Monthly Archives: April 2020

estate sales – II 4/24/2020 – gtg

What is an Estate Buyout? How Does It Work?

How is a buyout different from an estate cleanout?
An estate buyout occurs when an estate sale company buys the personal property of an estate for one fixed price which has been negotiated between the estate owner or executor and the estate sale company.

We’re interested in buying unique, collectible, and vintage items. It can be a single item or an entire collection. Our special interests include art, sterling silver, vintage jewelry, folk items, old books, vintage tapestry, and mid-century modern design.

We’re also interested in buying estate vehicles, RVs, golf carts, as well as unique, collectible, and vintage items. It can be a single item or an entire collection.

If you have items you’re interested in selling, contact us.

An estate buyout can consist of the purchase of an entire estate or only some of the estate items, whatever is agreed upon by the buyer and seller.

An estate cleanout is normally a removal of all items in a household. This term usually refers to a more modest or low-value estate in which the items sold or removed are given in exchange for the labor of the cleanout.

Depending upon the situation, a cleanout crew may require more reimbursement as well.

Regardless of the situation, be sure the company gives you a contract spelling everything out to protect both the seller and the buyer.

Death is not the only reason for an estate sale or a buyout. Any life circumstance that creates a need to liquidate personal belongings in a quick and efficient manner may be served well by having an estate sale or a buyout.

This circumstance could be a death, but also may be a divorce, bankruptcy, a drastic downsizing, a move, a change in living situation, or many other factors. Sometimes, there’s a homeowner’s association that prohibits estate sales or any type of public event that brings massive amounts of people in.

The most attractive fact about an estate buyout is that usually within a day or two, an entire estate can be packed up and moved away. Sometimes, this is exactly what’s needed due to the situation at hand.

Sometimes a person just wants to sell a collection or free up some space and cash. In those circumstances, a buyout of just those items is what you need.

Like all solutions, estate buyouts have pros and cons.
Quick Cash & An Empty House
An Estate Buyout may be the best choice for an estate liquidation for many reasons.

7 Reasons an Estate Buyout may be the best option for a client:

Needs to liquidate an estate quickly.
Wants to raise cash immediately.
Has only a brief amount of time to empty a house.
Lives in an association, a gated community, a facility, or area that prohibits estate sales.
Is unable to find an estate sale company willing or able to do an onsite sale for them.
The estate is too modest to warrant an estate sale on its own or the client only has a few items they wish to sell.
The family, heirs, and/or executor does not wish to have a public estate sale.

What are the negatives to Estate Buyouts?

Unless your estate falls into one 7 categories listed above, your estate will do better being sold “where it lives”.

Often estate liquidations are most successful when the items are sold in their original environment – pictures hanging on the wall and dishes in the kitchen. Why? Shoppers love the hunt. They enjoy going through the house, the closets, the garage and looking for that special find.

When you remove all the items from a house and place them in a new “artificial environment” to market them, shoppers are just less interested. They feel like they’re shopping at a store. They are less apt to see more value in items when they’re not displayed in the former owner’s home.

Another downside to estate buyouts is that you often make less money for your estate items. A company has to come in and pack, load up, and move your items to another facility and then unpack, display, price and sell them. All that takes time and labor which creates much-added expense to liquidating your estate. More time (labor) = more money (costs).

The trade-off is that the house is cleared out quickly – usually within a day or two. If that’s your goal and you’re willing to sacrifice financially to achieve it, then a buyout may be for you. But please consider that …………….

Having an onsite estate sale may NOT be as much trouble as you think.
An estate cleanout differs from an estate buyout in that a cleanout is generally a removal of low-value items from a home.

The homeowner or estate owner normally pays the estate liquidator for the time and labor involved in the removal because there are not enough items of value to offset labor costs.


Estate Consignments

If you have some nice items, collectibles, or furniture that need specialty marketing, consignment may be an option for you. Consignment means someone else is selling something on your behalf in exchange for a predetermined percentage of the sale price – generally somewhere in the range of 50/50 or 60/40.

This percentage is determined by the owner and the seller and depends upon what the item is, how valuable it is, and how much work and/or advertising and general costs to selling the item there is. You should always get a written agreement stating the agreed-upon terms.

Estate Consignments Can Be An Easy Solution
We’re interested in buying high-demand collectibles, antiques, vintage, and unique or one of a kind items that are in good condition.

Certain items are much more compatible with consignment than others. We can quickly tell you if your items would be likely to be successful if marketed in this manner.

We primarily accept consignments in the area unless it is an item that can easily and economically be shipped to us.

How do we market your consignment items?

We have a large database of known collectors and specialty buyers.
Online marketing.
Integration into another estate sale which exposes your item to hundreds and hundreds of prospective buyers and helps draw more people to the estate sale because of your interesting and unique item.
A consignment can consist of one item, a collection, or several items.

5 Reasons Consignment may be the best option for a client:

You may have certain items you wish to sell, but not necessarily your entire household or estate.

The client wants to free up cash.

The client wants to free up space or is down-sizing.

The client does not want to sell the items outright for various reasons.

There is a debate about what value a certain item has. Therefore, a consignment of the item will mean it is not sold until a buyer makes an acceptable offer.

What Are The Negatives to Estate Consignments?

Unless your estate falls into one of the 5 categories listed above, your items may free up cash and space for you much quicker just by being sold outright.

A consignment may take some time. Finding the right buyer at the right price can take awhile. If you aren’t in a hurry for your money or your space, then it won’t matter.
You normally pay a larger percentage of the item’s value with consignment than with a buyout or an estate sale because the “labor to value ratio” is often higher. Why? Because interacting with a client during the advertising and sales process takes time.
Whatever items you may wish to sell, there are likely “comps” or “comparable” items that can be found with research that give a good idea of what your items will bring.

This is the same process used to sell real estate or vehicles. What you want to know is, “What is my item worth today, here in the area I’m selling it”.

Something else to be aware of is “asking prices” versus “sold” or “realized” prices. Often, we will hear, “They’ve got one on the internet just like it for $500”. Is that an asking price or a sold price? That’s the question and it’s an important one. Obviously, anyone can ask any price for something. What they actually get is often an entirely different matter.

Often estate liquidations are most successful when the items are sold in their original environment – pictures hanging on the wall and dishes in the kitchen. Why? Shoppers love the hunt. They enjoy going through the house, the closets, the garage, and looking for that special find.

When we remove items from a house and place them in an “artificial environment” to market them, shoppers may be less interested. But, having said that, if you have some great items that are hard to find, they can be marketed very successfully.

Tip: Always be sure to have a consignment Contract spelling everything out to protect both the seller and the buyer.

Consignment Services May Be The Answer For You
We are happy to discuss your options with you during a free consultation. Our experience in the market can help you explore the options that will work within any restrictions that may need to be considered.

Our team is highly experienced at working through a multitude of situations. We frequently handle negotiations over the phone for clients who are out of the area and are unable to travel in order to liquidate an estate, as well as attorneys, nursing homes, and other estate trustees.

We provide our clients with a comprehensive consignment service throughout the area.

A Consignment differs from an Estate Buyout in that a buy out is generally the outright purchase of most or an entire estate.

There is never a charge for our consultations.
Calling is the first step. We’ll ask a few questions about your situation and we’ll discuss what the options are.


Why Choose Our Company?

Full-Service Estate Liquidators
It may be difficult to choose an estate sale liquidator at a time when your life is already being stressed by changes. We have firm policies in place that are fundamental to making your sale the best it can be. From our first consultation, until your house is clean and empty, we’ll make your life easier.

