Why Should Our Estate Sale Company Choose To Have YOUR Sale? What Criteria Do We Use?
Choosing works both ways.
If you have an estate to liquidate, you go through a process to find an estate sale company that you are comfortable with and can meet your needs. But how do estate sale companies go about deciding which clients to accept? Of course, that process varies from company to company, but here are the guidelines we use.
The owners personally supervise each step of the estate liquidation from the set up to clean up. That means we do one sale at a time. (We haven’t mastered the art of being two places at once) Therefore, we choose our sales carefully and look for a “good match”.
What is a Good Match?
That depends upon your goals. Our goals are:
1. To accept estate liquidations in which there is a strong likelihood that both parties (the client and our company) will be highly satisfied with the outcome of the sale.
2. To accept estate liquidations in which the financial potential is adequate to meet the economic responsibilities that we incur.
Looking For A Good Match?
If we predict that a potential client is not going to be pleased with the outcome of the estate liquidation,
then there is no reason for us to take that sale.
Criteria that predicts a high potential for client dissatisfaction include:
1. Unrealistic expectations regarding item values and pricing. People often over-value many of their items. Sometimes they’ve been told that an item is worth a certain amount or they’ve seen a similar item in a shop or reference book. Often information is dated and less than accurate.
Correct pricing for estate sales is essential to having a successful sale. Experience and the selling prices of comparable items in an estate sale setting are extremely important. Asking prices mean very little. Anyone can ask any price for anything. What the item has actually sold for recently, and in your area is a more accurate indicator of value.
The reality is that you are in competition with “big-box” furniture stores, eBay, Craig’s List, Goodwill, Sam’s Club, Costco, IKEA, and all the other garage, yard, moving and estate sales out there. That IS the reality.
You can read more about Estate Sale Pricing here but the point is that unreasonable expectations are the most common reason for us to refuse an estate liquidation. We would much rather turn down the sale than make false promises to appease unrealistic expectations. Some companies tell you anything you want to hear just to get your sale and then you’re unhappy later. We won’t.
Of course, we want your sale to bring in every dime possible. We work on commission. But, we also know what is realistic pricing to clear a house in 3 days.
2. Difficulty turning over control and responsibility for the sale to the estate professionals. We always expect and understand a reluctance to turn over the liquidation of a lifetime of possessions to someone else.
A reluctance is normal but for some heirs or estate owners, it is impossible to relinquish control to someone else. And for estate sale companies this creates an environment that is not consistent with a successful sale.
Criteria that predicts a sale will not be financially feasible are:
1. The estimated value of the estate items will not offset the amount of labor anticipated to set up and run the sale.
2. The sale is out of the service area we normally work in, resulting in greatly increased travel and labor costs.
Additional factors that may influence a decision of whether or not we accept an estate liquidation request are:
The time frame necessary for the sale is not available.
Family dynamics may give us cause to anticipate difficulties.
The prospect of liquidating an estate is overwhelming for many. Most people have never done it before.
We understand and offer this insight to help you better understand what considerations we look at when deciding which sales to add to our calendar.
Our Estate Sales Company is 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 for you.
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. Contact us if you’d like to discuss possible options.
Estate Sale Questions
We get asked a lot of “estate sale-related” questions about both buying and selling. We decided to start collecting them here so everyone could benefit.
FAQs About Estate Sales or Tag Sales
What’s the difference in an estate sale, a tag sale, or an estate liquidation? Nothing! A true estate sale generally refers to a complete liquidation or “selling off” of a person’s belongings accumulated during a lifetime.
It would normally be inside the home and include everything from spices to furniture. The term “tag sale” is popular in the northeast and often used to describe an estate sale due to everything in the house being “tagged” with a price.
What’s the difference in an estate sale and a garage sale or yard sale? Everything! A garage sale or yard sale is usually a “decluttering” effort of a family or group of families. It’s often smaller and less comprehensive than an estate sale – taking place in a garage or yard rather than the entire house.
Don’t call your yard sale, garage sale, or moving sale an estate sale just to get more people to come to it! People will quickly become disgusted with the misrepresentation and grumble away. Honestly represent your sale.
