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What exactly is an estate sale?

An estate sale is held in order to liquidate all or most of the personal property or the entire contents of a home.  Everything in the home can be sold--from furniture, jewelry, antiques and artwork to basic home décor, housewares, clothing and tools. Buyers view the entire home including the basement, attic and garage when appropriate.  An estate sale differs from a garage sale in that garage sales are typically held when a family is only looking to downsize or resell a small quantity of possessions.  Buyers only have access to the garage and driveway.  Garage sale customers are usually looking for great bargains on everyday items.  Estate sale customers are usually on the hunt for unique, addition, collectable, antique and vintage treasures as well as functional and new like items for themselves or their home.  

Who has an estate sale?

Estate sales are for any one.  Any size home/estate contains many items that could be valuable to someone else.  Some clients need to downsize because they are moving, going through a divorce or foreclosure, or transitioning to an assisted living facility or nursing home, estate sales are not only for those who have passed away.  Estate sales can be held in virtually any size home—from condos and townhouses to mansions.  

I am just moving, can I have an estate sale?

Believe it or not, most estate sales are moving sales. It is far more common to have people move out of state, downsize to a smaller home, or move into an assisted living center. 

How does the process work?

We know that everyone's circumstances are unique.  The first step is to contact us by phone at 352-359-5597.  Or if you prefer, you can send us an email or visit our contact page. We would be thrilled to answer any questions you may have or email you  additional information.  The next step is to schedule a no-obligation appointment in order to meet you in person, tour the home and assess the contents.  We sit down and listen to your ideas, concerns and goals.  Based on our discussions and your schedule, we make a plan for the best way to market and sell the entire contents of the home in a way that is most effective and profitable.  Once the contract is settled, the dates for the sale are scheduled.  You decide what items you would like to keep, and we take care of the rest.  At the end, we present you with final details, the sales proceeds and your home based on your final after sale plans which can include the option of an empty and broom-swept home.

I am thinking of having an auction, which is the best way?

This is a very common question we are asked.   Usually an estate sale will raise more money. The reason is simple.  Often we offer "pre-sales" on hard to move items and high value items,  using our set up time (7-21 days) in addition to our 2-4 day on sight sale to find the right buyer.  We start at fair market value where as an auction starts low and works their way up  and you have to hope there is at least 2 persons at the auction at the same time during the exact time they are offering that item in order to hope for your maximum return.    Many buyers don’t want to spend all weekend at an auction waiting on the one item they want to come up for sale.  Now having said that some I have had a few items that we will offer at reserve prices thruout our pre-sale and sale dates but if not meeting our expectations I will help to find the right auction house for them to consider..  I have had a few pieces of original high end art work that was very successful at the right art auction company.  

Do I have to have valuable antiques or art to have a sale?

No. Most sales really do involve normal household contents such as kitchen items, furniture, and clothes.   Although we have a strong market to sell antiques and art, the more common items are often more salable because everyone can use them. Whereas not everyone can spend $2500.00 for an oil painting, almost anyone can use a new shirt, an extra frying pan or a pair of pliers. All these items add up.

Do I need an estate sale contract?

Yes.  After we assess the home and you agree that an estate sale is the best choice, a contract is signed by both parties.

Will we meet with others involved with the estate such as attorneys, accountants, realtors and family members?

We would be happy to meet with anyone involved with the decision-making process.  Our initial meeting is at no cost and no obligation.  If you decide to sign a contract with us, any additional meetings are also at no cost.  

Where are my keys?   Exclusive with our company!

We offer exclusively with “The Good  The Old  The Ugly” a rekey service.  When we take possession of your home you have the option of allowing us to rekey the exterior door locks of your home… no more questions of what service people, neighbors or others that may have a set of keys..  We will give you a set along with your realtor or attorney as noted in contract.  And this is a “FREE SERVICE”   this is a minimal value of $125 FREE… how can we do this… my husband is a licensed, insured & bonded locksmith. 

What about all the junk?  Should I throw anything away or send to the thrift store?

Please, we ask that you DO NOT throw anything away until you have met with us! And we can always send to charitable stores after the sale so also do not give away anything..  Virtually everything in a home can be sold at your estate sale—even common household goods, cosmetics, half empty toiletries and cleaning products, old papers and on and on.  This is especially true given the current state of the economy. People gladly buy things from an estate sale if it costs less than at a retail store.  Please do not be embarrassed if the home is cluttered or untidy.  This is our job, this is what we do.  We will organize and tidy up, artfully arranging the merchandise on tables and display stands or cases that we provide in order to create an aesthetically pleasing environment for the sale.

What about the items the family wishes to keep?

Items that the family wishes to keep should be removed from the home prior to the sale, if possible.  If this is not possible, we will designate a room to hold these items and it will be kept secured and off limits to customers.  We will also clearly mark any larger items “Not For Sale” before set up begins.  Additionally, as we are going through boxes, closets, drawers, etc., we may happen upon personal items that might be valuable to the family.  We will always notify you of these found items and consult with you before selling them

How do you price the items and what types of items can be sold?