Most estate sale liquidators operate on a commission basis and our rates are clearly in line with the industry standards. If someone offers you a very low commission rate, proceed with caution.

What do you get for the commission rate you are paying and how does it impact your bottom line? Cutting corners with any of the points below will cost you. If a company has a bargain-basement commission rate, be sure of what you’re getting – and not getting.

Choose Our Company Because:
We openly advertise that our #1 obligation is to our clients: To protect the estate they have entrusted to us and to obtain a fair price for the items.

Yes, we love our buyers who faithfully follow us from sale to sale. But we are crystal clear that all of our policies are first directed at protecting our client and the items they have hired us to sell.

We bring decades of estate sale experience to the area. We only do one sale per week (at the most) because we personally supervise the entire process.

WE are responsible for your items, so WE are there every step of the way.

If you’re talking with a company who does more than one sale at a time, a valid question to ask is “Who’s really tending MY estate sale?”

We accept all major credit cards and debit cards. It costs us more to do this but it is extremely important.

We do NOT ask you to pay or even share in the cost of providing this service to buyers.

Let me assure you that if an estate sale company does not accept credit cards, it will cost you money – period. YOUR bottom line will suffer.

A large percentage of the public expects to pay for everything from hamburgers to sports cars with plastic. That does not change when they walk into an estate sale. People will pay more and buy more if they can use their credit or debit cards.

We use a cash register for our sales which results in improved accuracy, better security, and increased financial transparency for you.

We know YOUR sale deserves an accurate and professional accounting of the proceeds.

Surprisingly, many estate sale companies operate a sale with a cash box, a calculator, and a pad of scratch paper to record your sales. Don’t let your sale be operated like a common yard or garage sale. We know you deserve better than that.

To further protect our client, we do not accept checks. Ask a prospective estate sale company if they accept checks – and, if a check is returned and noncollectable – are YOU liable?

I asked the owner of another estate sale company why they made the estate owner wait “up to 2 weeks” to be paid the proceeds for their estate. She said that she “needed to wait until the checks cleared” before she dispersed the proceeds to the estate owner. And yes, if she had taken a bad check, she stated that her client would be liable. We will not put our clients in that position.

And here’s the point: There is really no reason for someone to write a check in this day and age. There are other simple options for a buyer to use their checking account funds, such as:

A. Debit Cards – anyone today with a checking account is offered a “plastic check” – called a debit card. Just get a PIN and you’re ready to use it. Safe, free, and the money comes straight out of your checking account. We accept debit cards and there is no risk or cost to our client with these.

B. ATMs – anyone today with a checking account is offered an ATM card. We are rarely more than a mile or 2 away from an ATM. A person can painlessly withdraw funds directly from their checking account and there is no risk to our client.

For buyers to expect us or our client to assume risk simply because they “like to pay by check” is not reasonable. There are other acceptable options and checks are risky. We do not put our estate owners at risk.

We are a licensed corporation in the state and bonded by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.

We conduct our business “by the book”. We pay federal and state taxes. We collect and pay sales tax.

We do not “fly under the radar” like many estate sale liquidators. Inspect our corporate statement of good standing issued by the State Corporate Commission.

Operating a business in a professional manner costs us more but we sleep well at night. And – We do not put our clients at risk.

We have multiple loss prevention measures in place before and during your sale to reduce theft and breakage.
Here are some of those practices that increase YOUR bottom line:

We do not advertise the exact location of your sale until less than 24 hours before it opens.

Security cameras – before and during your sale, we have security cameras in place that we can monitor remotely.

We hire more staff than most companies. We have found that this makes and saves more money than it costs. Proper customer assistance and customer surveillance can only be possible with ample staffing.

Our staff is experienced and trustworthy. They are very familiar with our loss prevention procedures. Each day, there is staff whose primary focus is loss prevention (theft and breakage).

Our policy of no strollers, no pets, no unsupervised children further reduces damage and breakage.

Crowd control: Depending upon the size of the home and the density of items, we only allow a finite number of buyers inside your home at any given time. This measure drastically reduces theft and breakage.

We place valuable items, jewelry, and smalls in a case and/or within a constant view.

We allow only one exit from the sale and our check-out station is always within view of that exit.

We thoroughly inspect items being purchased for other items that may be “stashed” inside.

The person who has priced your items is present at the checkout station on sale days. This provides continuity in pricing and helps prevent price tag switching tactics.

We have a solid advertising campaign. We advertise every sale on the major estate sale notifications sites such as and and place hundreds of pictures on both sites.

We maintain the highest level attainable as Elite Members of and Gold Members of

In addition, we advertise on Craig’s List and also have our own extensive email list of faithful buyers that we notify. Our website lists our upcoming sales and our has a huge number of followers as well.

With these online measures, our sale notifications go out to literally thousands of people every week. If the area you are in has a printed paper that makes sense to advertise in – we will.

We have custom made signs that we place at major intersections leading to your home – generally a minimum of 25 signs per sale.

We have VIP sale events and/or previews with extended hours for some estates depending on circumstances.

Getting buyers to our sales is never a problem.
Rest assured that on sale days, buyers will be lined up at your door!

Aggressive marketing. As soon as your contract with us is signed we will take a hundred pictures or more. We start advertising items that are either more challenging or appeal to a specific market such as a piano, organ, car, golf cart, large pieces of furniture, expensive artwork and jewelry, or specialized tools.

We start “putting out feelers” for buyers for these items right away and make sure “the word is out” that these unique items will be at our sale. We don’t wait for someone to just “happen by” on sale day that may want a very specialized item. Companies that use that approach as still sitting there at the end of the sale with your items.

Items that appeal to a specific buyer must be carefully advertised. You may have an item or items that need to be marketed to a national or even international audience and we would be glad to place these in an online auction for you furnishing you with all final sales documentation.

We DO NOT own or have an interest in a retail or consignment shop. This is considered by most to be a conflict of interest for a company conducting estate sales.

If you think about it, items may be over-priced or held back so that they are leftover at the end of the sale and often end up in the estate sale company’s store.

There are other ways this association can work against you, but we will just say that our focus is to sell your items at your sale and get you paid for them. We have NO hidden agendas.

You are paid in 3 days. Wes will make your proceeds from your estate sale available to you within 3 business days after the sale ends. If you’re in town, we’ll meet with you to deliver your funds personally or will Priority Mail your check if you are out of town.

We have professionals with decades of experience in the collectibles market as well as in business, law, finance, marketing, advertising, display, and customer relations. The highest level of accountability has always been part of our profession.

This is not a part-time endeavor for us. We have a proven track record, we love what we do and we do it well. Word of mouth recommendations are our best friend!

If you’d like to partner with us to liquidate your estate or are interested in an estate buyout, call us and we’d be glad to discuss your situation.


If you’ve decided on an estate sale, how do you know which company to choose? Often, the lowest commission rate will entice you. However, that logic will rarely get you the most optimal outcome. Be sure to look at the big picture and the fine print.

What do you get for the commission rate that is quoted? What’s included and what’s not? How your sale is run makes all the difference in the end result – your bottom line.

Ask Yourself
Which company will deliver more money and more “peace of mind” at the end of the sale?

The reality is that it always takes money to make money. If someone is quoting you a low commission rate, they’re likely skimping on services that compromise your bottom line – or they may be providing services and making up the monetary difference somewhere else which will also impact your check at the end of the sale.