Is the term Estate Sale used only for someone who has died? No. Estate sales are conducted for many reasons and death is only one reason. Often, a major downsizing will necessitate selling a large portion of an estate. Other reasons may be divorce, bankruptcy, or long-distance moves. An estate sale accurately refers to any sale with a purpose to rapidly liquidate a large portion of person/s belongings.
Moving sales should appropriately be referred to as “moving sales” because moving typically has a much different mix of items than an estate sale. Again, many novices like to use the term “estate sale” because they think it will bring a larger crowd – and it usually does. However, the crowd may not be happy when they quickly discover that it is indeed not an estate sale.
How do I price items? Pricing estate sale items is one of the most important and most difficult aspects of having an estate sale. A true estate sale will usually be over in 2 – 4 days and that’s not much time to liquidate a lifetime accumulation of items. If your prices are too high, you’ll be sitting there surrounded by unsold items when the sale is over. Prices marked too low make you lose money.
A professional liquidator will usually make you more money than what their commission costs because of their extensive experience with pricing. However, if your estate is too small for a professional, you may have no choice but to have a DIY estate sale.
How is an estate sale different from an estate buyout? Both situations result in a liquidation of part or all of an estate, but the method is different. A buyout happens quickly when an estate liquidator offers a price for estate items and if accepted; removes them. This is different from an estate sale that requires preparation, planning, sale time, and clean up time.
Competition Can Be Tough Between Estate Sale Buyers – Are you Buying or Selling?
Either way, we’ll help you get the most out of your estate sale experience.
Liquidating an estate or shopping for a treasure? Estate Sale Insider has tips you don’t want to miss no matter which side of the counter you’re on. Like nearly everything, there is a learning curve to estate sales or tag sales as they’re sometimes known.
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 our 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? And how do I find estate sales?
Estate Sale Lines Form Early!
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 “do it yourself” or hire a professional company? Unless your estate is very modest, you may actually 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. The organization, display, pricing, advertising, loss prevention, and crowd control are the major areas of downfall for estate sale rookies. You may want to take a look at the Estate Sale Seller’s Survival List.
If you decide to hire an estate liquidator, where do you start and what do you look for to get the greatest proceeds from your estate?
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 are worth something as antiques.
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!
Hoarder Estate Sales
Overwhelmed? Where Do You Start?
How do you deal with a packed house or a hoarder situation?
To begin with, don’t be embarrassed. People collect items and store them over decades for many reasons. “I’m going to restore it, I may need it, I’ll give it to someone someday, etc.”.
Time goes by and energy and health may diminish. It just becomes too large to deal with and so it stays – and becomes larger.
If the time has come to clear it out, you may need professional help or at least some moral support. This can be tough to deal with on your own.
An Estate Sale or an Estate Clean Out?
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 if the amount of labor is greater than the value of the items removed.
DON’T Throw Away, Donate or Sell ANYTHING.
Any professional will tell you horror stories of valuable items that have been rescued from the trash. We would much rather sort items from the house rather than from inside a 40-yard dumpster or by sorting through trash bags.
Just leave it until your estate sale company can assess it. Let us do what we do best!
What you remove will likely be just the items that will pay for professional help clearing your property.
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, estate cleanout, 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.
The most attractive fact about an estate cleanout or buy out is that usually within a few days, an entire estate can be packed up and moved away. And sometimes, this is exactly what’s needed due to the situation at hand.
Like all solutions, Estate Buyouts and Cleanouts have Pros and Cons.
Quick Cash & An Empty House
An Estate Sale may be the best choice for a hoarding situation.
7 Reasons an Estate Cleanout or 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 an 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 Cleanouts or 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 are willing to sacrifice financially to achieve it, then a buyout or cleanout may be for you. But please consider that …………….
Having an Onsite Estate Sale may NOT be as much trouble as you think, even a hoarder’s estate.
When our company conducts an onsite estate sale, we make the process as painless for you as possible. We ask that you remove the items you do not wish to sell and all personal paperwork and then leave the rest to us.
Within a week or so, we’ll have your home empty and broom clean.
Our company is 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.
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.
Estate Sale Treasures
Estate sale treasures and those special finds are what make tag sales and estate sales so much fun. That really cool piece that has you walking out the door with a happy feeling is what we’re looking for.
We’re all looking for that “Feel Good” piece. It’s hiding somewhere – find it!