We maintain an extensive research library and also subscribe to the latest online resources in order to obtain fair market values on all the items to be sold, including art, antiques, collectibles, furniture, jewelry and home decor.  If needed, we are able to consult with specialists to assure you accurate higher priced items.  We can sell anything in the home that is legal to sell, even general household goods. 

How long does it take to set up an estate sale?

For effective advertising and set-up, we prefer a three week lead-time.  The actual set up usually lasts 4 days depending on the size of the home.  Estate sales take time, are a lot of hard work and are sometimes messy.

How long does the actual sale last?

From 2 to 4 days but most sales generally take place for three days—Thursday, Friday and  Saturday.  For very large sales, we may add an additional day or an additional weekend.  Moving/downsizing sales are sometimes only held for 2 days due to the smaller quantity of items for sale.

How do you ensure a large crowd for the sale?

The client should offer both higher dollar items and housewares that motivate buyers to attend the sale. Removing “choice” items from the home and leaving only “ordinary” items will not generate the interest and crowds necessary to ensure that most of the sale items will sell.  Secondly, in order to attract the highest number of potential customers possible, we use a large number of proven advertising methods and various websites and social media to advertise your sale with detailed descriptions and photos, including estatesales.net, .com and .org,  Craigslist, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.  I am proud to say that we have have the largest following on Facebook than any other local similar company.  as of the end of 2017 we have 1917 followers where the next closet company has only 596,  Debbie is strong on the internet spending countless hours keeping sights fresh. 
On the days of the sale, we post professional signage at nearby intersections as allowed by local laws.   Debbie spends hours adding photos & information in print and the internet.   To see some of our sales stats please click here. 

What fees and/or costs are involved with having an estate sale?

“The Good  The Old  The Ugly”  works for you on a commission basis and pays all of the expenses related to the sale, including pre-sale organization, research, pricing, staffing, advertising, signage, packing materials and credit card processing.  You are NOT required to pay any deposit or upfront fees.  Total clean-out services are an optional service that we provide which can be deducted from the proceeds of sale.  We provide a detailed accounting for the sale within 5-10 days.  Any additional costs will be discussed prior to the sale and will be included in the contract. 

What happens to the unsold items?

After the sale, what to do with any unsold items is completely up to you.  You may decide to keep the items, or we suggest using one of our preferred charities that will come and remove these items in which case the estate will receive a tax donation letter.  If preferred, you may also consign items for sale through “The Good  The Old  The Ugly”  Consignment Studio on our eBay store, Etsy and Ruby Lane where we are a top-rated seller, or through other methods that we have at our disposal.

How does the consignment process work?

Consignment items are posted to our eBay website or in our antique mall booth for an agreed upon timeframe.  Once that timeframe has expired, any unsold items are reduced in price by 50%.  If the items are still not purchased, they can be donated or returned to you  If you have items that are unique/rare and require a longer amount of time to find the right buyer, we  will work as your agent to find the proper venue for these items.  Please note that “The Good  The Old  The Ugly”  Estate Sales must take possession of the items in order to sell them.

Do you remove hazardous materials?

We do not dispose of rubbish if it contains chemical, toxic, medical, radioactive, or hazardous materials, i.e., paints, solvents, etc.  We also do not dispose of pressurized containers of any kind or anything that we suspect to be related to unlawful activity.

Do you have security?

We have multiple people keeping a watchful eye at all times.  We WILL call police for theft or disruptive behavior.  For high-end sales,  additional security staff is an option.

May I attend the sale?

We do not recommend that the client be present during a sale.  The estate sale process can be very emotional for clients and seeing buyers rummaging through family treasures can be quite unsettling.  Buyers do not have the same emotional attachment to articles in the home and feel more comfortable negotiating prices when the client is not on-site and/or participating in the sale.  “The Good  The Old  The Ugly”   Estate Sales is happy to keep you updated with the daily progress of the sale by telephone/text and/or e-mail, if desired.  We handle the complete process so that you can relax.

How and when is payment made?

After the sale, we provide you with a final accounting, and a check for the proceeds minus our commission, Florida sales tax and any additional services that were requested.  We provide this within 5-7 days of the conclusion of the sale, ensuring that the estate sale was conducted in an ethical manner.

Why should I hire you?  Why shouldn’t I just do my own estate sale?

We believe that hiring a professional is MORE than worth it, it ensures that you receive a greater total value for the estate.  We had developed a faithful following of buyers and with the marketing including a strong social marketing we can show you easily over 10,000 views of the sale, if only 10% of that comes it is a strong sale.   Additionally, holding an estate sale can be a challenging, stressful and daunting task, especially after losing a loved one.  It takes a considerable amount of time and effort just to do the research alone, even for an experienced estate sale company.  We are here to help accomplish the goal of liquidating your estate professionally and honestly. We handle all the little details such as sorting, organizing, researching, accurate pricing, displaying and highlighting items in a beautiful manner which adds to their value, advertising and security so that you don’t have to.  We understand negotiation--the balance between making the most money possible and satisfying our customer base in order to liquidate all items in the estate quickly and efficiently.  We strive to be the best and always maintain a lively, fun and friendly environment to attract a large customer following.  Let our knowledge, dedication, and hard-working attitude serve you!     

Call-text-email Debbie 
 for more info  352-359-5597