Frequently Asked Questions
Having an Estate Sale?
When you face a challenging decision regarding your personal property, we can help take the stress out of it for you. You may be downsizing into a retirement community, moving across the country or the executor of an estate. No matter the circumstances, the big question is “what will you do with all your personal property?” In many instances, the heirs of the estate have their own property and do not need more. You may have some valuable items and you don’t have the time, energy or know-how to exchange them for a fair market price.
Relax! A great way to get the most money for your things is to have an Estate Sale. On-site Estate Sales are attracting large crowds every weekend and happy buyers are purchasing everything from the ridiculous to the sublime. Regardless of whether you are a discerning collector, a picker or a little bit of both, an Estate Sale is the most profitable way for you to downsize. We are here to help you and we know plenty of people who are willing to wait in line to buy your items.
Here are some tips on how to have a successful tag sale/estate sale.
- Decide what to keep
If you are moving, a sketch, photos and some measurements of your new place will be helpful in deciding how much space you’ll have to fill. You can then determine what to keep from your current estate and what you need to sell or liquidate. If the contents of an estate need to be fully sold, first allow the heirs to select the most sentimental objects and antiques or valuables. These items will not be listed in any advertising or marketing materials.
- Don’t donate or weed out items before the sale
The most successful Estate Sales contain a mix of antiques, furniture, collectibles and household odds and ends, everything from high end to low end. Things such as kitchenware, linens, and tools can be hot sellers. Items that don’t sell can be donated after the sale. Most agents will handle this for you and give you a receipt for the Internal Revenue Service.
- The timing of your sale is critical
In the case of a move, select what is going to your new home and make arrangements for them to be relocated prior to the sale. It is also important to relocate items set aside for heirs. Your Estate Sale will be more successful if everything left visible in the house is for sale. Another key decision is when to have the sale. This is best achieved by checking your community calendar to see when, how many and what type of events are scheduled during the time you want to have your sale. You don’t want too much competition.
- Successful marketing and staging
Be certain your Estate Sale agent will ensure a successful sale by providing a robust marketing plan, including listings in newspapers and websites, Appraisals, photography and staging. An eye-pleasing clean presentation of your belongings will increase your estate sale return. This should include polished silver, sparkling crystal and individual pricing of the items for the sale.
- The agent’s fee
Most estate sale agent’s charge 30 percent of the total amount sold. The agent should pay for expenses such as marketing, signage, photography and materials to run the sale. Often a sales minimum and trash removal costs will apply and these should be covered in a contract. In most cases, the agent’s fee will be recovered because you will likely receive a higher price for the items than you would in a non-professionally priced, marketed and produced sale.
Attending an Estate Sale
Estate Sales are one of the easiest ways to furnish your home and/or upgrade and add to your personal property. And if you’re a collector or a reseller you already know how valuable these sales can be.
- Estate sale etiquette
Generally speaking it is not a good idea to bring children or pets to an estate sale. You will want your hands free to shop. Also, many estate sale agents do not allow you to carry large bags into the sale. Moving or hiding items is frowned upon. Please set aside only what you intend to purchase.
- How the numbers work
Every estate sale runs a bit differently. The number system is a common method used. A box of laminated numbers will be put out at a time specified in the listing. If you want to be among the first inside (and you do want to be among the first inside) you simply show up and take a number, and provide it at the door when your number is called. If a problem arises it is up to the agent working the door to resolve the issue. It is quite easy and most shoppers and collectors are an easygoing bunch.
- House rules
At many Estate Sales you will find doors and cabinets taped shut. Please respect the wishes of the agent and owners and do not remove the tape. A good rule of thumb is to consider how you would treat your own possessions in your own home and respond accordingly.
Many Estate Sales post uniform price sheets to save time. This immediately saves you money, as the uniform price sheet is not usually the full value, but is the easiest way to manage bulk items. Often you may see price sheets for books, linens, clothing and other bulk items. Follow the signs and you will not have any problem.
Some Estate Sales provide boxes that you can fill while you are browsing. These are found near the cash register. If boxes are not provided, just ask the person working the cash table if you may place a few things there to purchase when you are done shopping.