But beware: once you attend a sale and get that feeling, you may be hooked for life. We are, in fact, hunter-gatherers, are we not? And that jolt of excitement hits you as you first walk in thinking you just might find that one great item!
Remember, what is something fabulous to one person may be totally undesirable to someone else. And thank heaven for that – if we all loved the same things there’d be more of a scramble than there already is!
If you’re “into western”, like many of us, you’ll like my estate sale treasures and none came from the same sale. To further disprove one of the estate sale myths and misconceptions, these were all purchased on the last day of an estate sale!
I purchased a John Wayne poster that is an original artwork that is just wonderful in person where you can see the detail. The entire piece is done with magic markers in squiggly back and forth lines and creates such a great likeness of The Duke.
It didn’t look quite this nice when I took it home. It was standing (well, actually nearly curled in half) in the dusty, dirty corner of a garage. It was so curled and dusty, you really couldn’t see what it was. I walked by it and didn’t pay any attention.
It was only when I was on the other side of the garage and stooping down to look at something on the floor, that I looked across and could see under the curled poster board The Duke himself grinning at me saying, “Well, are you going to get me out of here or what?” Well, I did and it cost me $5.
Yes, I then paid a couple hundred to have it cleaned, mounted, leather matted, and framed, but wow, what a piece. I LOVE it and that’s what’s important – and part of what I love is telling the story. A rough and tough story of survival – just like John Wayne himself.
The other pieces were “hidden” final day finds as well. When there’s not as much left to look at, you’ve got to look at everything. A colorful serape was rolled into a tight log and wrapped with about half a roll of duct tape.
Everyone was too lazy to unwrap it to see what it was. Luckily, being wrapped up protected the beautiful bright yellow and red colors. $5 was marked on the duct tape so I took a chance. (FYI estate sale liquidators: This should have been unwrapped and marked about $50 minimum).
The other items have a similar story – the cowboy hat, the pewter pitcher full of old horseshoes and locks, the trunk, and the cobbler’s bench. They were all estate sale treasures and last day finds, but you get the drift.
If you think there’s nothing left on the last day, look again.
Look up. Stoop down. Open, unwrap, and untape.
Clear those dead spiders off that box and open it.
Most people wander through a sale looking in the same visual fields. Look somewhere else and see what you find!
Antique Great Lakes Ice Cart or Ice Wagon
Antique Great Lakes Ice Sled? I found this item at a garage sale. The man said it was used long ago to harvest ice from Lake Michigan.
Antique Table Top Display Case Metal and Glass
This was a great find at a sale. It was so dirty that you could hardly see through the glass and it was stuffed with items.
Ship Wrecked Gun or Evidence Tossed Years Ago?
Antique gun from a shipwreck or evidence tossed in the lake from a crime long ago? I found this during a spring walk along a lake shoreline.
Enjoy the hunt!
Estate Sale Myths
Estate sale myths and misconceptions abound. Many people are unsure what a tag sale or estate sale really is unless they’ve personally been involved in one.
Fact or Fiction?
Don’t believe everything you hear about Estate Sales. Go see for yourself!
But beware: once you attend a sale, you may be hooked for life. We are, in fact, hunter-gatherers, are we not? And that jolt of excitement hits you as you first walk in thinking you just might find that one great item!
Relax and talk to the people next to you in line. For me, the comradery of the other shoppers is a high point. Don’t get too up-tight to have fun.
Common Estate Sale Myths and Misconceptions
“You have to be wealthy to have an estate sale.” Absolutely false. An estate sale is the selling of one’s possessions accumulated over a lifetime. That group of possessions can be very modest or extremely grandiose. Very “average” families may have rare and collectible items in their homes that may be due to nothing more than the passing of time.
Insignificant items from 40 years ago can be worth quite a sum in today’s market. Don’t under-estimate your estate. Have a professional take a look at it.
“You need to have antiques and collectibles to have an estate or tag sale.” Not true. Everyday items, furniture, kitchenware, outdoor furniture are all very sellable. People need and will buy functional items for their homes.
If your items are clean and in good working condition, they are sellable. Yes, some shoppers are just looking for collectibles but many are looking for something that they or someone they know needs.
“Estate sale items are priced too expensive.” They shouldn’t be! At some sales, yes they are too expensive. But an experienced estate liquidator knows that to empty a house in about 3 days, you must have very reasonable pricing. The number one reason for estate sale failure is pricing too high.
