1. What is an estate sale?
Unlike a garage or yard sale, an estate sale is on a much larger scale and is designed to sell any and all contents that remain in a home after a major life transition. These items are organized, priced, advertised and sold to customers who freely walk throughout the home during a 2 – 4 day span.
2. What types of items can you sell?
We can sell everything from household cleaners to luxury items such as fine jewelry, rare antiques, coin collections, fine art, vehicles, high value collections, and much more. We have an educated team of expert evaluators and a wide network of appraisers to properly price and sell any item within a home. Learn more about unique items we can and cannot sell here: 10 Things You Can and Can’t Sell at an Estate Sale.
3. Who qualifies for an estate sale?
Anyone who has a home that will be for sale. Situations where estate sales make sense:
- Downsizing to a smaller home – Estate sale happens in the larger home you are leaving once you have moved.
- Moving to a senior living community such as independent living or assisted living – Estate sale happens in the home after you have moved to the facility.
- Loss of a loved one – Most often the property is vacant and an estate sale can happen once the executor of the estate, friends, and family have determined what they are keeping.
- Combining of two or more homes (or home and storage unit) – Estate sale happens in the home that will be for sale. Items from both properties can be added to this estate and can happen once that home is vacant.
- Divorce – Estate sale happens after the splitting of any assets, once both parties have found new locations.
- Relocation, moving out of state, retirement – Estate sale happens once all items have been moved to the new location.
4. How do you handle items of high value?
We are CAGA certified appraisers, we work with several local and national auction houses, specialists, and authentication services to make sure your items of value are handled properly. This ensures no item is overlooked.
5. How do you establish prices for my items?
Our team is educated and trained on item evaluation. We use a variety of avenues including exclusive forums, auction results, previous history of items in the local market, and private memberships to determine item pricing. Our goal is to find a perfect price point that is not too high or too low to ensure maximum sale profits. For more information, please see question #4.
6. Should I donate or throw anything away before I call?
No. Please do not focus on throwing anything away or donating. Your main focus should be to Identify items in the home that you would like to keep or will be going to family and friends. For example, browse through the kitchen. You may want to take 5 mugs, a dish set and some silverware. Box those items up, leave the rest in the cupboards and move on to the next room. Donating and throwing items away can always be done AFTER the sale.
7. Do I need to do anything to prepare for a sale?
Identify items in the home that you would like to keep or will be going to family and friends. We ask that you place a sticky note on these items so they are easily identifiable during the consultation tour. If you do not want the item, please leave it where it is and we will handle it when our team gets started with staging and organizing. You do not need to organize, group items together, donate, toss or box items up. Keep in mind that we can sell virtually anything and if you are unsure about the item and if it has value, leave it behind. We are here to help and make those decisions for you.
8. How does this all work and what is the first step?
Below is a short summary of what you can expect from our process:
- Schedule your free consultation
- Prepare for the consultation – Identifying what you are keeping is the only preparation necessary
- The consultation
- Staying in touch or choosing dates
- Contract signing
- Setup / Pricing & Advertising / Estate Sale
- Optional cleanout service
- Collect your check
9. How soon should I schedule my consultation?
It is never too early to schedule your free consultation. The sooner we can visit the home, the sooner we can get your sale on track for success. The only preparation we require prior to scheduling this appointment is to Identify items in the home that you would like to keep or will be going to family and friends.
10. How do I schedule a free consultation?
11. What happens after the consultation?
Depending on your timeline, there will be one of two outcomes: We will remain in contact with you to receive updates on the status of the property and plan to schedule the estate sale after the home has secured a buyer OR if the home is vacant and prepared for a sale, we will move forward with choosing dates for a contract signing, our team entering the property, and the estate sale.
12. Are there any upfront costs to me?
There are absolutely no upfront cost to you and the consultation is completely free.
13. Do I need to be moved out before I have the sale?
We understand that life does not always go exactly as planned but our process performs best when our clients are completely moved out of the home. We have plenty of resources to help you stay on track with your transition so you can have a successful estate sale. If you are not sure that an estate sale will fit in your timeline, get in touch with us so we can assist you in finding the right solution.
14. What stage of my transition does the estate sale take place?
Once the property is no longer occupied. This may happen before the listing of the home to ensure the property is empty before sale listing photos are taken or after the home has sold just before the new owners move in. In any event, the estate sale is tailored to fit within your specific timeline and situation.
15. How quickly can I have my sale?
The estate sale can happen when the items you are looking to keep have been identified and the property is no longer occupied. Once these steps have been completed we can solidify a date on our calendar. We suggest that you call us 30 to 45 days prior to your ideal deadline to schedule a free consultation. This is so we can do our best to accommodate your desired time-frame.
16. What is your percentage? How much do you charge for a sale?
Our percentage ranges from 30%-40% with no additional upfront costs. This percentage is determined during the free consultation and varies depending on the quality, condition, and quantity of the items for sale, and a few other factors that will vary from home to home. Feel free to give us a call or fill out a consultation request form for more information.
17. How long does the estate sale process take?
The estate sale process typically takes between 1 – 2 weeks from the first day we enter all the way to the clean-out and close of the sale. However, each home is unique and we tailor a specific plan for each of our clients. The amount of time it takes to properly stage, price, advertise, and host a sale can vary and will be determined during your initial consultation.
18. What do you do with leftover items?
After the estate sale, we offer an expert cleanout service that leaves the property empty and in broom swept condition. This service provides you with a donation slip for anything that was donatable and disposes the rest of the contents that remain.
19. What if I do not want my items to be donated?
Our post-sale cleanout service is optional, which means, all items left over after an estate sale can remain on the property and you are free to handle them however you see fit.
20. How much will my sale make?
The most it possibly can. We are good at what we do and we are on your side. Our team is trained to evaluate each item and price it perfectly to sell for as much as it possibly can. We couple this with interior design principles and extensive advertising to sell a large percentage of what is in the home to maximize your profits.
21. How many people can I expect to come?
You can expect anywhere from 400 to over 1,000 people to attend your sale.
22. How do you advertise?
We tailor an advertising strategy to each home to ensure items of all value levels have enough time in the spotlight to find the right buyer. You can expect your sale to be advertised on several social media sites and forums, on the number one estate sale website in the country, through our private email list, and we also utilize directional estate sale signs. Our professional photography will compliment the expert staging of your home to ensure your items will look irresistible in all sale advertisements.
23. Are you bonded and insured?
Yes we are and we can provide documentation upon request.
24. Do you contract out any part of the estate sale process?
We do not. We use our hired and experienced team for all phases of our sale process.
25. What if someone gets hurt?
We take many precautions in every home to make sure our customers can all shop safely. We limit the amount of traffic in the home at one time, we mark steps with colored tape and we have staff strategically placed throughout the home to help customers who may need it. We are also insured for your protection.
26. What if something gets stolen?
To protect our sales from theft we do the following: Strategically place a staff member in each area of the home, place high value items in visible areas or in locking cases, and we are bonded and insured for your protection.
27. Do you have references?
We have many satisfied clients. First, check out our testimonials page and if you would like to see more we have a list available upon request.
Looking For More Information?
Check out our Resources page for more information about estate sales, tips and tricks, and blog posts about cool items and life working in the estate sale business.