There are many reasons people need to, or choose to have an estate sale or hire an estate liquidation service. From senior downsizing, death in the family, financial crisis, and decluttering, people will always have a need to sell estate contents. Having a yard sale is not the most profitable solution when selling estate contents because most yard sale goers are looking for $1-$5 deals! The average estate sales ticket is upward of $100 and as high as $2000-$5000 in some cases.
Each town and city have estate sale professionals and services, each having their own strong points. Most estate sale professionals like J.W. Holcomb Estate Sales in Roanoke VA have a very broad knowledge of the value of all sorts of Vintage to Modern items including the ability to identify value where others can not. J.W. Holcomb has organized and managed 100’s of estate liquidation projects in the Roanoke VA and SW Virginia region over the past 15 years. Some of the key values J.W. says to look for in an Estate Sales Service are listed below.
- Verified Experience : Make sure you work with an experienced estate sales company, that have examples of sales they have done and references if possible.
- Knowledge : verify that the estate sales operator has a strong knowledge of the type of items in your estate. For example if there are collections of coins or military items, you would want to quiz the company on a couple items to make sure they at least have a base understanding of the value and history of your items.
- Fees : Are they offering services at a fair rate? Most estate sales companies charge 25%-40% depending on the scale of the operation and they may deduct expenses from the sale proceeds. Crafty and budget conscious services will usually use ‘free, Low cost, or bartered” help in order to save you money and make the sale more successful. Watch out for hidden fees.
- Security : Keeping estate contents, property, and people safe and secure is a priority. As a licensed security professional by the Department Of Criminal Justice Services J.W. Holcomb takes extra steps to keep estate contents secure including security/safety inspections, shopper surveillance systems, anti-theft measures, lock and key awareness, and employee background checks.
- Promotion of Sale : Pricing and Setting Up for the sale is half the battle. Getting foot traffic and eager buyers to the sale THAT SPEND MONEY is one of the most important facets of a successful estate sale. Ask how sales are promoted and who covers the fees if any for promotions. Most established estate sale services already have a strong following and this helps with awareness. Some sales require less advertising than others but the more shoppers the better! Make sure there is an advertising plan in place.
- Pricing : Who controls pricing and can clients have pricing input? Remember a career estate sales operator will want pricing control in order to make sure everything sells at fair market value. Sometimes property owners or family factor in sentimental value or out dated values. It is best to trust your estate sales operator on pricing, but if there are some key pieces that you do not want to let go at a certain price, make an agreement before the sale preparation starts.
- Left Over Items : A good estate sale operator will not have many valuable leftovers after a 3 day sale. If there are leftover items, what will be done with them? This is a good question to ask. Many estate sales professionals have a system for selling leftovers or using them as currency for a free property clean-out. A flea marketer may come and clean out the debris and junk if they get a few decent items to resell later. Leaving you with a clean broom swept property a big check for sales is always nice!
- Contract : Make sure there is a contract that outlines the fee structure (Commission), Sale Date, Property Security & Liability, and How property will be handled at End Of Sale. Ask questions! Add on and ask for changes to agreement if you have a concern.
Most estate sales take time to prepare for, some sales can be organized and finished within a couple of weeks and others may take 6–8 weeks! Timing is important! You need time to organize, clean, price, display and most importantly ADVERTISE the sale. You should advertise the sale at least 2 weeks before the sale. Try to have a sale when there are fewer sales around the same date or make sure yours is more impressive!
Remember an estate sale is not a yard sale or garage sale. Estate sales are held mostly inside of homes with limited items outside. Estate sales usually have higher end items that a yard sale and can generate thousands of dollars in revenue.
J.W. Holcomb of Roanoke VA is an expert at organizing, managing and promoting estate sales and is available to consult with you about estate content liquidation. J.W. Specializes in Vintage Items, Antiques, Fine Art, Jewelry, Coins, Advertising, Ephemera (Old Paper and Postcards), Military Items, Railroad Items, Large Hoards, Collections, and Business Inventory Liquidation. For Information contact J.W. Holcomb.