Collectors and dealers must have a profit margin on their purchases. They will not buy for prices they can get at an antique mall or on eBay. For the people looking for everyday items, outlet and thrift stores have good prices every day. To move items, estate sale pricing needs to be even lower.
“An estate sale company who has lots of credentials or certifications for appraising and pricing antiques makes the dealer more knowledgeable.”
Most certifications you see embossed on an appraisers’ card or listed on their website can be purchased with a credit card for the ability to use that organization’s seal or logo.
Prices and trends in popularity in the collectibles market changes like the wind. The truth is that it is impossible for any person to be an expert on all or even most collectibles or antiques. However, many persons do have their areas of expertise that they keep up with the fluctuating trends and prices.
But, it is possible to have an extensive association with experts in many fields that you can call upon for advice. The internet also provides in-depth information for those willing to research or that subscribe to sites with recently realized values in the art, antiques, and collectibles market.
You want an estate sale company that can readily separate what has common value from those items that are very collectible, desirable and need to be researched and priced accordingly.
“There’s nothing good left at an estate sale after the first day.” Never true and here’s why. Very often, additional items are brought out after the first day. Maybe there wasn’t time or the family found more boxes that need unpacking – or they decided to sell something that they were previously going to keep.
Maybe, there just wasn’t room to put everything out on the first day. Not enough time and not enough room are frequent problems with large or last-minute sales!
Besides that, there is usually plenty left after the first day and at even better prices. Many estate sales do not bargain or negotiate prices the first day so some great items may not sell.
The following day/s, those items may still be there and often are sharply discounted. And sometimes there are just pieces that no one takes the time to unwrap or unearth from their surroundings. Many of our great estate sale treasures were all discovered in the final hours!
“I need to tidy up or have a garage sale before having an estate sale.” Please do every estate liquidator a favor and leave the estate in its original condition! Don’t sort, clean, throw out, or sell. Take what has meaning to you and then call us.
Often, your idea of “cleaning” is an estate liquidator’s idea of stripping the chance of a virgin estate sale to the public. We are the professionals and can decide, sort, clean and merchandise the estate without burdening the family.
Be aware that friends and neighbors may come by to inquire about an item or two that they’ve “had always admired”. Refrain from selling items on your own because you’ll nearly always under-price them feeling a sense of obligation to friends. Pre-selling choice items also hurts your sale because “great items draw great crowds to a sale”. If all the “good stuff” is gone, the draw for customers is gone as well.
When It Comes To Pricing Estate Sales, Remember This: Pricing Is Everything
Let me say it again. With estate sales, pricing is everything. Pricing estate sale items too high or too low will kill you either way.
Hitting that “sweet-spot” of just-right pricing takes years of practice. With a perfect price, a customer will say, “Where could I use this – it’s such a great deal that I can hardly pass it up.”
A perfect price will cause customers to “talk themselves into buying something they don’t really need”, or it will give customers that are re-sellers or dealers enough margin that they can see a profit in purchasing the item. They will try to figure out how they can validate taking this item home. Surely someone could use it – it’s such a bargain!
If the item is too cheap, they’ll just grab it without a second thought. If it’s too expensive, you’ll hear a “whew” and they quickly set it back down. These are not the reactions we are looking for.
I can stand outside a sale that’s just opened and watch the first 30 people leave and tell you how the tag sale’s pricing is – and so could you with some practice. Is everyone leaving empty-handed? Then they either have nothing to sell or their prices are too high.
On the other hand, if every customer is loaded with bags full, then someone marked things way too cheap. Yes, some people are just window-shoppers or are there as a social event. But all are potential buyers if the prices are right enough to coax them into it.
Both of these pricing errors will cost you money and I don’t know which is worse – too high or too low. The problem is that amateurs generally have a mix of both and get very little in that sweet spot of great estate sale pricing!
If you’re considering doing your own estate sale, find someone who has some experience – even if it’s just going to sales themselves. Any experience is better than nothing. If family members are all putting in their “two-cents-worth”, you can imagine that pricing estate sale items can be a real ordeal.
PRICE is the main reason everyone is lined up outside your house on opening day. They are looking for a deal; something they need or want for a great price. There are no block-long lines of people outside furniture stores, antique malls, or Wal-Mart.
