Estate sales and moving sales companies often have to be very careful in
the information they find when spending a week or two with a client and
I have to remind myself every time we walk into a new client's
home that there is a reason why they needed us. If it were easy to
throw a price on every single item, display it, advertise it, and work
the sale itself, they wouldn't need us. So that's why we get called in
the toughest most difficult times in people's lives. We have
unfortunately had to do sales for all of the following situations:
divorces - one couple decided to divorce during the sale! I guess as
they saw their belongings disappear they felt it was a good time to part
ways. Heirs and executives of wills call us to liquidate parent's
estates for them. These cases are sometimes very sensitive as siblings
don't always agree on how to divide their parent's estates or agree on
the value of items in the estate. Suicides and unexpected deaths are
also a very sad time for families in which they prefer an outside estate
sales business to handle the estate sale.
Family members will often call us to intervene for one in the family
that is in denial about the condition of the home. I've had so many
calls that start out. " My mother was a hoarder." One of the
commonalities in the estate sales out there right now is that the owners
lived through the depression era. Those folks did not waste. They
didn't throw away anything they thought might be used. My grandmother
saved every milk jug they had. I'm sure she thought they would one day
need them to store water. I went over one day and she had cut the tops
out of ten of them and was sprouting tomatoes in them. She was
repurposing before it was cool. These homes, attics, and basements are
chocked full of garbage, trash and things most of us would throw away.
Families just don't have the time or energy to go through it all.
Simple practices such as tearing off the luggage tags that contain
address and phone numbers are ways in which you can protect the identity
of the owner. You may even erase phone numbers and messages from
phones, clean out purses, wallets and pockets where personal information
is often kept, remove hard drives that contain memory and information
of clients, check every file folder and shred documents that could be
used to steal the identity of clients.
We were called by two daughters to do a sale for their parents that
needed to leave the country because their father had not paid his taxes.
They needed to liquidate everything and leave in 2 weeks and the
mother was in complete denial at the time.
If you've ever done a garage sale you will also understand how difficult
it is physically to move everything into the garage or yard, mark it
all and then sit outside to sell it all weekend. That's difficult for
anyone especially an elderly couple or a couple that has small children
Some clients are reluctant to bring strangers into their homes for a
sale due to their own privacy. We live in Nashville, TN. I don't have
to tell you how many celebrities live in this city. Not only do they
want to hold the sale themselves, they don't want the general public to
be peeking into their private lives and announcing it.
Concealing the identity of celebrities and high profile famous clients
is not always easy. If the home is in a wealthy neighborhood customers
will often ask who lived there. One lady even informed me that she had
googled the address and read the bio of the business man who lived
there. Now with the internet it is very easy to get information on
So having said that, I always ask the client what they want me to tell
the general public. Sometimes they want everyone to know the house will
soon be on the market. However, I have had several in which they told
me they didn't even want the neighbors to know anything about their
plans of moving or that the house was going to be torn down. Whatever
the situation, it is best to be clear of what to say or not to say when
asked about the home or owners of the home.
A: Approximately 5-10 business days from the closing of the sale. You will be given a briefing each day of the sale's progress and a categorized list with your closing statement.
A: Both parties benefit in an agreement of terms and conditions before the sale to insure the efficiency of the entire process. We know this can be a difficult time in your life and loved ones. A clearly defined contract will keep the sale on course of expectations.
Moving and Estate Sales Services:
A: An auction only gives your items a
short amount of time on the market
unlike an estate sale that gives your
items 2-4 days on the market. Our
staff is experienced in pricing a variety
of merchandise and know the current market
value in the Nashville area.
A: We work on commission only. A percentage of the total sales generally between 25-35 percent depending on amount of clean up, advertising and distance. Some additional services are offered as well such as trash pick-up and haul away fee after the sale, depending on your needs.
A: During the sale we will be discussing the progress of the sale and present options for you as it closes. We can connect you with other organizations such as Goodwill for tax deductible donations or consign your items for a future sale.
A: Before the sale, we ask you to remove or separate the items you do not wish to sell. Please do not throw or give anything away as our staff is trained in finding value in often overlooked treasures. Then you walk away and let our staff do all the work. Your presence at the sale is not necessary as often times it can be an emotional experience for the client.
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