Why should I have an estate sale?
Having an estate sale on-site can bring more money from the sale of the personal property than by any other means of liquidation. Your items are more appealing and sell better when they are displayed in an appropriate atmosphere. An on-site sale offers the convenience of no packing and no moving, both of which can result in damage to merchandise.
Why should I hire an estate sale agent?
An estate sale agent serves as the overseer of the sale of all items included and will work to bring in collectors, dealers and buyers willing to pay the best prices. Identification of and placing a value on antiques, collectibles and house hold items, couple with a knowledge of the best fair-market value for merchandise take study and experience. it involves continual research. In short, it takes a full-time professional who specializes in this work. The extra money an estate sales agent can realize for you from just a few items, priced right, can sometimes pay the entire commission charged for the sale.
How much will it cost to have an agent do my sale?
It will cost nothing out of pocket. Estate sale professionals usually charge a commission based on the size of the sale, how much work will be involved to prepare and run the sale and whether or not there will be travel expenses should the sale be located in a city outside the normal range of operation. A comfortable range for commission on a sale is between 35% and 50% and may be negotiated between owner and agent. Other than the commission, there is rarely any other expenses to the owner. An example of other expenses might include a dumpster, only in the cases where it is needed. Commission fees are deducted from owner's sales proceeds.
Where are estate sales usually held?
The sale itself is usually conducted at the client's home on a Friday and Saturday, sometimes including a Thursday if the estate is large enough. Each sale is unique and the hours and days are determined accordingly.
How long does it take to prepare a sale?
A good estate sales professional will be able to keep preparation time to a minimum, usually one to two weeks for an average size sale. Time will be given to be certain that items are appropriately priced and to organize and display the contents before the sale begins.
What does an estate sales agent to do protect my property?
An agent will secure small , valuable items into locking display cases and assign a staff member to watch these items and assist customers in selecting them. Staff will be directed to station themselves through out the house where they can observe the customers and watch the merchandise to prevent theft. They will direct customers to exit only through the designated exit. Agent will limit the number of customers allowed inside the house to a controllable number. Should any customer be observed behaving in a manner that could cause damage to any item of personal property or to the house or yard, agent will escort the customer out.
How does the agent arrive at the prices for my items?
Pricing the merchandise involves many factors. A good estate liquidator relies on an extensive reference library of antiques and collectibles price guides, auction records, on-line reference sites and catalogs. in cases of very unusual and/or valuable items agent will seek the advice of a professional with relevant expertise. Pricing requires thoughtful examination, proper research and some current knowledge of the market value of many different kinds of items. The agent must consider the desirability, quantity and location when deciding upon a price.
What is done with things that do not sell?
At the completion of the sale, the remaining items, if any, are disposed of per arrangement made of ahead of time between the owner and the agent. In cases where items are donated to a charity, agent will supply, to the owner, a receipt used for tax purposes from the person who picks up the items for the charity. Some families decide to have us leave the items that do not sale and they handle what to do with them. Some families want of a buyout the items left. We have a company that we work with that will possibly do a buyout of the remaining items depending on what is left at the end of the sale.
Do I have to sign a contact?
Most agents have a contract which acts as a protection for both the owner and the agent. This agreement covers all aspects of what can be expected from the agent and what is required of the owner. It affords the owner an opportunity to list things that must be made clear (i.e. items which will not be sold, special considerations, terms for the sale of certain items, etc). It also includes agents commission and other fees to be taken out of total proceeds of the sale. Agent will go over this agreement thoroughly with owner during which time questions and/or concerns can be addressed.
Do I need to be present during the sale?
An owner is certainly welcome to be present. However, most agents will agree that it seems easier for the family to stay away. This can be a very emotional time and it is just less painful to not be present. The owner's presence at the sale can be intimidating to some buyers and it rarely helps to increase the proceeds from the sale.
I have decided to hire a professional to do my sale. What must I do?
Remove all personal and sentimental property that the family wishes to keep. If something that will not be sold must remain, in the house during the sale, mark it not for sale. If your sale is in an apartment, condo, mobile home development, or your home is in a community with an homeowners association, consult the rules and regulations regarding garage sales and estate sales. DO NOT disconnect the the utilities. They are needed during the preparation and execution of the sale. Do not move, box up, unpack or rearrange anything in the house that is to be a part of the sale. Leave things right where they are. Do not throw anything away unless it obviously needs to be thrown away.
Every estate sale company is different. The estate sale industry is not regulated. Each company has their own way of operating and preparing for a sale. The information listed above is information about how C & W Estate Sales operates their sales.