Why? Because these stores have market-value pricing. Items can sit in these stores for weeks, months, or even years before selling and that’s OK because they’re a store.
With an estate sale, we have 3 or 4 days, PERIOD to liquidate an entire estate. A new or “barely-used” Crock-Pot in the box cannot cost the same at an estate sale as it does at Wal-Mart.
Just because your parents “paid a fortune” for their dining room suite in 1940 does not mean it’s worth a fortune today. Is it in good, stable condition?
Is that styling still desirable today? What is the supply and demand for it? How much are dealers or shops selling similar sets for?
Check comparables (comps) for that item – just like real estate comps or Kelly Blue Book prices for cars. What are your items actually selling for in your area – today? That is your competition. Those are the prices you’re up against.
These are the factors that dictate what that item will sell for today in the city you’re selling it in. With estate sale pricing, now pricing is relevant much more than what was paid for the item.
The flip side of course is that some items can be worth many times what was originally paid for them “back in the day.” Example: At a recent sale, a 3 ft. wide bar of wooden doorway beads from the 60’s sold for $75. They were purchased in 1968 for $6.99 (sticker was still on them). You’ve got to know what you’re doing when it comes to pricing.
We need to coax customers into buying everything in an estate in 2 to 4 days. How? By making it too good to refuse. If you let those first 400 or so people come and go that first morning without making an impression (good impression, that is) on them, then you’ve shot yourself in the foot. You can’t get those people back when you’re sitting there at 2 pm with very little sold. Get it right the first time.
Prices will make or break your estate sale or tag sale. Pricing is the number one downfall of DIY or do-it-yourself estate sales.
Quite often, hiring a professional estate sale company will increase your sales more than enough to pay the commission they charge – and they do all the work for you.
Estate Sale Rules and Policies
Estate sale rules, policies, and procedures vary widely from company to company. Solid guidelines put in place set the groundwork for a much more enjoyable experience for both the sellers and the buyers.
A more enjoyable buyer and seller experience results from solid rules and policies.
Estate sale companies without formal policies are doing both their clients and their buyers a disservice. These sales often turn into “free for alls” with grumbling and complaining, theft and breakage, and an experience far less optimal (and far less profitable) than it should be.
It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules and policies of the company whose sale you are attending. You don’t want to scout out an armful of treasures and find out they don’t accept whatever form of payment you intend to use or get any other last-minute surprises.
The following example details the “House Rules” comprising the current operating policies and procedures for our Estate Sale Company.
We have a strong commitment to our clients as well as to our shoppers. Without the people who hire us to liquidate their estates and our faithful buyers who follow us from sale to sale, we have nothing. So to us, this is very serious business and the terms Fair and Reasonable are king.
Our #1 obligation is always to our client: To protect the property they have entrusted to us and to obtain a fair estate sale price for their items. We’re working for them and we never forget that.
To achieve that goal,
The “House Rules” for our company are as follows:
Enter the sale at your own risk.
We have made every attempt to identify any physical hazards. However, shoppers have to be aware that during the excitement, crowds, and distractions that are inevitable; you may be injured. You enter this situation at your own risk. Please be aware of your surroundings and other shoppers.
Please always respect the residence, the grounds, the items for sale, and the person whose estate is being sold. Please do not make negative or derogatory remarks. Often, there has been a recent loss so all due respect is warranted.
Unpaid items may be “held” for a maximum of 1 hr. We always try to have a designated area for items/piles “on hold” while you continue to shop. Place a sticker on your area/item showing your name and time. Do not shop from the hold areas, as these are someone else’s things.
We have a person checking hold piles and after 1 hour they will be replaced back in the sale area. Do not place things in the hold area that you do not intend to buy (this is referred to as hoarding and can get you banned from future sales)!
All items are sold As-Is and Only Once. Please believe this and make sure you want what you are buying. We do not offer refunds or exchanges. This is not a department store. We normally have about 22 hours of sale time to empty an entire house. Don’t expect us to sell something twice.
There are outlets and extension cords – plug it in and try it. We have a tape measure – measure it. Look it over and under. Above all, be sure you want it, then buy it and enjoy it.
