Monday, November 25, 2013

New or Used?

During this time of year, most estate sale professionals avoid scheduling sales too close to the holidays. Of course, if a family is facing a time emergency and the home must be vacated- the show will go on. However, if there is flexibility we tend to work around the holidays. This decision can be based on personal reasons or  strategic business decisions. For me personally, I avoid the weekend before Thanksgiving and Christmas. I always wonder, do normal estate salers (excluding dealers) prefer to shop new or used during this time of year? After all, this time of year brings the thrill of retail shopping with major discounts. Do shoppers prefer black Friday shopping for new or used items? Or, does it matter? Whatever your preference, I hope the goal is to enjoy the experience.Praying many blessings for you all this Thanksgiving and happy shopping whatever route you choose!  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Contract Clarity

Estate Sales Contract

Estate Sales News wants you to have every available resource and here is a check list for an estate sale contract between you and the estate sale company.
The contract should lay out the following in clear language.
  • Name of the estate sales company
  • Your name (you’re hiring the liquidator)
  • Date of the contract
  • Address where the sale is to take place
  • Dates the sale is to be held and time
  • Party responsible for advertising costs
  • Who is responsible and paying for permits (i.e. sign, sale etc.)
  • Cost of the sale – commission, fee or both, make sure it is explicit
  • How the net proceeds of the sale will be paid out, i.e cash or check.
  • Payout for sale is end of each day or end of sale
  • Any items to be excluded from sale
  • Will you be charged if an item is removed from sale after contract signed
  • Who is responsible for the clean out after the sale is concluded
  • Does the liquidator provide a written account of items sold
  • Any additional costs for specialists i.e. appraisers
  • Is the company bonded and insured
All of these items should be covered in the contract for your protection and the estate sales company and to prevent misunderstandings during the liquidation process.

Information taken from Estate Sale News at 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Worry-free Estate Sales

 Courtesy of

Estate Sales are Worry-Free, Profitable Options for Getting the Most out of 'Too Much Stuff'
Whether it comes about because of a death in the family, divorce, downsizing, the need to meet tax or court-ordered requirements, or simply because you have a house full of things too valuable for a garage sale…
… an estate sale is ideal for getting the most value out of a home's treasures with the least amount of trouble.
What is an estate sale? In many ways, it is the definition of peace of mind: you hire a company to go into a home, appraise its entire contents, then organize, market, and manage an in-home sale (typically two days) with the goal of selling every item; you don't even have to be there during the sale.
If the company is a good one, it will do all of the heavy work and you'll pay nothing out-of-pocket. Instead, it will typically take as its commission 10 to 25 percent of the net proceeds, excellent motivation for the company to get the best price possible on every item. Professionally managed estate sales are key sources for antique dealers, collectors, and decorators, so the likelihood of the home's inventory selling for the correct price and ending up in the right hands is very good.
Depending on your needs and the company, an estate sale can even include provisions to haul away unsold items, leave the home vacant and clean, and arrange for donating all the things that didn't sell to charity and giving you the tax-deductible receipt.
Here are some important things to remember:
1. Don't clean the items and NEVER throw anything away in an attempt to "help" the estate sale company. Leave it to the professionals: they know how to clean without causing damage, and they know the potential value of what lay people perceive as junk, such as old postcards, political campaign memorabilia, and other hidden treasures. Be sure to remove items you intend to keep.
2. Do your due diligence in selecting the estate sale company. Interview at least two, check to confirm their licenses, insurance, and references, and back off if the company wants to charge you for an interview and inspection of the home's contents. If you can, attend one of their sales to see if it is well-staged and well-run.
3. If the home's collection is especially rich in categories such as antique furniture, jewelry, and antique collectibles, take special care that the estate sale company has appraisal specialists on staff in those particular areas.
A well-done estate sale, where you leave it all to the professionals in order to get the highest profit, is proof that the best way is also sometimes the easiest!
For more information about preparing for a home transition, contact your local Carrington Real Estate Services sales professional.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How's your Attitude?

Time to go estate sale shopping! Not you. Me. People always assume that I load up on goodies at my own estate sales. However, its quite the opposite. Shopping at my own estate sales is no fun. I enjoy the thrill just as much as anyone else from shopping at other estate sales.

