Frequently Asked Questions
Will this cost me anything?
No... we work on a commission-based system meaning no money leaves your pocket at any time. We have the sale, split the amount with you and write you a check. The only expense you may have is if you choose to have a clean-out crew remove the unsold items in the end and deal with the cleanout company on your own. If you are not in town and/or need us to handle that for you, we can meet the crew and oversee the cleanout, then take the cost out of your percentage before sending your check.
How do I know if an estate sale is right for me and my situation?
If you need an estate sale you are most likely experiencing a life change. Downsizing is a common situation where decades of accumulation cannot come with you to your new home. An estate sale is usually needed when there is a house full of items that no one in the family wants or has the means to take. NOTE: If you do have a lot of family that comes through the house and takes what they want, then you need to call a cleanout company after that. We cannot sell items that your family members didn't even want for free.
I live out of state; can I still do this?
Yes. You do not need to be here. If you can get us access to the home and ensure the utilities are working (heat, water, electric), then we can take care of everything.
How quickly can an estate sale happen?
For an in-home sale we need approximately one week to prepare the home and items to be sold. The in-home sale will be a 2-3 day event on a Thursday, Friday & Saturday. For an online estate sale or appointment only sale, we need 5-7 days to photograph everything and ideally want to have the items online for 1-2 weeks (or more) to get maximum exposure.
I don't want hundreds of people in my home!
No problem! We also offer "Online" estate sales and appointment only sales. In the past these alternate types of sales were used for gated communities where a lot of restrictions were in place. Now, with social distancing, these alternate types of sales are quickly becoming the new normal and are equally successful.
How involved do I need to be?
Our job is to make a very difficult time easier. We need you in the very beginning as we walk through the home and determine what items are going to be sold, after that you can relax and let us take care of everything, as a matter of fact, we ask that you do NOT help as we have certain ways to stage the home and you are not able to guess where we will put things, so it is better to just not try to help!
Can I attend the estate sale?
We have learned that attending your own estate sale can be very emotional and stressful. In addition to that, shoppers get uncomfortable knowing the owner is hovering, which can negatively affect sales. Given that, we strongly discourage it.
What is "High-End Downsizing"?
High-end downsizing is when a family has outgrown their large home and is moving to a much smaller home, yet has a house full of expensive furniture, decor and artwork that will not fit in their new home, but still has a lot of value. This is our niche. We have worked hard to build up a specific type of follower, shoppers that come to all of our sales and expect to find current, high end items. We have over 1,000 followers that depend on us to maintain this standard. Our clients especially benefit from this as we get top dollar for their items.
What if we are keeping some of the items?
If there are things you want to keep but cannot remove from the house, we will lock off a designated room with those items secured inside. Ideally, by the time we start setting up the estate sale, you will have already moved out and the items you are taking with you have already been removed from the home.
How do you determine the value of items?
We have years of experience with re-selling personal belongings in every category. We also have an exclusive membership to the largest data resource for identifying, researching and valuing antiques, arts and vintage collectables.
What things can be sold at an estate sale?
Everything in your home has value, and the items you may be tempted to discard will actually sell, like half-used cleaning products, shampoo, & toiletries already opened! Shoppers expect to find a variety of items in the home, so do not throw anything away. The more you have, the better the turn out. We even sell firearms and automobiles.
What about really valuable items?
We have a large network of dealers and collectors that we contact for specific items. We also conduct online auctions and if the items are shippable, then national online auctions.
Can I be living in the home during all of this?
The quick answer is NO!—this process becomes too invasive for anyone still living there. As with everything there are exceptions, but expect your home to become unlivable. The usual order of events are as follows: Home goes on the market and sells. A closing date is determined, usually 30-45 days after home goes under contract. Home owner moves out 2-3 weeks before closing date allowing us to start the estate sale process. We conduct the sale right up to closing leaving a day or two for cleaning.
Can I set prices on my own items?
We cannot allow our clients to set the pricing on items as this is the company’s area of expertise. However, if there are some pieces with a specific significance, we can honor a reserve price on those meaning you set a price at which you would rather keep the item than sell any lower.
Do you provide trash removal services?
If you have an excessive amount of trash in your home, you are not ready for an estate sale. We recommend ordering a dumpster for your driveway and have friends and family members help with the trash removal. This is the least expensive way to do it. Dumpsters are about $300-$400 for 10 days. You can also call "The Junk Trunk" at (303) 815-0467. They are reasonably priced and will remove anything in your home, you just need to point to it, even if it's deep in the basement, and they will carry it out onto their large truck. They charge around $600 to fill a large 14 ft truck, but they do all the labor if a dumpster isn't an option for you.
What happens to the items that don't sell?
In a typical estate sale, you can expect about 80-95% of all items to sell. We have found the best way to deal with this is to wait until the end and do a walk through together, in person or video chat, at which time you can see what remains. You may want to keep some of the items, you may want to donate the items, or you may want us to call a clean out crew to empty the home. The choice is always yours. Either way, we stay with you until the house is empty and ready for the new owners.
Do you clean the house after the estate sale?
We will leave the house broom swept. We do not have a housecleaning service, but can arrange for one on your behalf if you cannot.