Frequently asked Questions from Clients:
How much does it cost to have an estate sale?
There are no upfront costs to hold an estate sale! After a thorough walkthrough of the home, we will work with you to schedule a sale. All consultations are free, with no obligation to sign a contract. Our fee is commission based. We make money by making you money. All costs for the sale are covered by us. Advertising, staffing, appraisals and any necessary equipment is included in our percentage. If we feel there is not enough to hold a sale, we can offer suggestions for buy out customers and local charities.
How will the sale be advertised?
We attract customers by advertising in a variety of media. Subscriptions to estates sale marketing websites are our biggest tool, reaching thousands of people who spend their weekends frequenting estate sales. We have our own email list and facebook page. In addition, we will also post in local papers and on Craigslist. All advertising costs are included in our fees. We also cultivate relationships with dealers and collectors who look for specific items.
How are items priced?
We price our items as high as we can, while still be confident we can find buyers. Our prices are lower than retail establishments in order to be sure that we sell as many pieces as we can. For rare or highly collectible items, we work with several appraisers and experts to set the right price. Prices may drop as the sale progresses, but we do allow you to set reserves. We will collect any offers that come in below the reserve. We will be happy to discuss the realities of pricing. Some previously expensive items now flood the market and fetch less than you might expect. Likewise some collectors look for very rare items that you might not know you have.
We are downsizing and will have a lot we can't take. Can we do a sale?
Most of the time, yes. We do require the house to be unoccupied for preparation and set up. The set up process can be messy and it often is worse before it gets better. Sorting and staging takes time and we try to present the items as neatly and cleanly as possible. This can interfere with movement inside the house and can cause hazards to a homeowner who is present. An occupied house cannot be properly and safely staged, and you as the owner will make more money if we can put forth our best presentation.
What can we sell? Is it ok that we don't have fancy stuff?
We try to sell anything and everything. There are a few items prohibited by law, but most household items can be sold. We recommend that you only remove the items you wish to keep and let us make the decisions in discarding unsellable items. As for quality, certainly some pieces will bring in more money than others. But we make a lot of small sales of regular household goods and tools.
What happens with the leftover items?
Every family is different. Some families like to come in after the sale and take remaining items. We can help arrange donations or trash pick ups for anything left at the end of the sale. All items in the home belong to the family and we do not keep anything that we do not sell. We can refer you to local companies to help remove any remaining items.
How long until we get paid?
Within 10 business days of the sale, a cashier's check will sent via certified mail or hand delivered. We also provide an accounting sheet and copies of all receipts of items sold.
Can I come to the sale? Can I get a discount if I help out?
Generally, it is ill advised to attend during sale hours. We very much prefer that families do not attend the sales. It can be emotionally difficult to watch strangers handle and comment on your family heirlooms and home. It can also be difficult for customers to realize that the family is present and makes them less likely to purchase or ask questions about an item. We welcome you to come at the end of every sales day to see what is left and of course we can call you with daily updates on how the sale is proceeding.
Frequently asked Questions from Customers:
So this is like an auction or something? How do I buy stuff?
This is not an auction. You can just walk up and come on in! Early in the sale, there is usually a crowd. If you really want something, we advise you get there early. Nearly every item is clearly marked with a price. Sometimes price sheets will be on tables or hanging on walls. Our prices are firm early in the sale. If you come later, we may be more flexible on prices, depending on the needs of the client. Usually the whole house is open. We will clearly mark any areas not open for the sale. Items not for sale are also marked. We accept cash and credit cards. If this is your first time, tell us and we will be happy to answer your questions.
Do you give out numbers?
No. Only in very specific circumstances do we use a number system. We honor the line that has formed. We expect you to be able to self govern while you wait. We will open all outbuildings at the same time we open the house. If the tools are not in the outbuilding, we will do our best to post signs, but feel free to ask us if we know where your priorities are and we'll point you in the right direction. We do our best to have it make sense but sometimes we have to work with what we have.
How much is the item in picture 43 and I can I buy it early?
We do not do presales. Customers in person will be given priority over phone orders. We do not give out prices ahead of time. Our prices are generally under retail and we do take condition and age into account. We often price a lot of items at once and cannot give an exact pricing until sale hours, when we can see the price. Texts and voicemails are returned as soon as possible, and during sale hours brief texts are best. We will do our best to answer questions about size and condition, but please understand we can't take the time to answer a list of questions.
I love that sofa, but I don't have a truck!
That's not a question, but you are right, that sofa is perfect for you. We do not offer deliveries. However, we can usually find a time for you to pick the item up another day in the upcoming week. We do ask that you bring someone to help you load it. We are happy to open doors and loan you a dolly, but your buddy will be a bigger help because we put our end down a lot. For the really large pieces, like pianos or pool tables, we may require you to hire movers with insurance.
What happens with the leftover items?
That isn't always up to us. Some clients want to wait for top dollar and some clients would like to get it all out as easily as possible. If you really like a piece but it's out of your budget, you can submit a bid and the highest bids will be considered. 501 (c)(3) requests will also be passed on to the client. If the house is going to be for sale, we will pass on realtor cards and offers to buy the house.