Ask Yourself These Questions When Comparing Estate Sale Companies:
Is the company licensed to do business in the state you are in? Things often go smoother when dealing with a company that “does things by the book”. The last thing you want is your sale pulled at the last minute or get into tax or legal issues. How professional can a company be that is not licensed and where else are they lacking?
Does the company carry liability insurance? Accidents happen. And estate sales, particularly during the first-day rush can surely be accidents waiting to happen. Don’t put yourself at risk. Some companies will say your homeowner’s insurance is sufficient but few homeowners carry coverage for a public event such as an estate sale.
Does the company accept credit and debit cards? I will assure you that your sale will bring higher prices and sell more items if your estate sale company accepts credit cards. Buyers expect to be able to pay with plastic. And – if they do, is there a cost to you or to buyers for this service? Hopefully, no cost to either.
Does the company accept checks? And if so, if a check is returned and uncollectable, do YOU suffer the loss?
Does the company use a cash register to track sales? A formal accounting of the intake of funds is necessary. A cash register helps with addition, figuring change, and percentage off during sale days and security in the hectic atmosphere of an estate sale. It also provides a total of sales for the day. This all helps your bottom line. Companies using a pad of paper and a calculator are not doing their clients justice.
Does the company collect and pay sales tax? This is just another indicator of doing business in a professional manner. If they don’t abide by this rule, where else are they cutting corners?
Does the company own or have an interest in a resale store? This is considered to be a conflict of interest when an estate sale company is a reseller. There is concern that items may be picked over by the company, not displayed well, or priced too high to sell so that the company can then obtain unsold items to sell themselves.
Does the company have loss prevention measures in place? What are they? Revenue can be lost and your bottom line compromised by theft, price changing, and breakage. Inattentive and inadequate staffing can let your proceeds walk right out the door.
What is included in the commission rate and what is not? Extras can add up quickly so find out what they are. Beware of low commission rate quotes because these companies have to be making up their fees elsewhere. Go to one of their sales and you’ll quickly see what’s lacking.
How well will the company advertise your estate sale? What are their methods and do any carry an extra cost to you? You want a line of customers down the street on that first day. That’s what it takes to sell a house full of items in 3 days!
Does the estate sale company have a website? It’s hard to find a credible business that does not operate a website. If they have a website, check it out. What does it tell you? Is it organized and well designed? If not, the company may not be either. If the company does not have a website at all, beware.
How many estate sales does the company run at any given time? And who will be actually setting up and running YOUR sale? Does the owner “sign you up” and then turn your sale over to employees?
Does the estate sale company provide you with a contract? Once you find out what their policies are, get it in writing. If they won’t put it in writing, run the other way. There is NO excuse for not having a contract laying out the complete terms of the sale in easy-to-understand language.
When will you get your money? If it’s more than a few working days, why? One company stated their clients would be paid “within 2 weeks to make sure all the checks had cleared”. This is a risk to you.
What will happen to the unsold items? This needs to be decided by you and your sales company upfront. What condition will your home be left in? Often after a sale, “broom clean” is the norm unless additional cleaning services are arranged. Know what your company provides.

Advertising can be full of smoke and mirrors. Peer through it all and look at the facts. And when you like what you see, get it in writing.

Ask around, but consider who your sources of information are and what their motives may be. If someone you know has had a good experience with a particular company, check them out and ask the right questions.

When choosing an estate sale company, time is often short. But if you have a chance, go to a sale that’s being handled by a company you are considering. That will show you “first hand” how they do business.

Lastly, follow your gut instincts. If something just “doesn’t feel right”, it’s probably not. Find a company you have a good feeling about.

Are you considering an estate sale in the area? If so, give us a call. The consultation is free.


Are you considering a DIY or Do It Yourself Estate Sale? Before you dive in, what are your goals for the sale?

The primary goals for most estate executors:

Clear a home of its contents in a short period of time, often only days.
To maximize the income from your estate items.
To have a sense of satisfaction after the estate liquidation.

When trying to decide the best way to liquidate an estate, there are many points to consider. But all decisions should lead you to the best chance to obtain your identified goals and leave you without regrets at the sale’s end.

If you’ve become the executor of an estate, you may be dealing with many things that are new to you.

Overwhelmed is a word that we often hear to describe the idea of liquidating a lifetime of belongings.

There may be family members who are stressed to the brink and time constraints that further complicate the process.

Often, so many people are involved that it greatly complicates the matter and on the opposite end, some executors have little help or support at all.

Should you try an estate sale on your own?

There’s a lot to consider when liquidating an estate in terms of time, energy, money, and resources. Many families don’t expect it to be as difficult as it is to go through and sell items belonging to a loved one.

Start by asking yourself a few questions when deciding what to do:
What are the size and the value of your estate?

Perhaps your estate is not large enough for a professional estate sale company to run the sale. Most companies have a team of helpers and fixed expenses such as advertising, labor, pricing, preparation, credit card processing, and clean up. An estate must be large enough for the company’s percentage to offset their expenses and make a profit. How large is “large enough”? Every company is different but a ballpark minimum is $10,000 of sellable items.

If your estate is large enough, hire the professionals. They’ll do all the work and you should end up with more money than if you did it yourself!

A modest estate may or may not produce that amount of revenue. Rather than the physical size of an estate, the value is more important. What will the items sell for in today’s market and in the area the estate is in?

Another tough realization is that many items seen as luxurious acquisitions back in the day have lost their desirability – and therefore their value. If the value is just not there, you may have to consider doing the sale yourself or get realistic about your expectations.

Another option is to find a company that will do a “one day sale” with the primary goal to clear the premises or perhaps look into an estate buyout. The reality may be that due to time or other constraints, you may have no other choice than to do your own estate sale.

What are your resources for help to set up, run, and clean up a sale?

Unless your estate is very small, it takes a lot of time to declutter, sort, arrange, research pricing, photograph, advertise, find help for sale day, dispose of leftovers, and tidy up afterward.

Do you have help?

And if the help is family, can you get along and agree on pricing and the other decisions? Do you have the time? Even a small estate sale will consume every bit of a week from beginning to end.

A Successful Estate Sale is Labor-Intensive and Not For the Faint of Heart!
Are you able to advertise the sale on a sufficient scale?

If you have a very modest estate, it’s not quite as crucial. But if the estate is of any size, advertising is extremely important.

Estate sale companies have email lists with thousands of followers and advertise on major estate sale sites with huge followings. Craigslist and your local newspaper are other necessities. That level of advertising costs literally hundreds of dollars.

Do you have signs to place in your yard and at all the major intersections leading to your home – and, who will place them – and pick them up?

Potential buyers like advertising with descriptions with as many pictures as you can provide. If you go through all the work of a DIY estate sale, make sure you’ve got buyers! Otherwise, you’ll need someone to haul it all away at the end.

How much will the necessary equipment to run a sale cost you?

Pricing tags and stickers, signage, advertising signage expense, permits, extra tables, lighting, extra help, bags, furniture dollies, jewelry displays, security devices, furniture rollers, packing paper… These are all things that estate sale companies provide. 

The Biggest Downfall of Do It Yourself Estate Sales – DIY Estate Sales

Are you able to accurately price and market your items?

This is the worst downfall of do-it-yourself estate sales. Too high or too low – either way it will kill your sale. It’s very difficult for an estate sale rookie to price a house full of items to sell in a few days. This is one of many ways the professionals pay for themselves and make you more money on top of it! But, if you can’t get a company to take your sale, you’re going to have to price it yourself.

It is inevitable that some items will be priced too low and some items will be over-priced. What often happens is that some valuable pieces get sold for “a song” (costing you money), and that couch your parents “paid a fortune for” is priced way too high and still sitting there at the closing bell!

