Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Moving, Downsizing and Estate Liquidation
We organize, price and prepare the entire house & garage for the sale and do whatever cleaning and moving is necessary. Most sales are 2 days long, though large sales can last 3 days. The first day of the sale, items are sold at tag price. Bids are taken on items over a certain price, to establish a middle ground if those items do not sell at full price. At the end of the first (or second) day, bids are accepted or rejected. The final day of the sale, items are sold at a discounted price to help clean out the house.
Antiques & collectibles are eagerly sought at both auctions and estate sales. We set the prices at an estate sale, so there is more of an element of certainty in knowing what might be achieved. But the real difference is in the normal household "stuff." It typically sells for next to nothing at auctions, but can add up to a good deal of money at estate sales. Also, Estate sales are much less affected by weather conditions than on-site auctions, allowing customers to shop in comfort no matter what it is like outside. One huge bonus, in the case where the estate residence is for sale or will be going on the market: Estate sales are fantastic opportunities for potential home buyers to come through the house. The most common question we hear ... "Is the house for sale?" If the property is for sale, we urge you to have real estate flyers on hand for us to offer.
We are paid a percentage of the gross sales. This percentage is determined at the time the contract is signed. It is based on how much of the value is remaining in the household, balanced against the time and work involved in setting up the sale. All other things being equal, the more valuable the sale, the lesser the percentage for commission. We pay for all set-up costs and labor. There are rarely any up-front costs but if there are, they're normally for things like dumpster service. As we are paid a percentage of the total sale, it is in our common interest to present the most attractive sale we can and sell as much as we can. In addition to helping our clients deal with cleaning out the estate, we also want to make the sale as financially rewarding as possible for them.
Call us to set-up an initial consultation. This consultation is always FREE. We will give you our evaluation of the household and the options available for a sale. If an estate sale is not the best option, we will suggest other avenues for the sale of the estate contents, which may include the consignment of your items.
We normally suggest that you remove family photos, documents and anything else the family wants before we meet with you again. We strongly advise against trying to sort or clean out what you might think is trash. Making the decisions about what to trash and what to sell is part of what you will be paying us for, so please don't throw anything out until we can have a better look. It is at this time when we will accept or decline a sale, based on what remains of value for the sale. We decide a percentage for commission and usually sign a contract with you at this point to perform the sale.
In our experience, the preparation and attendance of the estate sale may be emotionally difficult for some owners especially if the items being sold are of sentimental value. Additionally, the owner's presence can often times be intimidating for customers and may interfere with the overall success of the sales. For these reasons, the seller, its family and their friends are asked not to be present during the estate sale.