Why should I hire an Estate Sale Company rather than doing a garage sale by myself?
It can be very difficult for the first timer to begin to organize and run a successful estate sale. Not only does it take a tremendous amount of time and effort , but it takes the knowledge and experience to be able to organize, stage, research, price, host, conduct the sale and receive top dollar for your family items. In addition, it can be very emotional for family during this process to deal with the memories surrounding a loved one’s belongings.
There is also a greater perceived value on items in an estate sale as opposed to a garage sale. Many times you will see pricing at a family run sale either too high and not reflecting current market value, or too low and not maximizing the items' worth.
Estate sale companies not only have the knowledge, but also the resources including tables, risers, tablecloths, professional signage, lighting, showcases, cash registers, outstanding staff, and an established customer base. We are able to market sales through email lists, Facebook, and a variety of online and hard copy advertising businesses including Estatesale.org and Estatesales.net. Through these resources, we are able to liquidate a large amount of merchandise in a short amount of time, earning top dollar for our clients.
How does an Estate Sale work?
Once the family has chosen the items they want to keep from the estate, we begin preparing remaining items for sale. On average, we work about 2-3 weeks preparing for a sale. During that time, we go through every closet, drawer, basement, and attic, then clean, organize, research, price, and professionally display all remaining items.
Our estate sales usually run for three days. All items are offered on first day at full price. On the second day, prices are discounted by 25%; and on third day, discounted by 50% The family is always offered the opportunity to establish a base price for a specific item, so that it would sell at no less than that base price. We call this "redlining" an item. However, we do caution against choosing too many redline items as it limits the profitability of the sale.
CS Estate sale has developed a reputation as the “neat estate sale company”. We pride ourselves on having everything very clean and displayed in a beautifully organized way. Our linen section looks like it came out of a department store! It takes us a little longer to stage, but we and our clients think it's worth it. Additionally, our customers appreciate our efforts and tell us often that we have become their “favorite” estate sale company.
One of our best resources is our staff. They are outstanding! Always friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, they enjoy interactions with our customers as they assist them in making buying decisions. They even help tote items when the need arises!
Do I even have enough stuff for an estate sale?
You would be amazed at how much stuff the average person has. Our sales include not only lovely antiques, silver, jewelry, guns, furniture and tools, but also household, garage, clothes, and even opened cleaning products. When dollars are tallied at the end of our sale, totals can amount to a nice sum of money!
While we frequently host sales that are closing out estates, many of our clients are merely downsizing or moving to assisted living. (Or maybe their home has sold really fast or their neighborhood doesn't allow sales.) Since they are furnishing their new residences, they only have half of a house to sell. That's okay. With the permission of many of our clients, we are able to supplement their "half a house" sale with items from outside consignors. Many of our consignors are also downsizing, and we are able to integrate their items to help make a full sale - a draw for our customers and a boon for maximizing sales for all involved.
Do you sell cars and other automobiles?
We most certainly do! We research and determine fair market value for your automobile. We frequently sell cars at full price and sometimes even have a bidding war. An added benefit to our clients is a lower commission on the sale of a car.
How do you keep consignors items separate for home owners items?
Each item is tagged with a coded system that designates the item's owner. As an item is purchased, its sale amount is recorded in the register for that specific client. At the end of each day, the register reports total sales for each client.
How do I get ready for a sale?
First and foremost “DO NOT THROW ANYTHING OUT”! You would be amazed at what one person considers junk and the other considers treasure. We know one family who got a dumpster and threw out countless antique glass milk bottles. They figured nobody would by them, and they were taking up too much space. In today’s market, they would sell from $10-40 each! That was a lot of money that went in to the garbage. As part of our service, we will “pitch and purge” those items that are not sellable.
The family also needs to get legal matters in order. If an estate is be closed out, a designated person needs to have proper authority, such as power of attorney, to be able to sell your loved ones items. Since some estates are in probate, it's always best to consult with your attorney before beginning the sale of the home and its furnishings.
Estate sales often include the sale of cars. If a car is to be offered, we would need the title available in order to finalize the sale.