Retail prices, eBay prices, antique mall prices, and even thrift store prices are not the same as estate sale prices. I can go on and on about pricing, as it is so important.

Checkout Station:
Get organized to check people out in an efficient and timely manner. I hate to say it but there are plenty of “less than honest” people out there who will take advantage of confusion at the checkout. Have plenty of room to lay purchases out and check what’s inside them. Have paper, bags, and boxes for wrapping and someone to do it. Have one person add up items and take money while the other person is wrapping and/or bagging.

Has the price tag been switched with a lower one?

Check clothes pockets for stashed items. Do items presented “together” really go together? Again, experience saves you money. Have the people who priced the items at the checkout on sale day. You’re far less likely to have money walk out the door that way.

Only one way out and it’s past the checkout station.

Keep other doors locked or roped off. Keep that garage door closed or only open a foot or so if you need some air and light. If people can walk out the sliding doors and around the yard – THEY WILL – right along with your stuff!

Are you set up to take credit cards?

You will sell more items and at higher prices if you take credit cards – absolutely no doubt about it! Taking checks is a risky business and a “cash only” policy will limit your sales. Have enough change. You’ll need twice as much as you think.

Are you familiar with crowd control, loss prevention, and liability concerns?

These can be real issues. Lack of crowd control and advertised policies can result in theft, breakage, injuries, and generalized chaos in your home. These are procedures the professionals are well acquainted with and save you money. State your policies and stick with them. Customers will try to run the sale if you let them.

How will you dispose of items leftover?

Even the best tag sales or estate sales have leftovers so expect this and have a plan. Donation centers are becoming more selective about what they do and do not take. Dumpsters are expensive and non-eco-friendly. Recycling takes time, effort, and know-how. This is something to give some thought to, particularly if time is an issue. Get a donation pick up service scheduled long before the sale because they are often booked weeks out.

We’ve outlined some points to consider if you feel that you must do the estate sale on your own. But, if you don’t have the time, the experience, or the desire to take on this project, we hope you’ll call us if you’re in the area.

You can sit back and leave it all to us while making more money than if you did it on your own!


Residential and Commercial Liquidations

20+ Years Experience Handling Estate Sales With Dignity and Care
We are setting new standards and raising the bar for estate sale companies.
Compare our service closely and you’ll see what we mean. Our client-focused customer service will blow you away.

We have over 20 years of experience handling estate liquidations with dignity and care. From our first consultation until we deliver your settlement check, we’ll make your life easier!

Major life changes are stressful and our team realizes that. We know that rigid time constraints may add further challenges to the process.

Our friendly approach will put you at ease from start to finish and we’ll be there for you from beginning to end.

We’re a seasoned team of professionals and operate “by the book”. We offer you experience, integrity, accountability, and financial transparency.

Fully licensed and bonded, we are a corporation in “good standing” with the State Corporate Commission.

*Licensed *Bonded *Experienced

Are You Overwhelmed?
Where should you start? What should you do first?

Overwhelmed is a word that clients use quite often when they call us for estate liquidation needs. Parting with possessions is difficult regardless of the circumstances.

Let us help you. We take a step-by-step, down-to-earth approach to make this happen. Whether you have one or two items OR a 50-acre spread, we’ll get it sold quicker than you think.

And no matter which estate sale company you choose, we hope this website helps provide you with some insight into the estate liquidation process.

Commission Includes Full-Service:
Necessary permits and/or licenses.
Tables, table covers, displays, and lighting.
Professional pricing equipment and tags.
Pricing research and appraisal service.
Item clean up, set up, and staging.
Jewelry displays and a secure case for small valuables.
Check out equipment and cash register.
Credit card equipment and processing fees.
Paper to wrap valuables and bagging supplies.
Security and surveillance equipment and staff.
Extensive photography documentation.
Advertising via the internet, print, and yard/street signs.
Staffing for setting up, sale days, and clean up.
Delivery of your funds & settlement statement in 3 days.

New To Estate Sales? Here’s How It Works:
When you call, we discuss your situation over the phone for initial feasibility and your timing requirements.
The next step would be to visit you at the estate to evaluate further, provide specifics, and to answer your questions.
(If you’re an out of town estate executor read this)
When you hire our company, we provide you a written contract clearly describing all terms and conditions. Never an upfront fee!
We get you on our calendar and from that point, we “jump right in” and start aggressively promoting your estate items.
We declutter, “spruce up”, sort, arrange and attractively display your estate items. We create a “pop-up store” in your home. “Off-limit” areas are secured as well as any personal items you may wish to keep.
We carefully research, price, and tag your items. We utilize our resources for possible buyers for specialty items or hard to sell items that you may have.
Estate items are photographed and extensive advertising is put in place to attract literally thousands of potential buyers.
Sale day: Signs are placed along the route to your house. Staff and security are in place. The checkout station is set up to process your sales. We’re ready!
Sales last normally 3 days +/- and we sell 90 – 95% of your items on average.

At the sale’s end, we donate and/or dispose of remaining items according to your prescribed directions.
The premises are left tidy and broom-clean.
We deliver your settlement statement, your check, and the satisfaction survey. Have we exceeded your expectations? We plan on it and so can you.

Applause to the Wonderful Crowds
Making Our Most Recent Estate Sales Wildly Successful:
“Vintage Vehicles & Collectibles”
“Buyout Bash ”
“Big, Bold, Beautiful Estate”
“Luscious Estate”
“Upscale Physician’s Estate”
“Eclectic Condo Estate Sale”
“Cowboys & Chandeliers”
“Expect the Unexpected Estate”
“Bumper to Bumper Estate”
“The Dig Estate Sale”

The owners of our estate sales company are personally involved in every aspect of our sales. We’re responsible for selling your possessions so we’re there on-site making sure everything goes as planned. This level of supervision causes us to limit the number of sales we can accept.

There’s never a charge for our consultations and never any “up-front” or hidden fees. If you see an estate sale in your future, contact us and let’s talk about it.


10 Ways Our Estate Sales Company Makes YOU More Money:

Full-Service Estate Liquidators
All estate sale companies are not created equal. Some companies will “talk the talk”, but when it comes down to it; they simply take the path of least resistance, sell the “easy stuff”, and are off to the next estate.

Like many things in life, the best way to do something is often not the easiest nor the cheapest. Look for tangible sales practices that are known to succeed. Some practices are area-specific but it’s no secret as to what works best in the area.

Some companies choose poor business practices because they don’t like to be inconvenienced and it costs more money to DO IT RIGHT. Who suffers? You, the estate owner.

Be on the lookout for any company that “doesn’t work weekends”, “doesn’t take credit cards”, “doesn’t collect sales tax”, “doesn’t have security or a loss prevention program”, or “owners who aren’t present during the setup and/or sale”. No contract? No website? Run the other way.

We accept all credit and debit cards. We’ve said it over and over, if you choose a company that does not accept “plastic”, your bottom line will suffer. We do not charge you and we do not charge our buyers for this service.
We do not take checks which cuts your losses. People can use debit cards to utilize funds directly out of their checking account. Since we’re not waiting for “checks to clear”, we can get you your settlement payment in 3 days or less.

We use a cash register for improved accuracy, security, and financial transparency. You’d be surprised how many companies operate a sale with paper and pencil, a cash box, and a calculator. What’s that going to tell you about your proceeds? We know your sale deserves better than that.
We work weekends! Our sales are open on Saturday & Sunday and our sales are open more hours. There are many, many potential buyers who cannot come to a weekday sale but would love to buy your things. Companies who want their “weekends off” do it at your expense.
Yes, other companies will sell your items during a “weekday only” sale, but they will bring in less money – period. You lose money with a weekday-only sale because things simply sell for more on weekends. Companies who don’t have sales open on weekends simply want their weekends off – end of the story. Potential buyers cannot always come from 8am to 1pm Monday – Friday. We are open when we have the best chance of selling your items – not just when it’s convenient for us.

