Estate Sale Treasures – Do They Really Exist?
Unearthing items that haven’t been seen for decades…
Finding the most amazing pieces of history from a time gone by…
Never knowing what you are going to find…
These are facets of the industry that estate sale professionals thrive on. Handling hoarders’ homes, collectors’ homes, or estates that have sat for years, the estate professional will go in and hunt for these estate sale treasures to sell them for the family. Do these “treasures” really exist? Absolutely! While the cable shows will have you thinking there are treasures to be found in every nook and cranny, that is simply not the case. But then again, a treasure is in the eye of the beholder. Here’s a true story about an unexpected find.
In an old Victorian estate, the estate professionals found a small door inside a closet that had been filled to the brim. It was clear that this closet had remained undisturbed for decades. Once they were able to clear out the closet and swing this little door open, it revealed an entire other room that the heirs didn’t know even existed. Armed with proper lighting, gloves, and masks, they ventured into what felt like King Tut’s tomb.
Immediately, they saw items from the Civil War era — a drum, clothing, military items, lanterns, even a disassembled buggy. As they dug into some of the trunks, they found antique maps, letters, photographs, jewelry, clothing, firearms, etc., all from the 1830s to the turn of the 20th century. Did these estate sale treasures belong to the client who passed away? No one knows — unfortunately, that information died with them. Perhaps it belonged to the original owner, and when the family cleared out the home, they overlooked this little door that opened up into a large room. If this liquidator had not ventured to look in, those items would have remained forgotten, but instead, the estate sale treasures were gathered, cleaned of dust, and sold.
Many of these estate sale treasures are found every day, mostly because loved ones may have forgotten where they stashed jewelry, gold coins, etc., and never told the children where they can find them. Sometimes there are no heirs and it is left up to the estate sale professional to report back to the executor/trustee/admin any estate sale treasures they have found.
This story, and many others like it (like finding a $70,000.00 vase in a laundry basket the executor was getting ready to give away), are great examples of why finding a trustworthy estate sale company is paramount. Not every estate will contain such treasures, but finding professionals that you can rely on relieves the family of a huge burden. This is particularly important if the loved one was afflicted with memory impairment issues, as they can hide things in places you would not think to look unless you were a professional.
Finding estate sale treasures in one thing. Knowing what to do with them, and how to find the best and most relevant market to sell them, is another. Documenting what you find with photos and a description, reporting the find immediately to the decision-maker handling the estate, doing ‘due diligence’ with research, and enlisting the assistance of professionals who can help is how you handle the discovery of something you feel is significant. Being honest and ethical in all aspects of what is found is vital to the reputation of the estate sale company.
Estate Clean Out Services – The Fastest Growing Trend in the Industry
After helping thousands of people settle their loved one’s estates, one glaring fact always stands out: we have way too much stuff. When dealing with an estate situation, many heirs realize just how overwhelming the process can be … peering into closets, cabinets, drawers, under beds, up in the attic or garage. They inevitably feel a pang of panic when they see just how much stuff has been accumulated over the course of a lifetime. Overstuffed homes have created a new industry: Professional Estate Clean Outs. Thank goodness for those who offer this service to their clients, because we are seeing a strong and rapidly moving trend for cleaning out estates.
The first thoughts among children left to handle a full estate are, “Where do I begin?” and “What comes next?” What they are looking for is someone who can offer a combination of services: estate sales plus a final estate cleanout, leaving the home empty so it can be sold and the children able to move forward. Many of them have full-time jobs, are caregivers, trying to juggle many demands in their lives, travel back and forth, etc. A large percentage of heirs are geographically remote from the location of the estate and may need to rely on trusted local resources: http://www.aselonline.com/find_asel_associates.html. Sometimes there may not be enough for an estate sale, and there are options for that as well. One can combine consignment and charity, auction and charity, or just a straight donation which may benefit the client in some cases.
Estate cleanouts are exceptionally challenging for those who do not know the process of disassembling an estate in the proper order. For those interested in learning how, please go to this link to add it to your menu of services: http://www.aselonline.com/professional_estate_clean_outs.html. The scope of work is grand and it is physically laborious. But with the right team and the right step-by-step instruction, this service has tremendous added value for your current business.
Your clients will most likely be baby-boomer children who would prefer to hire one professional to conduct multiple services if this is financially feasible for the family. Consider adding estate cleanout services to your current estate sale business. Together, they offer your client powerful resolutions to a challenging endeavor that lies ahead of them. When discussing these services with your clients, you can already see their faces relax, knowing someone can do this and it doesn’t have to be them.
The American Society of Estate Liquidators is a training, educational, and resource organization specializing in estate liquidation and is not affiliated or sanctioned by any governmental body. ASEL is not a policing organization and therefore liquidators are responsible for their own conduct and actions. While ASEL offers comprehensive guidelines for conduct and ethics in its training courses and materials, it does not guarantee the success of any business launched as a result of its courses. ASEL is not responsible for the conduct of an estate liquidator nor is it liable for the conduct of an estate liquidator who has taken classes, accessed resources, or is listed as an associate of ASEL. The ultimate success of an estate liquidator rests solely with the owner and business practices. All associates are certified based on information provided by the associate to ASEL.