The family should choose the items they are going to keep and that information should be shared with the estate sale company at the time of initial consultation. Our decision to accept a sale is based on the items to be included in the sale and what we expect gross sales could be. Items removed from the sale after the contract is signed are subject to full commission.
How much do you charge to do an estate sale?
Our initial consultations are always free.
Our commission is based on the quantity and market value of items to be sold, as well as how much time and effort is necessary to create a beautiful sale.
There are no out of pocket expenses for the client. Our commission generally covers all sale costs, including advertising and sale staffing, and is deducted from gross sale proceeds at the end of the sale.
Occasionally, unusual expenses may be necessary. For example, it might be necessary to rent a commercial dumpster to empty the house of years of debris. Other times, out of the ordinary advertising or security could be beneficial for productive sale results. These situations are few, and we always consult with the client before we commit to unusual expenses. In these instances, costs are shared with our clients and deducted from gross proceeds at the end of the sale.
Should I wait until my home is sold before I do an Estate Sale?
This is a challenging question and would probably be best answered in consultation with client, realtor, and estate sale company. For all participants, timing is everything. If the house sells prior to contracting for an estate sale there might not be enough time to schedule, prepare, and host a sale unless adequate time is allowed prior to the closing of the house sale. Conversely, if a sale is held while the house is on the market, things can get a little messy during house showings We understand that your home is a large investment and we want to work with you and your realtor so that all parties profit. We have an excellent track record of working with our clients' realtors. When our sales are held before the house is sold, we work collaboratively with the realtor to make things tidy for showings. Additionally, we establish a prominent location for flyers and the realtor's business cards during the sale. We regularly get inquiries about the availability of the home and direct our customer to that information. Normally, we'll have hundreds of our customers, and potential home buyers, pass through the house on each of the three sale days.
Can I stay in the house during the sale?
Preparation for a sale can be very messy and disruptive for family members. We have found that it isn't wise for the client to be living in the home while we prep. Additionally, one of our requirements is that family members not be present during actual sale days. It's just too emotional for family to see their belongings removed from the home by a new owner. Of course, our clients are always welcome to stop by any time during preparation and after the sale.
What happens to my stuff after the sale is over?
No matter how good a sale is, there will always be things that don't sell. Sometimes, the family retains specific items; occasionally, we consign pieces for a future sale and/or network for additional sales; or the items can be donated. Typically, most clients choose to donate most items to a charity that either distributes or resells the items to benefit those who need assistance. We make arrangements with local charities such as Salvation Army, Good will, United Cerebral Palsy, Catholic Charities, and Family and Children's Services to send a box truck and pick up the items, most usually on the Monday after the sale. The client can, of course, request a specific charity and we will do our best to accommodate.
Do you charge sales tax at the sale?
As an official business in the State of Oklahoma, we honor our legal requirement to collect sales tax and submit it to the State monthly.
There are quite a few estate sale companies. Why should I select CS Estate Sales to host my sale?
We think results say it all. We have an excellent track record of working collaboratively with our clients and making money for them. And they have nice things to say about us.
We also have a solid customer base of people who like to shop our sales. Our email list and online followers grow daily and they are faithful about attending each and every sale.
Additionally, we are committed to honest, ethical interactions with clients and customers alike. We are licensed, bonded, insured, and a member of the Better Business Bureau.
And a big PLUS is that we love what we do and it shows in every sale. Please come visit one of our sales and see for yourself!
How do you advertise a sale?
CS Estate sales maintains a Facebook page, a Constant Contact email page, and a Go Daddy Website. In addition, we advertise in the Tulsa World, Craigslist, Estatesales.org, Estatesales.net, and a variety of special interest groups on Facebook. If needed, we will produce a flyer and will advertise in local newspapers.
How do I get started?
Give us a call and we will set an appointment to meet you and look at items you'd like to sell. Once we agree that we will be working together, we will schedule your sale on a mutually agreed upon date and then we will begin our preparations.
You can reach us at Sheila Hellen 918-906-6517 or Cindy Spitza 918-519-4367. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
CS Estate Sales