' reasons remain confidential, unless they request otherwise.
What happens to the stuff that doesn't sell?
That depends on what our client wants to do. Sometimes they'll say, "Just get it all out of here." That's when we can really get the bargains flying out the door so there isn't much left at all. Most times though, the homeowner has a back-up plan to give some things to friends and family or donate it to their favorite charity. When requested, we work with homeowners to arrange for items to go to third party consignment shops, charitable donations or recycling. It's important to us to keep unsold items out of landfills. Jokingly, we say our tagline should be, "We Rehome Your Stuff."
What payment forms do you accept?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express credit cards, and cash.
Why won't you let me buy the $80 gizmo for $5?
We work for the homeonwer, and while we love to help eveyone find a bargain, we have to follow the homeowner's wishes. Sometimes our client is downsizing and is willing to keep some of the things that don't sell. Other times, taking a tax write off for a donation is worth more to our client than the few dollars they can garner at an estate sale. We do our best to cap the number of items like this in our sales, so we can do what we do best — SELL!
What if I can't make it to the sale but there's something I really have to have?
Give us a call or email. We can't accomodate these requests for small, common items, but for the unusual pieces with limited appeal, we'll be happy to work with you.
You must have some great stories, right?
You bet we do, and some of the questions we can't publish are among them.
Have a question we still haven't answered? Give us a call, or submit your question here.