All items are sold where is. Please make sure you are able to dismantle, move, load, etc. whatever you are buying. We have a dolly and a rolling furniture mover you are welcome to use on-site. We normally have basic tools such as screwdrivers, etc. that you can borrow to take things apart. But, you need to provide your own helpers to load and move your items.
Removal of purchases: Payment is expected prior to the removal of any item from the premises. Items are expected to be removed shortly after being paid for unless prior arrangements have been made with the management.
We can often hold paid items for you until the end of the sale if necessary. Please make sure you can remove your purchases by that time. *Any items left after the final date will be forfeited unless prior arrangements have been made.
We have a list of movers that we can supply for you to consider. We do not endorse these movers, nor do we receive anything from them. We offer the list only as a convenience to our buyers in case they need a “spur of the moment” person to move something for them. Use the list at your own risk. If you have a negative experience with someone on the list, please let us know and we will consider removing their name from the list.
Payment Forms We Accept:
Cash is always king. It doesn’t cost us anything to take (like credit cards), and it does not bear any risk to our client. Any experienced shopper knows that the best deals always come to those paying cash.
We accept credit or debit cards for purchases over $20 (we do not charge you or our client extra to use a credit or debit card).
We do not accept checks. Why? 1. We will not put our clients at risk by receiving a bad check. 2. If someone can write a valid check, then they could also use a debit card to pay for their purchase directly out of their checking account. A debit card is essentially a plastic check instead of a paper check and it carries no risk to us. 3. Additionally, if someone can write a valid check, then they can withdraw cash from an ATM which is rarely more than a mile or so from any sale. We will put a timed (1 hr. max) hold sticker on an item for you while you go to an ATM.
Certified checks (cashier’s checks) from your bank are accepted for larger purchases such as cars, golf carts, furniture, etc., as these do not put our clients at risk.
We collect and pay sales tax. If you have questions or comments regarding this, please direct them to the state Division of Taxation. If you are a dealer and are buying for resale, we require a copy of your valid sales tax certificate that we will keep on file with a record of tax-exempt sales.
On the first day of a sale, we don’t negotiate prices much unless it happens to be a small “1 day only sale” or you are purchasing a large number of items. We always try to make negotiating a pleasant experience and do what we can based on what you’re buying and when.
Any day after the first day, we ALWAYS are open to negotiation. “Percentage off” offers and box lots or bag sales will be clearly posted and vary from sale to sale.
Disputes between customers over possession of an item will be decided by auctioning the item to the highest bidder.
Prices are subject to change at any time and an offer to sell may be revoked at any time.
We Take Bids or Offers Every Day:
Look for our bid box and put a bid or offer on your item/items of interest. If you love something and don’t feel comfortable with the posted price, leave a bid or offer for that item. We will call you as the sale winds down if we are able to accept your bid. We never review bids until the first day of the sale has closed.
Admittance to Our Estate Sales:
Entering one of our Estate Sales implies consent to and an agreement to comply with all stated policies and procedures. The management reserves all rights.
From time to time, we have VIP sales events for a client’s family, friends, and/or people signed up for our email sale notification list. If you’d like to sign up, you can do it online or at any of our sales. We also offer occasional discounts and offers to our Facebook and Twitter followers.
Our regular sale starting times and dates are well advertised and vary. Line up outside the residence. We do not hand out numbers. We feel that adults are able to maintain an orderly line without a number in their hands.
A body in line represents one spot. Don’t come to drop your bag in line at 6 am and expect it to hold a place for you. Don’t get in line and let 10 or so of your “closest friends” join you later as this is not fair or reasonable to all the others who have been waiting behind you.
We let as many people enter the premises as is reasonable and that number (usually between 20 – 40) is dependent upon many factors. We don’t like to keep you waiting and would much rather have you shopping inside. But sometimes a huge crowd compromises our goals and obligation to our client.
We reserve the right to refuse entrance to anyone to any of our sales for any reason – period. You are a guest invited into the home and can be just as easily uninvited if for any reason we feel our Number 1 Obligation: Our Client is compromised. We do not have to give you a reason.
No pets or animals of any kind will be allowed into our Estate Sales. We won’t bring our pet and we don’t want you to bring yours.
No strollers allowed inside the home. If you bring a child with you, keep them with you at all times, and be responsible for any damage they may cause or injuries they may sustain.
Please handle items carefully. If you damage an item, we will expect you to pay the posted price for it.