We had a power outage yesterday. It blew out our microwave and stove! Mind you, we have been waiting for the refrigerator to go out because it has been making indescribable noises for the longest. So, to have the other two appliances go out was very unexpected. Now I could have spent the day frustrated and worried about the unexpected expenses. Nope, what was my first thought? Oooh, I can hit some estate sales this week! It was kind of funny because my husband couldn't understand why I wasn't getting as upset as he was about the situation. What can I say, its all about your attitude!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Estate Sale Shopping Tips

Estate sale shopping is more than something on your to do list. Its an event! An experience! Okay, that may be a little over the top, but for those of us who love shopping at estate sales are nodding our heads in the affirmative. Here are a few helpful hints to make your shopping experience even more enjoyable.

1. If you're in search of a specific item you saw on the internet- arrive at least an hour early.
2. Its okay to call ahead and ask us what part of the home the item is located in. However, do not ask about the price -- we frown upon that :-) 
3. Bring along a shopping partner and tag team. Especially if you're coming for specific items. 
4. Bring your highest level of patience. Trust me, those of us in the industry are still trying to resolve the problem of the long lines-- without breaking the bank by hiring several checkout workers.
5.If you choose to wait on an item until discount day, grab a business card and call ahead to make sure the item is still there before wasting time and gas.
6. If an item is marked "as is". Inspect it carefully before paying or ask an associate what's wrong with the item. 
7. If you want to negotiate for a lower price, consider your approach. For example, which of the following do you think will be received better?  "Would you be willing to take $2 instead of $3 for this item?" or "I'll give you $2 but its not worth $3. I'm not paying that much for it."
8. Its okay to pull the price tag off large items while you continue to shop--if you have a sincere intent to purchase it. It indicates to us that the item is already taken and we won't sale it to someone else right away.
9. Feel free to ask the staff anything. We may say yes. We may say no. Some estate sales may be more rigid than others but ask anyway. I had a disabled person to rush to his home down the street because he didn't think we would allow him to use the restroom. It never hurts to ask.
10. Bring your spirit of kindness and honesty. It will be bestowed back upon you tenfold.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Kudos to

Attended the 1st annual Estate Sale Conference in St. Louis. I wasn't quite ready for that kind of cold weather! Had a great time. Learned a lot and ate a lot! Looking forward to spring in Texas.

Kudos to for hosting a great conference! 

Count It All Joy Estate Sales

Monday, February 18, 2013

Password Overload!

Passwords, passwords, everywhere passwords! Experience is the best teacher....  I have just discovered that I have misplaced my laundry list of passwords. Admittedly, my way of keeping up with my passwords may be antiquated and not secure; therefore, do as I say and not as I do. Nevertheless, this reminded me of a past customer sharing his family's experience with not being able to access their loved one's necessary accounts after the family member passed. While grieving, there are many things that family members have to deal with after a loved one passes and trying to access their online accounts does not have to be one more frustration added to the list. Do you have a plan in place? In this digital world we live in, there are secure ways to have your password information stored safely. I would suggest checking with an estate attorney who may be able to refer you to a reputable company. This article sums it up best: Digital Assets

Monday, January 21, 2013

Time of Discovery

I had a conversation with a colleague recently who gave me an "aha" moment. My colleague stated that she believes this is the time of year when children of elderly parents tend to "discover" exactly how serious their parents' situations are. For instance, children who do not get to visit their parents regularly due to distance or what have you, will typically visit during the holidays. This opportunity gives them a first hand view that something is not quite right with mom or dad. Maybe the home tends to show that some aspects of hoarding is going on. The mom you know and love was always a neat freak- but you notice that dust has piled up throughout the house. Maybe dad's driving skills aren't quite what they used tho be. Understandably, mom and dad are going to tell you everything's fine via your phone conversations, because holding on to their independence as long as they can is as important to them as the air they breathe.

So while the estate sale business tends to slow down this time of year, I now know that it isn't simply due to the cold weather and the hum drum of winter; but children are taking this time to make some important decisions concerning their parents future. So, to my baby boomers, I encourage you to keep a closer ear and eye when visiting or talking with your parents. Working with them could possibly save their lives.