FAQ

  1. HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE TO CONDUCT A SALE?
  2. DO YOU HAVE A WEEKEND OPEN?
  3. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE ITEMS NOT SOLD?
  4. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO HAVE A SALE?
  5. HOW MUCH TIME IS NEEDED?
  6. HOW LARGE MUST MY SALE BE?

Over the years the fair amount of callers’ situation seems to have changed from complete estate sales, caused by a death in the family, to people who are downsizing and moving to some smaller quarters or an assisted living facility. Thus, many estate sales are actually large moving sales, which is fine. They are conducted basically the same way. My response to the questions is first don’t throw anything away. I work on 25% to 30% commissions, depending on size and how labor intensive the sale is. Items that are not sold may be donated to a charity, or the owner can choose to keep the unsold items, or can sell the unsold items to a bulk dealer. If we do the sale the owners must decide what they would like to keep and removed from a house before we start working on the sale. This is for two reasons. First, if a lot of the items are removed, it reflects in our profit, and the terms of the contract may have to reflect this. Second, If we have included an item in the ad that has been taken from the sale, a customer who has come for that specific item, perhaps sometimes has traveled a distance, and get upset. If you are in the business, it is a good idea to do everything possible to keep your customers coming back, building a core customer base. After taking out the items you want, we usually sell everything of value then use the above-mentioned options.  We can do the sale  from start to finish. We would like to have two weeks from the time the house is vacated until the new owners take possession.

There is no set minimum but we like for the sale to be at least $8,000.00. At an estate moving sale generally little over half of the contents of a large house should be left for sale. Probably 80% of my calls are too small to do a sale if the heirs or owners are keeping a lot of the items, or selling off more expensive or collectible items. I make an appointment to walk through the sale at no cost or obligation to the client, to see what will be for sale. Trucks and automobiles are no problem in the sale with proper, clear titles. If Real Estate is involved, we can have your selling information available to hundreds of customers as they visit the sale. We do not sell Real Estate but give the leads to you or you broker. A surprising number of homes have been sold to customers coming through the sale, particularly to rehabbers. If hired a contract is signed with a date for the sales. Setting up the sale, we group items together, place signs throughout the house and mark each item and display them on tables with table cloths or sheets. We use masking tape, pressure-sensitive labels and marking guns. We use pencils for books’ boxes and paper collectibles. Items too large or heavy to carry is priced and identified on a 2 7/8" X 5 1/2", ‘pull off’ card. When the item is sold the customer or our clerk marks sold, with their name on the 1x3 label while pulling of the large card and taking it to the cashier to pay. We furnish a cash register receipt they must bring back if picked up later. By not letting anybody in to buy before the sale we avoid being stripped of better items and protect the integrity of the sale.

The first day of the sale we hold the prices as marked, while taking bids and placing them in a bid box.

We go half price the last day of the sale. On the half price day, we continue to take bids calling the high bid at an end of the sale, for a pick up. If you have an item you do not wish to take less than price marked we call you for bid approval. We use a linear sheet to track bids, making it easy to identify and go to the second bid if necessary.

Before the contract is signed, you may want to consider doing the sale yourself. This may be your best and only option if the sale is small. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing the sale yourself. Of course you save the commission this way. If you have some high priced items that you might not be aware of you may substantially under mark them. If the sale is large enough and has numerous quality items that you are unsure of their worth, you may want to consider a good professional or you might hire an appraiser for a couple of hours to go thru, after you have set everything out, to give you a price for the expensive items. Ask around to find people that have hired sales done and find out if the were satisfied with the estate sale company.

The three must for a good sale:

  1. ADVERTISING THE SALE, NEWSPAPERS, STREET SIGNS, PERHAPS INTERNET PRICING BY YOUR RESEARCHING
  2. PRESENTATION AND CONDUCTING THE SALE PROFESSIONALLY THUS YOU ACHIEVE MORE THAN GARAGE SALE PRICES
  3. EACH ITEM SHOULD BE MARKED, CLEAN, AND ARRANGED ATTRACTIVELY THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE FOR OPTIMAL MARKETABILITY