We take shoplifting seriously. Security and loss prevention are priorities for us and we have multiple measures in place to address this.
Our policies and procedures are subject to change at any time.
We Buy and Sell Estate Vehicles
Many estates have vehicles that need to be liquidated along with the household contents. Often folks hang onto their vehicles in hopes of the possibility that they may someday be able to use them again. Vehicles represent independence and a happier time of life. It’s understandable that no one is eager to give that up.
Selling an estate vehicle has a few challenges but they’re not difficult to deal with in most cases if someone is experienced and willing to devote a little time and effort.
This page offers a few tips from our professionals. We buy and sell all types of estate vehicles.
Our team sells nearly any vehicle you could think of when liquidating an estate. Many, many cars, trucks, and golf carts; motorcycles, scooters, campers and RVs, boats, trailers, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, and yes – we have sold a plane (actually, 2 planes). So, whatever you’ve got to sell, we can sell it quickly and at a fair price.
Two of the biggest challenges when it comes to selling estate vehicles are:
Time constraints: Often there is an urgency surrounding the sale. This situation takes aggressive marketing on multiple venues, accurate pricing, and getting the item into the best condition possible for a quick sale and optimal return.
Condition of estate vehicles: Many have been in a state of nonuse for months or even years. Sometimes a good clean up is all that’s needed but often there’s a little more to it.
The summer heat can very hard on rubber seals and belts. Batteries are often drained and dust gets into everything. Unfortunately, a vehicle may become the home of a rodent (or worse) looking for a safe place to build a nest.
The title and paperwork are also very important when it comes to selling estate vehicles. The appropriate person must be available to sign over the title to the purchaser.
This can often be done remotely, electronically, or via express mail, etc., but is an important process to have in place before you have a buyer. Nothing kills a sale quicker than a snag with documentation.
Any supporting documents regarding the vehicle such as maintenance records, service manuals, and upgrades or replacement parts is a bonus and can help your item bring the best price.
Having professionals come in and conduct an onsite sale is often the best way to lighten your workload and maximize your proceeds.
But, how do you choose a company to handle your estate sale?
We go “above and beyond” to bring each estate vehicle up to its maximum potential.
He knows vehicles, prices, and marketing and will find the right buyer for anything with wheels.
There is never a charge for our consultations and never any “up-front” fees.
If you see an estate sale in your future, Contact our Team, and let’s talk about it.
Estate Sale Sellers List
If you’re a novice and considering doing an estate sale on your own, you’ll need all the help you can get. Here’s an “Estate Sale Sellers List” to give you some helpful ideas.
You get 1 chance to have a great sale. Don’t blow it!
There’s a lot of planning that goes into pulling off a successful estate sale. But how do you give the sale your best shot and make the most out of it?
Here are a few tips from our team of professional estate liquidators:
Estate Sale Sellers’ Survival List
Here’s What You Need:
Lots of Help. Recruit friends, neighbors, relatives, and anyone else you can find. There is a huge amount of prep work to pulling everything out, cleaning it up, displaying it, pricing it, selling it, getting rid of the leftovers, and the cleanup. Here’s where you find out who your real friends are!
A pricing expert. Pricing is everything with an estate sale. We say that over and over again. If you don’t do anything else, research your prices. Too high or too low will kill your bottom line.
A novice pricing team will let a lot of money walk out the door on under-priced items and be stuck with a ton of overpriced items they were in love with. Read more about estate sale pricing and what things are worth. An investment of time spent researching the current market value of your items will make a much more successful sale.
Pricing Equipment. Make sure everything is marked with a price. If you’re forced to give a buyer a price in a hurry, you’ll usually price it too low – therefore, make sure it’s already priced. Avoid masking tape and other unsightly pricing methods. An ugly price tag will diminish the perceived value of your item.
It’s a good idea to have price tags that are difficult to remove because some shoppers will switch tags to “name their own price”. It’s also a good practice to have the people who have priced the items present at the checkout station, as they know what the correct price should be.
Lots and lots of tables and displays. Some nice cloths to go on the tables will give your displays a more polished look and also gives you an area under the table to stash boxes and/or more merchandise.
Good lighting. Most sales start in the early hours so you’ll need light. People won’t buy it if they can’t see it. Don’t depend on the lamps you have for sale because you and your customers will be left in the dark. I’ve seen this time and time again – the lamps sell right off and the scramble begins to find lighting replacements.