Extensive pricing research. The market continually fluctuates. What’s in and what’s out changes like the wind. We keep up. If we have a pricing question, we have excellent and extensive resources with the answers.

Colorful advertising on multiple venues. We use technology to heavily promote your sale in the form of high-quality digital photos, extensive internet and email marketing and even video presentations with some sales.
Read other estate sale company ads. Some tell you nothing. Are there great pictures and descriptions that pique your curiosity? More buyers = more money for you. Sign up for a company’s sale notification list and see what kind of descriptions they send you about their upcoming sales. Many are less than impressive and I’m amazed that some companies include no pictures in their advertising at all. Is that how you want your sale marketed?

We use Facebook, Twitter, and our email list of thousands. We’re gold members of and elite members of which notifies thousands of potential buyers about your sale. We use local printed advertisements as well for our customers who don’t use the internet. Yes, it costs more but it also makes more as well.

Loss prevention policies in place resulting in less breakage and less customer theft due to tried and true methods that we’d be happy to discuss during our visit. We have more staff on duty at our sales that most estate sales companies. If you hire a company that only staffs a couple people during a sale, who is watching your stuff?? Loss prevention measures put more money in your pocket.

Attractively displaying your items: We strive to artfully arrange your items much like a boutique would which makes people want to buy. We create a “pop up store” and bring display items to further showcase your treasures. We use traditional price tags rather than the unsightly masking tape that many estate sale companies use. We provide cases for small items and jewelry displays as well.

We clean up items to help them sell. We tighten loose screws, shrinkwrap certain items for protection, and do minor fixes that all translate into more money for you with a little extra effort from us. We have an expert when it comes to getting estate vehicles ready to sell and this service is included. From vintage cars to golf carts to crop dusters; we’ve sold them all.

Fees are personalized to YOUR estate. You don’t end up being charged for something that is factored in and that you don’t really need or do not apply to your particular situation. All fees and services will be clearly outlined on your contract and appropriate to your sale.

There is never a charge for our consultations and never any “up-front” fees. So, if you see an estate sale in your future, contact us and let’s talk about it.


Estate Sales Pricing Policies – How Much Do We Charge For Our Services?

Get It In Writing!
Whichever estate liquidation company you choose, be sure you know what services you will receive and how much they will cost.

If you have an estate to liquidate, I’m sure you’re wondering how much estate sale companies charge and what services are provided. This of course varies from company to company.

Whichever estate liquidator you decide to hire, make sure to get a contract clearly stating all fees and what is and is not included. Make sure there are NO surprises.

You may be considering doing the estate sale yourself rather than hiring a professional. Here are some things to consider before attempting a DIY estate sale.

Your net proceeds may actually be less by doing the estate sale yourself rather than letting an estate liquidator handle it. Weigh your options, your abilities, and your resources before making your decision.

If you have a very modest estate, you may do all right on your own with a half dozen of your friends. If that’s not the case, get a free consultation from a professional. What have you got to lose?

We generally work on commission. We never have any upfront fees.

Over the years, this has proven the most beneficial to all involved. Our contract will always clearly describe exactly what you can expect from us and what the fees will be.

Our commission rate is based on an “estate value / labor intensity ratio”. This ratio basically means: “What is the estimated value of the items to be sold and how many hours of labor and materials will it take to sell them?” This rate can only be calculated by actually viewing the estate items to be sold, the setting, and the circumstances that surround them. However, to give you an idea, our commission rates most commonly fall in the 25% to 35% range.

If an estate sale company quotes you a low percentage rate, it should raise a red flag immediately.

Realistically, to give an estate the time and attention it deserves with set up, research, photography, staffing, security, advertising, sale execution, and clean up, the costs are significant.

If you’re quoted less than 25%, the company is likely making up the difference by cutting corners. A credible company could not stay viable doing sales for less than 25% unless they were extremely high-end estates (>$100,000).

Our estate sale company cannot liquidate all the estates that we’re called for. Unlike many companies that do multiple sales each week, we only do one sale at any given time. We personally supervise every estate sale we run – every step of the way.

If you have a very modest estate, it could possibly be better suited to an estate buyout. Call us to discuss your options. We never charge for consultations.

When we meet with the estate owner, we look over the situation and in minutes can quote you a rate.
To make our pricing as fair as possible, our commission rate includes all services that every estate sale normally utilizes.

Examples of these services would be decluttering, organization, spiffing up, display and set-up of estate items, photography and advertising via our normal methods, neighborhood signage, research and pricing, debit and credit card equipment and processing fees, tables and lighting, jewelry displays, packing and bags, and all required staffing for the preparation, sale, and normal clean-up. Your contract will specifically list exactly what is included in your sale.

Some estate sales may require items that others do not. Therefore, to again keep our pricing fair, we charge for these items or services only if they are required or requested for your sale.

Examples of these services could be protective carpet or floor coverings, having a dumpster brought in for excessive trash removal, end of sale clean-up beyond the services normally included, increased staffing for security, or other unusual circumstances. 

There is never a charge for our consultations and never any “up-front” fees.

So, if you see an estate sale in your future, contact us and let’s talk about it.


Are you a Buyer or a Seller?

Competition Can Be Tough Between Estate Sale Buyers
Liquidating an estate or shopping for a treasure? We have tips you don’t want to miss no matter which side of the counter you’re on. There is definitely a learning curve to estate sales or tag sales as they’re sometimes known.

If you’re having an estate sale or a tag sale, be prepared! Or, if there is likely an estate sale in your future, should you and your family/friends “DIY do it yourself” or hire a professional company? Unless your estate is very modest, you’ll likely end up with more money in your pocket by letting an estate company do all the work for you!

Amateurs trying to liquidate an estate of any size in a short period of time surely have their work cut out for themselves. Organization, display, pricing, advertising, loss prevention, and crowd control are the major areas of downfall for estate sale rookies.

Estate Sale Lines Form Early For Shoppers
If you’re an estate sale shopper, the first few estate sales you attended during the opening rush are probably a blur. Once you get into the house, which way do you turn? You try to scan so quickly that you can hardly see it at all! And by the time you see something you like, someone else has it in their hand. Now what? If only I’d been there a few seconds sooner!

Often it takes a few sales to see how they work and “get the hang of it”. What should you bring? Take a look at an estate sale shopper’s survival kit so you’ll have everything you need for a successful treasure hunt.

What items are hot and what’s not? What’s a “good price”? Can I negotiate or are the prices firm? What are the rules and protocol at an estate sale? And how do I find estate sales?

Regardless of whether you’re selling or shopping, how do you know what something is really worth? Just because an item is old, or is termed “collectible” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s truly valuable.

What used to be valuable is constantly changing in value – sometimes up and sometimes down. And equally as important is to know what items previously considered worthless are becoming more collectible as we speak! What matters is what an item is worth today in the area you’re in.

If you think you’ve found a treasure, the next question is: Is it “real” or is it a reproduction? Many items with value have reproductions fashioned after them. Fakes have been produced for hundreds of years – so long that now, some of the fakes have value themselves.

Estate Sales Speak To The Hunter/Gatherer In Us
We all want to believe that something we’ve discovered is the real deal, but calm down for a minute and take an unbiased look. A few minutes spent beforehand can save you – or make you a lot of money later.

