Questions and Answers

Q & A


If there are other questions or concerns not addressed here, please feel free to send us an email with your question(s) and we will provide an answer(s) for you.  Please also leave a phone number if needed or desired. 

Why would one need an estate sale?

There are many reasons why estate sales are done and they are as varied as there are individuals who need them.  However many of the common reasons for one are death of and individual, downsizing to a smaller residence, family who do not wish to take on added responsibility of dispositioning of personal effects do location, emotional attachment and convenience.  Much of the times this provides an optimum dollar return on previous owned items due to lack of knowledge of specific items or time constants.

Where does one start with the processes?

One would first investigate estate sale companies and choose one that best fits their needs.  Many times there is a personal connection that helps make decision easier.  Friends, family and professionals often times help in this process.  Once a company is chosen the process can move as fast or as slow as the client desires.  The company will also breakdown the process step by step and then one will wind up with a written contract and time frame for their sale.  Please keep in mind that every sale is different due to needs, location, market and experience.

How much lead time do I need for an estate sale to take my sale?

Most if not all companies will need at least a 30 days’ notice before they will sign a contract with a client.  This often due to scheduling of advance sales for business as they may have multiple sales lined up.  So one should not wait till the last minute especially if a house is closing in a set amount of time.

Are there any groups that help us make a decision on transitions for elderly parents needing assisted living?

A Place for Mon may be a resource that you may consider.  There are others out there as well such as the VA and other assistance living facilities.

Why do Estate Sale companies charge what they do?

There are a lot of variables to determine what a company charges for percentage of cost to gross earnings.  For example, if a residence is so packed with items that one cannot move around in the house.  The company may need additional help to go through the contents or perhaps a house is very unkempt and needs a thorough cleaning before anything can be attempted. Like any other business there are overhead expenses, such as employees, storage of equipment, supplies, onetime costs for specialty items needed for the sale, credit card fraud are just a few to mention.

Are there things that I can removed just before a sale?

Often times it is dependent on the contract that is signed before the sale.  Every company is different.  Please keep in mind that this is how these business are able to survive to perform this type service to others in the future.  If there is no value in a sale how are they supposed to make an income of a percentage that is sold?

What should I throw out before an estate company takes over the sale and are their restrictions on items that can be sold?

As mentioned all companies run under different company rules.  For example, some will not sell pornography, alcohol, and ammunition, broken, chipped or greasy items.  Some will not sell some types of clothing as well, like used under garments, socks etc… Many vintage clothing items do have value so donating them could cost the client additional funds.  So generally speaking all things that are in good working order, clean, vintage, and unusual or antiques have value.  Some have more value and others less.  But it will also depend on the market and location of the sale.

My family has some items that over their lifetime they spent a great deal for them, so can I expect to get them sold close to what they paid for them?

Unfortunately this is often not the case.  Unless they had the opportunity to buy an original Picasso or other very valuable and highly sought after piece of art, jewelry, furniture, car or other item.  Often time’s items sell for a small fraction of what they were originally bought at.  An experience company will know the value of high ticket items that may command a higher price.  One is paying for this knowledge and the connections these companies to other resources.

How do estate sale companies get people to come to their sales?

That is a very good and import question.  Advisement is KEY.  That being said, my experiences in running sales is that a very large percentage of individuals see the signage in their neighborhood and go there to check it out.  So many, many purchases are through this type of advertisement.  There are also may repeat customers that go to the sales through advertisement via e-mail listings.  Each and every sale is different.  Individuals in different parts of the city and suburbs purchase differently in our community.  It is always amazing to see this works.

What do estate sale companies do with my unsold items?

This varies with different companies, for example, many donate to the client’s charity of their choice and if there is no specific ones, then often times it is donated to local thrift stores, auction houses and sometimes the company may offer a buyout of items that are left.  Many times extended family members, friends and church members may be asked to remove what they would like.  This is something that is always discussed with the client.

Are there price reduction during the sale?

Yes, everything is half price on all items on the last day of the sale.  On occasion we have worked with pricing with individuals for large, heavy or difficult to sell items as needed.

How much does it cost the client to have a sale and how do they get paid?

Yes, this is a normal business practice so that the client and service provider can have a binding agreement. Clients can add or address specific request before a contract is signed.  Keep in mind that each sale is different.

Do you buy estates?

This is not a normal practice of ours.  We have on occasions purchased small estates, but due to logistics, costs and risk we do not normally do this.   When smaller estates are involved we work with our clients to give them other options for the sale of their household effects.

Can a client stay in the house when the sale is either being prepared for sale or during the days of the sale?

We preferred working on the estate without restrictions.  We often have to work with time restraints and availability to the residence when a client is in house and have a firm date for the sale.  That being said, we have done a number of sales under these circumstance and have worked around our clients’ needs to be sure that it is a positive experience for them.  Our clients are always welcome to be at the sale, however often times this proves to be a very difficult time for clients due to various reasons.  We support our clients in this choice either way.

What happens to high end valuables during the preparation period and during the sale?

This will depend on the client’s needs and circumstances.  It is addressed at the time our first meeting.

Can I leave items in the house that are not to be sold in the house during the prep and sale?

We do not encourage this due to logistics, security and so many other reasons.  We do address this concern with our clients as needed during our initial meeting.  We want to be sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

Can a client provide additional sales information on the sale of a residence during a sale?

Yes, it is highly recommended that this be done.  Often times the relator will leave a house flyer.  This aids in the sale of the house and the client is encouraged to work with the agent to get this done.

Do estate sale companies help with the process of selling, moving, cleaning and getting rid of everything in the house? In other words, can they provide a one stop experience from start to finish?

This is dependent on the level of experience and contacts of each and every company.  One may choose to do one thing but not have the resources to do other things.  For example, in some cases we have provided some choices of reputable realtors, contract help, yard maintenance, moving choices and logistical ideals to name a few.  In most cases, this is of immense help and makes the transition much more seamless to your clients.   Our goal is to help our clients help themselves.

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