FAQs

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN ESTATE SALE?

The term “estate sale” generally refers to the sale of personal property, i.e. furniture, appliances, china, books, linens, etc. It differs from a garage sale in that it usually involves the entire contents of a household and is normally held inside the home.

Such a sale may be needed after a loved one’s death or move to an assisted living facility or nursing home, if you are downsizing or moving from your current home, in the case of divorce or any other lifestyle change. In such emotional and stressful circumstances, we know how difficult it can be to sort out the entire contents of a home often accumulated over the course of a lifetime. It can be even more daunting to decide what to do with everything else after the family has removed items of sentimental value. Often times the least stressful alternative is to call in an estate sale team. We are here to help during such times.

HOW DO WE GET STARTED?

We know that each estate is unique. First, we sit down with you and we listen. You tell us what you want to accomplish and that becomes our goal. We carefully consider your goals, what you’ve decided to sell and the market for your merchandise. We also study the physical arrangement of your home & property to determine how best to showcase the estate. After meeting with you, we formulate a sale plan that will most effectively accomplish your goals.

WILL YOU MEET WITH MY LAWYER, ACCOUNTANT AND/OR FAMILY MEMBERS & ME?

We would be pleased to meet with you and any of your key decision-makers. Our first meeting is on a “no cost/no obligation” basis. If you contract with us for the sale of your property, additional meetings related to the sale of your property are also on a “no cost” basis. If you do not contract with us for the sale of your property, additional consultations can be scheduled on a fee basis.

DO I HAVE ENOUGH ITEMS TO HOLD AN ESTATE SALE?

Typically if you are looking to liquidate an entire household you will have enough items to warrant a full 2 day estate sale. Average household being a minimum of 2 bedrooms, living area, kitchen etc. However despite the size of the house, we usually recommend that there be at least $4,000 worth of sellable items. These items should be a good mix of everyday household items (small appliances, electronics, cleaning supplies, books, clothes, etc.), furniture, tools or yard items, decorator items (mirrors, candlesticks, artwork), table and bed linens, kitchenware, collector items or antiques.

WHY SHOULD WE HIRE AN ESTATE SALE COMPANY VS DOING IT OURSELVES?

Running a successful estate sale can quickly turn into a full-time job. For most families it is hard to juggle and find the necessary time to devote to the project.  Pricing, organizing, research, set-up, marketing the event, working the event(and finding enough volunteers to help), bartering with buyers, and final clean up is not only time consuming but can also be mentally exhausting for family members trying to stage their own sale.  How do you know which items are worth what? How will you guarantee a good turn out to your sale? What happens when your 2-3 week project has suddenly turned into months? By hiring Heritage Estate Sales it’s as easy as handing over the key and letting us do the work. We have this business down to a science. We know how to price accordingly and research items quickly. We have an extensive list of buyers and dealers and our extensive advertising and marketing always insures a good crowd.  We take the stress off you and turn what would have been a few months long project into 2-3 weeks tops.  Factor in how much your time (and sanity) is worth to you and we think you’ll find that our commission rate is well worth the service!

SHOULD WE CLEAN UP THE HOUSE OR DISPOSE OF ITEMS PRIOR TO BRINGING IN AN ESTATE SALE COMPANY?

NO! Please whatever you do try and leave the premises “as-is”. We appreciate the fact that many times families want to clean or de-clutter the house before bringing us in , however we have found that many times items that families threw out or donated ahead of time were items that could have been sold in the estate sale. Please leave everything as is. It’s our job/service to go through and determine which items are sellable. We will take care of donating or hauling off items after the completion of the sale.

WE’VE SOLD, HAULED OFF OR CLEARED THE HOME OF ALL THE “SMALL” STUFF, WOULD YOU STILL BE INTERESTED IN SELLING THE FURNITURE ONLY?

Unfortunately many times we have been called in after the families have de-cluttered the home of all the small stuff, thinking they were making our jobs easier, however, in cases like this we usually have not been left with enough items to be able to hold an estate sale. A successful estate sale needs to be a good mix of small and large items. A good majority of the sale comes from small items such as household cleaners, books, tools, linens, clothes, décor items, etc.  In order for us to market a sale we have to take lots of pictures, our buyers want to see that there are lots of items for them to pick through. Rule of thumb is the more items you have in the sale the better.

WHAT ITEMS SELL WELL AT AN ESTATE SALE? DO WE NEED TO HAVE LOTS OF ANTIQUES?

Don’t get me wrong, antiques and collectibles always help a sale, however, they are not required to have a successful sale.  Some of our most successful sales have been in homes where there was not a single antique or collectible. In these cases having good clean furniture, lots of small items, décor pieces, etc. helped the sale tremendously.  In todays economy most buyers attending estate sales are looking for good bargains on every day use items.  Here is a short list of items that are selling really well at our estate sales right now:

  • Tools of any type
  • Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, yard equipment etc.
  • Patio Furniture & Grills
  • Vintage items
  • Costume jewelry
  • Gold, silver & coins
  • Guns & Hunting equipment
  • WW2 memorabilia
  • Nice home décor items
  • Furniture (if in good , clean condition)
  • And don’t worry if you do have antiques or collectibles, we always have that market for those items as well!