If you’ve got a SmartPhone or iPad with you, hold the item and step aside and look it up. We have great technology available to us – we just need to take the time to use it.

Buying or selling, estate sales bring out the primal hunter-gatherer instincts hiding in us.

Estate salers love the hunt, surviving the lines and the crowd, scouting out the treasure, and then displaying our trophy proudly.

All of us hunters, gatherers, and pickers love estate sales. They make people happy regardless of which side of the counter they’re on. So do your homework, keep a light heart and an open mind, and you’ll enjoy it more and more as time goes on.

So let’s get going – the line is building as we speak!


This guide is a new kind of resource I have developed for pickers who travel to locate best-kept secret inland flea markets, tropical flea markets, island flea markets, and world flea markets, seeking whatever beautiful, unique treasures you can find in these travel destinations. The Pickers Guide solves the problem of where to buy estate antiquities and collectibles while traveling worldwide.

Pickers traveling to Europe, Asia, and tropical islands can use this guide to find great, bargain flea markets to:

1. Get to know inland and tropical flea market destinations

2. Prepare to enjoy inland and tropical flea market shopping

3. Find great inland and tropical flea market destinations

4. Learn international flea market ethics

5. Pack and ship from inland and tropical flea markets

After shopping at flea markets, you can send your purchases home through the post office by:

Buying a box and packing your items but, don’t close it.
Checking the weight of your package with the scales provided at the post office, making sure it is less than 4 pounds, which is the limit for small packages not subject to customs declaration.
Checking the cost of a 4-pound package, which depends on your location and their currency
Realizing your package will arrive in about 1-2 weeks.
Ask the locals where the nearest post office is and use the scale to check the weight of your packages.

Important Points to Remember Before Departure

1. Study International Street Market Payment Options

2. Study How To Haggle Even Though You Don’t Speak The Tropical Island Language

3. Spotting A Treasure: If It’s A Beautiful Treasure, Buy It

4. You’re Too Far Away For Buyer Aware: Know What You’re Buying At Tropical Flea Markets

5. Study When To Arrive At Night Markets

6. Study The Tools You Will Need At Tropical Island Flea Markets

7. Map Your Destinations To Chase Tropical Flea Markets For Treasure You’re Seeking To Buy

8. Study How To Work A Tropical Flea Market

9. Is It Trash Or Treasure? Can It Turn A Profit Or Not? Do You Know How To Treasure Hunt Like A Pro?

10. Don’t Hesitate To Buy Anything In Tropical Paradise You Can’t Live Without


What is a formal or certified appraisal?

A certified appraisal is a professional estimate of the value of something. People usually have items appraised for insurance purposes, tax strategies, estate planning, and settlement, etc.

For legal and court purposes, there are specific things that need to be in a certified appraisal report.

An informal appraisal of estate sale items is important, which is why all estate sellers must do an inventory, which lists the assigned price, how much it sold for, etc.

Estate inventory should not be sold until it is formally or informally appraised or an opinion of value (price) is assigned to each item.

If an item is going to make someone’s day, yet cause a negative impact on the sale, it is done by under appraising (underpricing) items.

Appraising and pricing are not exact methods of assigning value to items, which is why clients don’t always agree about the overall pricing. Moreover, sale items are negotiated and sold, which further reduces prices and “perceived” value.

In some pre-estate sale consultation scenarios, clients want a written appraisal or informal estimate of inventory return. Based on that information, they may decide not to sell.

Nevertheless, an estate sale is still the best alternative to a garage sale or buyout, which is more likely to result in making a buyer’s day.

A professional estate seller should be able to educate clients on identifying valuable items, and what options are available for selling them.

In this business, you will eventually work with a client who has many things of value that they are prepared to sell.

If clients have valuables that should not be sold at an estate sale, they need a certified appraisal report that will stand up to an insurance claim and in court. For example, if a client has a Louis XV armchair that they insured for $7,000, then they will have to prove the value of that chair if it is lost to theft, fire, etc.

Personal property values fluctuate over time and insurance companies know it. Clients need to know it too if they want to protect their investment from being undersold at an estate sale.

Doing estate sales is truly challenging — I cannot lie. But, the challenge also faces the client, which is why they need estate sale professionals to help them dispose of all that stuff!

Finally, there are responsibilities of disposing of your clients’ personal property wisely, and for their benefit. The word “personal” in personal property means these items belonged to someone; so there are sentiments, emotions, and perceived high value attached to it as well.

Being able to address the value of your clients’ personal belongings will lessen their pain and more importantly, you will not be embarrassed by selling something of high net worth for pennies. Remember, an estate sale is not a garage sale. Learn how to identify valuable things, and get the best estate sale supplies to help you do it!


How to Attract New Estate Sale Clients and Prospects to Make Your Ads Click and Phone Ring!

What is in this Estate Sales Classified Ads Guide for your business? Six simple elements to multiply the effectiveness of your estate sales and leftover goods classified advertising and promotion.

You have also just found the most valuable resource for getting your first estate sale client and growing your estate sale business.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Classified ads don’t work—unless they’re on Craigslist.

People Buy Categories First

I am not knocking the big “C”, but it takes a lot of time and effort to muddle through those categories to find estate sale ads, which are hidden under GARAGE SALES.

To each his own, but a dedicated website for estate sales classified ads can be an enormously effective way to get quality client leads for your estate sale business and sell leftover estate sale items.

Are you using the big “C” or the local newspaper for traditional estate sale advertising and client leads, but none of them are working? Have you wasted your advertising budget and seen no results? Are you throwing money away by donating sellable leftover goods?

When it comes to advertising and promotion, you need a new strategy that contributes profits to your client and your business balance sheet.

A well-written estate sales classified ad that helps an estate sale client and estate sale company solve each other’s problems using local, targeted, online classified advertising with photos and video are that powerful new advertising strategy.

The main objective of a dedicated website for targeted classified advertising is to make your ads click and phone ring!

This guide teaches you six powerful ways to make your phone ring off the hook with estate sale clients and prospects with your classifieds. You will also see examples and proven words, that you can immediately start using in addition to this new tool to earn more profits from your advertising.

First, I want to explain WHY people respond to well-written classified advertising and promotion, which will help you get target prospects to respond to your advertising including Adwords ads, press releases, and estate sale descriptions…

How to Make Your Estate Sales Classified Advertising More Effective Instantly?

Write a dynamic ad to sway your prospect’s decision from one estate sale company or leftover item to yours, that will push them over the edge and make them say “yes” to hiring you or purchasing your product.

More to the point, estate sale clients and prospects must perceive that the service they are considering will:

Before you can solve their problem or deliver your unique selling proposition, you must first know what your client leads are looking for, what their problems and desires are, and what they want to achieve from an estate sale. Ask these questions during the initial contact to elicit as much of this information as possible.

Also, the more you can relate to their emotional situation, how they feel about their problems and estate sale goals, the more you will connect with them, and the more receptive they will be to your proposition to help.

An estate sale classified ad sounds simple to write, but 95% of people get it wrong. It’s critical that you get it right.

In essence, your ad needs to be all about what your prospect can BE, DO or HAVE—because your proposition to help is all about THEM.

Ask not what prospects, clients or buyers can do for you, but what you can do for them.

When client leads read your company profile, make sure that they are focusing on what you can DO for them.

People, in general, care only about their own situation, and ignore anything that doesn’t provide an answer to an immediate pressing problem they’re facing, or an immediate benefit they’re seeking.

Therefore, rather than focusing on advertising on how professional you are, focus it on the core desires of your estate sale clients and prospects.

How to Get Enormous Results from Free Estate Sales Classified Ads?

