Frequently Asked Questions
What if I need help downsizing?
If you’re thinking about downsizing, congratulations on taking that next step forward!
Downsizing is an opportunity to make choice lifestyle changes so you can focus on what matters most to you.
Every situation is unique, and efforts are made to accommodate you where possible and customize a plan that is effective and efficient so you can get to that next step quickly and with the least effort. Here are a few examples of transition and location services available to create a customized solution for you and/or your loved ones that we can assist with:
☑ Putting your house on the market privately or liaison with a real-estate agent (e.g., house ready, photographs, advertising, house showings, open house, etc.);
☑ Home staging;
☑ Management and coordination of estate content liquidation (partial or full);
☑ Janitorial and/or maid service;
☑ Move management (de-clutter, organizing, packing, moving); and
☑ Waste removal.
How much does an estate sale cost?
After our initial walkthrough of the location being liquidated, 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 so you know we are working hard to get you the best return.
The following services are covered by us in a sale:
☑ Evaluations and/or Appraisals; and
☑ Pay Device Terminal(s), including transaction fees.
If there appears there isn’t enough content to hold a sale, we can offer suggestions for buy-out customers and local charitable organizations. Additional services are available upon request and identified in the contract as optional (i.e., janitorial, organizing/packing, waste disposal, etc.).
Note: If you have a partial household and still need help to clear out your home, we can offer commission based and/or hourly wages to clear a residence (whichever is greater).
What should I keep?
This is of course a personal choice. Our estate sale associates provide a confidential transitioning service that can assist you in organizing, sorting, packing and even moving to a new location if desired. In the meantime, a complimentary list of recommended items is provided below that you may wish to look for and keep below:
☑ Certificates (e.g. Adoption, Birth and death, Citizenship, Marriage, Immigration)
☑ Credit card statements
☑ Driver’s licenses & vehicle titles/registrations
☑ Health records
☑ Insurance policies (e.g. Life, Auto)
☑ Legal contracts (e.g. Power of Attorney, Financial, General
☑ Mortgage documents
☑ Photographs (of sentimental value)
☑ Property deeds
☑ Stock certificates
☑ Veteran’s papers
☑ Will and trusts
Note: It is important to take those items that are sentimental or of personal importance before signing the contract. Any item removed after the sale regardless of the reason will be invoiced for commission at the estimated cost it was valued at. When personal paperwork is located that appear to be of importance (e.g., bank cards, passports, etc.), they will be put aside, and the person listed on the contract will be advised. At that time, arrangements can be made for pick-up, drop-off or shipping.
How will the sale be advertised?
Each sale is unique and media communication outlets are reviewed to ensure that photography and information is delivered in it’s best light (e.g., social media, print, signage, mass email distribution, website, etc.) to attract customers. In addition, we also cultivate relationships with various types of dealers, private collectors and film productions who look for specific items.
How are items priced?
It is our goal to obtain the highest price possible based on the current market value (not retail), keeping in mind that we are required to sell as many items as possible on your behalf. In order to do this, prices will be reduced as the sale progresses to liquidate.
Setting reserves can be discussed; however, bids below the reserve may be considered if they are within reason.
Can a sale be conducted while we are still living in the house?
In order to properly and safely stage a home, the premises are required to be unoccupied for setting up. The process can sometimes be untidy while sorting and pricing before they can be presented neatly on display. This can interfere with movement inside the house and be hazardous to homeowner if present.
In situations where a homeowner is downsizing and unable to take all their contents with them, we certainly will do our best to accommodate each unique instance.
What kind of items can I sell?
Other than items prohibited by law, most household items are sellable (e.g., vehicles, campers, trailers, tractors, dishes, clothes, coins, military, toys, etc.) It is highly recommended that you only remove the items you wish to keep and DO NOT dispose of anything until we have had an opportunity to view. Items that you feel are “junk” or “not sellable” may be another person’s treasure and sometimes can have surprising value (e.g., old toys, quilts, photographs, costume/vintage jewelry, posters, etc.). Anything can be donated or discarded at the end of the sale if needed.
There are different ways an estate sale can be conducted, and these methods can be discussed when reviewing your contract.
☑ On-site - takes place in the owner’s house/business.
☑ Consignment - items are taken off-site to a showroom, storefront or other location.
☑ Clean-out - a fee is paid to estate company to clean out the entire estate.Methods of liquidating may include selling items on-site, on-line, auction, store front consignment, donated or discarded as they see fit to clear everything out within the timeline agreed.
☑ Buy-out - all contents from the estate are purchased for one set price by the estate company.
☑ Clear-out - this is removal of all contents. The terms are discussed after an on-site evaluation of what items have potential value and can be resold.
What happens to items that do not sell?
It is up to the homeowner on what they would like to do with remaining items from a sale.
On average, there is 10% to 30% of items that remain in the home after an estate sale.
Some options to consider for post-sale can include but not limited to:
☑ Items identified with significant value can be placed on consignment;
☑ Homeowner arranges for remaining contents to be dealt with in a manner they choose (e.g., family, friends, etc.);
☑ Clear-out services can be requested. Typically, usable items are donated where they can best find a new home (e.g., local charities, women shelters, thrift stores, church rummage sales, etc.); and
☑ Waste removal is also an available option to remove debris.
How do I get paid?
Within 10 business days after the sale, you will receive:
☑ Copy of invoice for your records, and
☑ Inventory booklet that includes a list of all items sold.
Am I able to attend the sale?
We understand why you or your family would want to be present while staff handle your personal items and family heirlooms. We ask that you trust us to take care of your possessions and know we are always respectful of your assets and belongings. If there are any questions during the sale about the history or maintenance of any item that we may not have already discussed, we would contact you.
To the best of our ability we provide regular progress updates with photographs at different stages of the process.