ARE THERE ANY ITEMS THAT TRADITIONALLY DON’T DO WELL AT A SALE?

Right now there are a few items that we see at almost every other sale that typically are still remaining after the sale:

  • Pianos & Organs – unless it is a Steinway or baby grand , pianos and organs can be very hard to find a new home for.  Sometimes they sell , sometimes they don’t.
  • Older Furniture-if furniture is outdated (and not considered antique or vintage) it can sometimes be hard to sell. If it is stained, ripped or has pet or smoke odors it can also be hard to sell.
  • Older electronics – cabinet TV’s and stereos, some are considered collectible and vintage, others are just considered outdated.
  • Encyclopedia sets

Regardless, if you have any of these items in your estate we ask that you leave them in place until we have had the opportunity to assess them.

WHAT IF YOU FIND PERSONAL ITEMS (MONEY, PAPERWORK, PHOTOGRAPHS, ETC.) WHILE PREPARING THE HOUSE FOR THE SALE?

Actually this is quite common. Even in cases where the family has thoroughly gone through the house, by the time we clean out every drawer, closet, cabinet, etc., it is inevitable that we will find something. No worries though, we box all of these items up for you and either make arrangements for you to pick them up or ship them to you if you are out of area.

HOW LONG DOES THE ESTATE SALE LAST?

The average estate sale is a 2 day event (Friday and Saturday), in some cases we may plan a 3 day sale. Prior to the sale we need on average 2-3 weeks to prepare the house, price all the items, market the sale etc.

HOW MUCH DOES THE AVERAGE ESTATE SALE MAKE?

Because each house is different this is a hard question to answer.  Upon our initial consultation we will try and provide you with a baseline ball park figure. Please keep in mind though this could change if we discover new items while preparing the sale or if items are removed from the sale.

HOW SUCCESSFUL IS THE AVERAGE ESTATE SALE?

99% of the time we are able to sell 90% of the estates sellable items. The remaining items are items that usually should go to donation or possible trash.  If anything of value is left after the sale we can either send it to charity or offer an estate buy-out for remaining items.

DO YOU CLEAN AFTER THE SALE?

No. Our job is to liquidate the house of its assets. We will remove items left over after the sale as specified in the signed contract as well as any debris left from the sale however we do not clean the house. We can recommend cleaning services at your request.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO HOLD AN ESTATE SALE?

Anytime is a good time, but we have noticed that spring and winter are usually are busiest months. Don’t get me wrong, we can have a successful sale anytime of the year, but, spring and winter seem to fill up pretty quick!

HOW IS HERITAGE ESTATE SALES PAID/ WHAT IS YOUR FEE?

We are paid on commission only. It is in our best interest to insure you have a successful sale! Our rate varies between 30-45%.  At the end of the sale our commission is deducted from the proceeds of the sale. No upfront fee’s, no minimum guarantees.  The commission rate is based on the scope of the project as well as the final sale amount.  Most estates will fall in the 35% range (unless there is an extreme amount of clean-up, haul off or other unique circumstances).Our fees include advertising, all pre-sale organization, research, pricing & staffing of the sale. We can provide extra services as you may require on a fee basis. There are no upfront costs.

WHEN DO YOU PAY ME?

We present you with the proceeds of the sale, less our commission, no later than 10 business days after the conclusion of the sale.

 
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT PRICES TO CHARGE?

Encompassing over 60 years of combined experience, our team has expertise in a number of fields including:

  • Antique & Contemporary Furnishings
  • Pottery, Porcelain & Glassware
  • Books & Manuscripts
  • Paintings & Prints
  • General Household Goods

By employing our comprehensive research library, the latest online resources, our industry experience and our network of specialists we assure you accurate, fair market values of all antique, collectible and higher priced items you may have.

HOW DO YOU GET BUYERS TO ATTEND MY SALE?

In addition to newspaper advertisements, photos & descriptions on our website & estatesales.net, a nation-wide estate sale listing website, and weekly e-mails to our customer base, we personally contact our extensive list of dealers & collectors to gather the highest number of potential buyers to your sale. We also advertise your estate sale at our other sales prior to your scheduled date.

WHAT SHOULD I THROW AWAY & WHAT SHOULD I KEEP?

We always advise clients NOT TO THROW ANYTHING AWAY until they’ve met with us. Heed the old adage that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. All common household goods, pots & pans, even cleaning products, old cosmetics, linens, old papers, garage items – virtually EVERYTHING in a home can bring in revenue at your estate sale.

WHY SHOULD I HIRE YOU?

We are uniquely qualified to help solve your problems and accomplish your goals. We do so professionally, honestly, promptly, and successfully. Our client’s goals are our highest priority.

We handle all of the details so you don’t have to! Organization, display, accurate pricing, advertising and security during the sale are all part of our service. Dealing with professionals relieves much of the stress associated with liquidating an estate.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

CALL US TODAY AT 615-354-8182 FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION OR FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU!

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