I assure you, the minute you change your focus from promoting yourself (company), to understanding your estate sale prospects, and offering to solve their problems or deliver benefits better than any other estate sale company, you will instantly increase your client volume and income.

Here is a checklist of six elements you can use when building estate sales classified ads:

1. Every classified ad must start with a powerful, attention-getting headline.

A good headline is the single element that will make your ad stand out from the competitors and get read by the person you’ve targeted for the ad. Remember, if your ad doesn’t get seen, it won’t get read or acted upon. The headline is a two or three punch word phrase that attracts your desired reader, interest and motivates them to read your ad and contact you. It should be typed in bold print on the first line of your classified ad.

2. Promote BENEFITS, not features.

Features don’t sell. In other words, hiring and buying decisions are emotional. After an emotional decision is made, people usually justify their decision with logical reasons for hiring you. Why should someone hire your estate sale company over any other company? Use power words to reveal the most important benefits of hiring your company or to sell such as: “Overcome Fear of Having an Estate Sale”, “Overcome Fear of Starting an Estate Sale,” “We Give Our Clients the Attention They Deserve”, “No More Fear of Having an Estate Sale”, “Protect Yourself with an Estate Sale Contract”, “Avoid Mistakes by Others and Protect Yourself from Losing Your Money by Hiring This Professional Estate Sale Company Now”, “Don’t Waste Your Time with a Do-It-Yourself Estate Sale”, “Save Time—We Provide Fast, Easy Estate Sale Results”, “All Estate Sale Items are a BARGAIN”!

3. Promote your client’s estate sale items as BARGAINS.

It’s unanimous! Everyone is naturally attracted to getting a good deal. What if your estate sale is high-end and upscale? What if the clients are unreasonable and want the items overpriced? The short answer is: Overpriced items don’t sell. These clients may need an estate auction opposed to an estate sale. Remember, when items don’t sell, that makes your clients angry and blames you—for everything. My suggestion is: Know what level of pricing your clients are expecting before you agree to do the sale. When you are managing estate sales with “down-to-earth” pricing, you should promote it by using words such as, “Priced to Sell Out”, “Incredible Bargains”, “Below Appraisal”, or using a headline such as, “Attention Bargain Hunters.”

What Creates Bargains for Buyers?

Almost everything in “regular” estate sales can be sold as a bargain. There is always someone who will buy it if the price is low enough. How cheaply you will price and sell is dependent upon these factors:

How badly does the client need to sell it? Are they in a money fix?
How quickly does the client need to sell it? Does it need to be removed from the house quickly?
Is there a high demand for these household items…?
Is the demand high, but the market availability saturated?
The law of supply and demand and the time you have to sell a house full of items (1-3 days) are the controlling factors. Hopefully, the client is not in love with the contents. The more desperate the seller is to get rid of their stuff, the lower you can price it for a quick sale, more profits, and a sell-out! If the prices are too high, buyers will walk away.

4. Make an offer to your prospect.

Remember, prospects won’t call you without a self-serving, IRRESISTIBLE OFFER. Give them specific reasons to respond to your advertising. How do you make an offer in your classified ads? Package something specific to their situation, such as for “Free”. For example, “Free Estate Sale Consultation Reveals All About Hiring Us to Do Your Estate Sale.”

5. Make a CALL TO ACTION to your prospects.

Tell readers exactly what to do. If I never share another piece of advice with you, please take this to heart. During the first phone conversation with a prospect and at the assessment/consultation, listen carefully to what they really want in their situation. With the best solution in mind, tell them what to do in a direct and confident way, and give them meaningful reasons why it is in their best interests to do it. Clients hire estate sale companies to help them make decisions. Don’t be afraid of rejection or have the confidence to look at the clients in the eye and tell them what to do! In your classified ad state, “Call Now for Your Free Estate Sale Assessment.”

6. Create an URGENCY to respond.

Many people want to have an estate sale, and know they must have one, but they don’t feel a sense of urgency. Your estate sale classified ad has to work hard to get them to click your ad and make your phone ring! How? Create urgency with words and phrases that move prospects to act such as: “Don’t Delay Your Estate Sale,” Act Now to Have An Estate Sale,” Call Today to Schedule a Free Assessment,” Call Now to Book Your Estate Sale,” “Have Your Estate Sale While the Weather Is Nice,” “Avoid an Emergency Estate Sale, Call Now,” “Have No Fear; Leave Your Estate Sale to Us.” Then test different ads until you start getting results.

You have learned six powerful elements for turning your estate sales classified ads into client magnets.

My final guidance for attracting client leads and selling products fast is to advertise and promote your services and leftover items Free! Why? In addition to helping estate sales clients and estate sale companies connect, people buy categories that contain a wealth of related services and products they are seeking.

In short, post your ad in the right category and make sure that it is a statement that addresses the following points:

Here’s what we are selling.
Here’s how much it will cost.
Here’s what’s in for you.
Here’s why you should trust us.
When you incorporate the six elements, your classified ads will get read, your website will be visited, and your phone will ring. The more calls and emails you get about your ads, the better the chances of booking regular estate sales.

Don’t miss their calls when you’re not there. Have your calls and email forwarded!

Examples of Estate Sales Classified Ads

Identify the elements in each ad and start building and posting your own.

Ad #1

Wanted Estate Sale Clients

Avoid mistakes by others and protect yourself from losing your money by hiring this professional estate sale company now! Have no fear; leave your estate sale to us. Call today while the weather is nice!

Ad #2

Overcome Fear of Having an Estate Sale


Pick everywhere. Success or failure is in your determination to find valuable things to sell or accumulate. Do you know that you can take someone else’s junk and make a business? I did it with a service that provided FREE home cleanout and hauling for residences and businesses.

I am a picker by nature, which also helps me to identify and price items for our estate sales.

The idea of becoming a “junk dealer” came from realizing that many people need help to eliminate junk.

As a girl, I was curious when a “junk man” came to our neighborhood to collect things that people didn’t want. He was picking!

I’ve always enjoyed recycling so I thought, if a man can do it, I can too — with finesse.

I bought a used pick up truck and went door-to-door handing out flyers in upscale neighborhoods. Except for a friend helping me to hand out flyers, I didn’t have any help to get the service started.

Make Good Use Of “Free”

From the time I started that service people wrote what a great idea! Over the years, I served many satisfied clients — because the service was FREE.

The opportunities to help people get rid of stuff they no longer need or want is still virtually everywhere. The key to my success and profitability was: make good use of anything FREE.

Some people save their junk to give to charitable organizations for a tax deduction. Nevertheless, you will still get plenty of calls!

Clean out and hauling is hard work, but I loved it. And because I loved the work, it brought me all the “good” junk I wanted. Follow these simple steps for your success:

Run simple ads in neighborhood newspapers or Google Adwords to clean out and haul Estate household junk and leftover yard sale items for FREE.
Use your pick up truck or rent a U-Haul (as needed) for large hauls.
Get a couple of guys or gals to help you with the heavy lifting (they will be amazed at “the haul”)
Get accurate directions the first time, pick up time, contact name and phone number, etc.

Pack, load, broom clean the property (as needed) and go. That’s all there is to it!
I decided what I would or would not haul such as hazardous household waste, trash, etc. If you want to do that, charge at least $60/hr. for truck and two helpers. Let them know that you only pick up “good” things.

You can rent a storage room to sort and store your treasure until you decide how you want to sell/dispose of it.

Operate your service in a timely and professional manner. This makes your clients happy.