Turn everything on that can be (not kitchen appliances), items such as TVs, radios, lamps – yes, all of them. They will sell in a fraction of the time and for more if it is obvious that they work.
Make sure there are electrical outlets available for people to try items out – particularly in the kitchen and garage. If people can’t get to the outlet, plug an extension cord in where people can get to that. Be sure to mark your cords NFS (Not For Sale) or you will surely see them at the checkout station.
You need to have everything pulled out of closets, cabinets, boxes, drawers, etc so people can see them and so they can buy the furniture the stuff was stashed in. Put it on the floor in neat piles if you have to but get it out, priced and organized.
Don’t fill tables, cabinets, or bookcases that are for sale full of other small items because the furniture itself can’t be seen and is not perceived as an item that is actually for sale. Also, it can be a big hassle if the furniture piece does sell because you’re trying to move all the small stuff displayed on it. That’s when breakage occurs and also when shoplifters take advantage of your attention being diverted. Our rule is “no more than 1 or 2 complimentary items on any piece of furniture that is for sale”!
Put up some clear signs, sale hours and times, payment policies, and legal disclaimers such as “Not Responsible for Accidents”, “Cash Only”, or whatever you need to say. People are not mind readers. Most people aren’t sign readers either but at least you can refer to the fact that your information IS posted.
Secure off-limits areas with signage, physical barriers, tarps, or yellow CAUTION tape. Clearly mark items that are NOT for sale.
Extensive advertising with great signs and directions. No amount of preparation is fruitful unless shoppers know about your sale AND can find it. Advertising is expensive but all is wasted if nobody comes to your sale.
Estate sale companies have vast email lists of “regulars” that you won’t have the benefit of. So, make sure you use every venue out there.
Appropriate newspapers, Craig’s List, flyers, word of mouth, and social networking such as Facebook and Twitter are advertising possibilities. Clearly state the address and give directions. Including a Google map is an added benefit for many shoppers.
Signage is one of your best advertisers! People who never see your printed or internet ads may see your signs. Be sure to know the signage regulations in your area.
Start out in an area of heavy traffic and route people down the side streets to your sale with great signs. Spending money on these will make you more than it costs!
You may want to schedule a Goodwill (or other charity) pickup for leftover items. You need to do this well in advance if you want them to pick it up. Otherwise, you’ll be left packing it up and delivering it to them yourself.
If you’re looking for an estate sale company, call our office and let us show you how our team can make your sale the best it can be.
If you have an estate to liquidate located in the area, we can give your sale the local attention it deserves.
We partner with the estate owners, estate executors such as nursing homes, lawyers, trustees, and of course family and heirs of area estates.
We understand that time is often a primary concern and strive to work within your deadlines.
However, the sooner we can get you on our calendar, the greater the chance of an available opening for your sale.
Call for a Free Consultation to discuss your needs.
What Happens When You Call?
When you call, we’ll want to know the general location of the home and a brief description of the estate. We’ll also need to know when you need the sale to take place to see if the time frame is possible for us.
Need To Hear A Friendly Voice?
From that information, we can both decide if your estate may be a good match for our services. If so, we’ll need to come out and meet you or your representative at the residence and further review your estate liquidation needs.
It’s necessary that we see the items you need to sell, the logistics of the setting, and what will be involved in organizing, displaying, and marketing your estate items. At that time, we will share our pricing, policies, and procedures with you, as these are all clearly explained in our contract.
Our company operates on a commission basis assessed on an “estate value/labor investment ratio” and the home visit will tell us what that percentage will be. There is absolutely no obligation or charge for this estate review and we never ask for any money upfront.
Please understand that we are unable to accept all estate liquidations that we are called for.
We are “hands-on” owners and are responsible for your sale. Therefore, we are always present during the setup and during the sale. This level of monitoring and responsibility drastically limits the number of sales we can accept.
If you interview a company that takes 2 or more sales per week, a valid question to ask is, “Who’s really tending the sale and who is ultimately responsible for your possessions?”
If it appears that your estate is a good match for our team and you decide to utilize our services, we’ll provide you with a written contract, we’ll get you on our calendar, and we’ll get busy marketing your items.
Call us today!