Estate Sale Tips
Some estate sale tips to help you get the most from estate sales:
q: What is the most important thing I should keep in mind?
a: Do not throw anything away! One person's junk is another's treasure. Let us evaluate what you have before you throw anything out.
q: What is an Estate Sale?
a: An Estate Sale is a public or private sale of all the contents of a house, held inside the house itself.
q: Should I organize the estate sale myself?
a: It is possible to run your own estate sale – whether you should or not depends on your interest in managing the many details involved and your available time and energy to make it all happen. Another crucial component is the ability to identify a valuable item and know what it's worth. If you think you want to organize your own sale, a good place to start is to review the information on our garage sale tips page. If you want to take advantage of estate sale experts, give us a call.
q: How does an estate sale work?
a: After your family has removed from the house all the things you will keep, Unexpected Treasures staff prepare everything else for an Estate Sale. Items are organized, cleaned, appraised, priced, and displayed attractively. The Estate Sale, which looks a bit like an in-home store, is held for 1–3 days, depending upon the quality and scope of the property to be sold.
q: What do we need to do to prepare for our Estate Sale?
a: Your only job—albeit a challenging one—is to decide what you want to keep and to move it from the house before the sale. Leave everything else behind. We will handle it all for you, including the trash.
q: What is considered valuable for an Estate Sale?
a: Values of items constantly change depending on what local buyers are willing to pay for something at any given time. In addition to fine art and antiques, collectors and buyers are looking for almost everything that is in good condition. Some of the popular purchases are sterling silver, costume jewelry, tools, kitchen items, linens, books, military and scouting things, fishing and golf gear, clothing, garden pots and furniture. There are often other saleable items which seem not so obvious such as postcards and other paper items, mid-century décor from the 1930’s to 1970’s, dolls and old toys.
As a result, once family members have identified the stuff they want to keep, it’s helpful to leave all remaining contents for Unexpected Treasures to evaluate, i.e, try not to be “helpful” by throwing away things that “look like” trash.
q: Who attends Estate Sales?
a: Buyers at Estate Sales include local collectors, antique dealers, residents of the area, and people who enjoy looking for treasures.
q: How do you decide what price to place on each item in the Estate Sale?
a: Our Unexpected Treasures team includes independent specialists and appraisers. In their individual areas of expertise, they know the current local market values of a broad array of categories including books, pianos, automobiles, fine jewelry, carpets, Asian art, fine art, antiques, silver, dolls, and much more.
q: How and where do you advertise the Estate Sales?
a: We advertise online, in newspapers, and with street signs in your neighborhood. We also send e-mail notices to over 2,600 potential buyers in our private database.
q: Can people bid on items at an Estate Sale? If so, how?
a: Yes, potential buyers who do not want to pay the tagged price may make offers on items by giving us a written card with their name, phone number, the item they want to buy, and their highest offer for that item. If, at the end of the sale, the item has not sold, we contact the highest bidder for it who then purchases it at their proffered bid.
q: What happens to the things that remain unsold at the end of the Estate Sale?
a: After all sales are completed, we arrange for one or more charities to take away useful donations. We provide you with an itemized receipt, for your tax records. After the charity has removed the donations, our haulers take away all that remains.
q: What are your fees?
a: Our fees vary depending on the scope of the project: by the hour (time & services), or by the project (set fee), or a percentage of sales or minimum fee (whichever is greater).
We offer free consultation, if you are considering an estate sale, and are happy to provide you with more tips in person. Contact us today to schedule a meeting.