From the beginning, I shared gently used blankets, pillows, furniture, file cabinets, chairs, dishes, clothing, and much more with local churches and homeless shelters because there was so much stuff.

Some of the treasure was unopened gifts, unused money orders, gold jewelry, a rare bottle of Absinthe, 1833 Chinese Woodblock prints, Chinese bronze, photogravures, historical memorabilia, vintage cars, collectible and rare books, miniature daguerreotype photographs, shell fossils, Tiffany Sterling, watches…

This type of service is a win-win opportunity for an entire community to benefit (and for you to place flyers for additional advertising).

Initially, I published a newsletter and attached a cover letter that I mailed to prospects such as property managers of upscale (furnished) corporate apartments.

I also got a lot of business by putting flyers on cars at upscale churches during service, and from my web page.

With a little creativity, one man’s junk can become a picker’s treasure trove. This is a fun way to get good stuff free and drive competitor pickers crazy.

They’ll always be trying to figure out how you’re finding treasure and making money.

Here’s an exclusive Sample Letter To Write To Prospects. It can be modified to meet your requirements.

Dear Attorney Johnson or Mr. Johnson (Property Manager): I am writing to you concerning business referrals for the disposal of your client’s Estate junk or unwanted corporate housewares… How many times have grieving clients come to you for advice on how to dispose of Estate junk?

Did you know what to tell them? If they hold a garage sale, it only adds to the heartbreak and it’s aggravating to have to wait for buyers to show up and make pennies.

A garage sale is too time-consuming to bother with. There is a better answer — my salvage & hauling.

We clean out and haul junk contents of old Estates, garages, basements, attics, storage units… Our services include:

Remove all furniture and any other items left that are not to be moved by the owner.
Clean out all remaining items in closets, cabinets, etc. and leave apartment/house in “broom clean” condition.
Our service to you or business referral involves absolutely no money, investment, or responsibility on your part. My Salvage & Hauling can help you and/or your clients by cleaning out all of the leftover Estate junk, pack it up, broom clean (sweep/vacuum) the entire house, and haul it away — at no cost to you.

========================= gtg

More often than not, estate sellers whether professional or beginner, do not think they need an estate sale agreement or contract. Maybe they’re thinking about the days when all you needed to seal a deal was a firm handshake or an oral agreement — a man’s word is his bond.

I still believe that most people have the integrity to honor their end of the bargain, but when a transaction involves money, personal property and real property, both parties in the agreement need a contract.

Times have changed, so we can no longer do business without having something in writing. You and your client need a written document to protect each other’s interest in an estate sale or estate liquidation transaction.

A detailed estate sale contract or agreement will alleviate any misunderstandings in any estate sale or estate liquidation, and your client should carefully review it, ask questions, and make changes, before it is signed.

Again, it doesn’t matter whether you are a professional estate seller or beginner, when you are consulting with your client, be very careful and make sure that everything that is expected of you and all important issues are put into writing, such as scope of work, pricing method, payment method, and your commission fee.

When money is involved, the business can go sour very quickly, as it did here allegedly: Estate Sale Company, Accused Of Preying On Elderly, Grieving Family Members: Woman Says Co. Kept Thousands From Heirloom Sales.

What Is An Informal Estate Sale Contract Or Agreement Template?

An informal estate sale contract/agreement template is a detailed and solid legal document; when completed with your company’s information, it represents two parties in which the estate seller agrees to perform specific estate sale services for the client in return for a commission fee. It can be a simple one-page document, or it can be multiple pages long.

There are many basic template examples online, which could be ready for immediate use after inserting your company’s information.

Estate sale clients prefer signing a detailed, long format agreement, which is basically a contract, because it seems less formal. Keep in mind, that an informal contract or agreement template, which was not prepared by a lawyer, is still binding and enforceable by law.

Insiders Secret

After an estate sale assessment or consultation, let your client keep your contract for 24 hours, if they wish, before you sign it. This shows them that you are not anxious and it will give them time to fully understand the details.


Most of us have learned about people buying original works of fine art and antiques at estate sales for pennies, and brag about it on Antiques Roadshow. As professional estate sellers, we need to step up our game or suffer the same consequence.

That consequence results in financial loss by improper identification and research of important items, and loss in sales to estate auctions that are in direct competition with estate sale companies.

You don’t have to be an expert to spot things of value, which is what you need to focus on to stop letting the pickers rob your estate sales and brag about it!

We all love to find things of value, but when we are representing our clients best interest, and our own bottom line, we need to become more vigilant in how to spot things of value. I cannot stress this enough!

We are the “sellers,” therefore, it is our responsibility to document (inventory) all of the estate contents for sale, especially things that could easily be misidentified and sold as a “mistake.”

In addition to knowing how to recognize things of value, you need the right estate sale supplies to make your job easier — and help your client achieve their goal.

We are living in the “baby boomer” era, which not only means there is enough stuff for anybody to sell around the world; our children stand to inherit fine works of art, antiques, collectibles and large sums of money.

So while we’re on the subject: Is your estate sale waiting to make someone’s day, could some of those valuables your children stand to inherit end up in the wrong hands?

More to the point, when your client doesn’t know the value of certain items in the house, and hires you to “just sell it all because they don’t have time to deal with it,” does not mean they do not want their personal property sold for higher return.

Another way to solve this problem is to hire an appraiser to learn about the value of fine works of art, period jewelry, etc., but this is extremely costly.

However, it will benefit the client and you in the long term if it becomes necessary. Is the client willing to pay for this service? Are you?

What is a formal or certified appraisal?

A certified appraisal is a professional estimate of the value of something. People usually have items appraised for insurance purposes, tax strategies, estate planning and settlement, etc.

For legal and court purposes, there are specific things that need to be in a certified appraisal report.

An informal appraisal of estate sale items is important, which is why all estate sellers must do an inventory, which lists the assigned price, how much it sold for, etc.

Estate inventory should not be sold until it is formally or informally appraised or an opinion of value (price) is assigned to each item.

If an item is going to make someone’s day, yet cause a negative impact on the sale, it is done by under appraising (underpricing) items.

Appraising and pricing are not exact methods of assigning value to items, which is why clients don’t always agree about the overall pricing. Moreover, sale items are negotiated and sold, which further reduces prices and “perceived” value.

In some pre-estate sale consultation scenarios, clients want a written appraisal or informal estimate of inventory return; and based on that information, they may decide not to sell.

Nevertheless, an estate sale is still the best alternative to a garage sale or buyout, which is more likely to result in making a buyer’s day.

A professional estate seller should be able to educate clients on identifying valuable items, and what options are available for selling them.

In this business, you will eventually work with a client who has many things of value that they are prepared to sell.

If clients have valuables that should not be sold at an estate sale, they need a certified appraisal report that will stand up to an insurance claim and in court. For example, if a client has a Louis XV armchair that they insured for $7,000, then they will have to prove the value of that chair if it is lost to theft, fire, etc.

Personal property values fluctuate over time and insurance companies know it. Clients need to know it too if they want to protect their investment from being undersold at an estate sale.

Doing estate sales is truly challenging — I cannot lie. But, the challenge also faces the client, which is why they need estate sale professionals to help them dispose of all that stuff!

Finally, there are responsibilities of disposing of your clients’ personal property wisely, and for their benefit. The word “personal” in personal property means these items belonged to someone; so there are sentiments, emotions and perceived high value attached to it as well.

Being able to address the value of your clients’ personal belongings will lessen their pain and more importantly: You will not be embarrassed by selling something of high net worth for pennies. Remember, an estate sale is not a garage sale. Learn how to identify valuable things, and get the best estate sale supplies to help you do it!