This page is edited frequently. Please call Laurie Zook if you are a real estate or moving pro who would like to partner with us.
Over the past 20 years EstateMAX has worked with many professionals in the areas of Real Estate, Moving, Finance, and others specialties that make our client’s transitions a richer, easier experience. With each of our client contracts, we make many resources available upon request.
Please ask us for our qualified referrals when listing your property, planning your move and expediting an estate settlement.
Listed here are only a few of the professionals we have and continue to work with. If you are a professional, please call me today to talk about how we can collaborate!
If you find this list and call from it, please tell the referred pro that you got their name from the EstateMAX website! Thank you!
Darren Ahearn, REALTOR, Remax Results, Frederick MD, Licensed in Maryland and Pennsylvania 240-344-1713
Kris Alcorn, REALTOR Remax Results, Frederick, Carroll Counties MD- Senior’s Specialist 301-748-5886
Dawn Matzen, REALTOR, Bob Lucito/Keller Williams, Howard and Montgomery Counties, MD. 301-442-3236
Diane Derr and Nancy Bowlus- Associate Brokers, Remax Results, 301-624-5454 ( direct) 301-471-5550 (bus. Cell). Montgomery, Carroll, Howard, Washington, and Frederick Counties. Nancy is an State wide sales of Equestrian Properties in RE as well as residential.
W.A. Read Knox, REALTOR,The One Group of Keller Williams Legacy Central, Baltimore County MD, 443-847-9534
Marjorie Dick Stuart- Broker, http://www.MarjorieDickStuart.com, 240-731-8079, Washington DC
Karen Briscoe Associate Broker, HBC Realty Group 703-734-0192, Northern VA
Moving Company Resources:
Heart2Heart Moving and Delivery Company- Kevin Brown- Local, Regional, East Coast Moves -301-676-0457
JK Moving Company- Rich Stewart- Commercial and Residential, Local, Regional, National Moves- 240-405-7027
Pianos:MOVE IT Piano- Regional and National Piano Moving, Tuning, Purchasing and Sales- Daniel Paulsen 973-568-6827
Jermaine Reed Jandrmovingcompany-Small Moves, Local and Regional, 240-422-9042
RC Moving Services-Francisco Oviedo- Deliveries, Clean Outs, Donations- 301-442-9283
There is always that person at an estate sale who asks ” What do you do with the stuff that’s left after the sale is over?!” (Because there always IS stuff left over, regardless of how large or small the inventory.) Sarcasm, my closest friend, overwhelms my good manners, and I retort” I burn it all in the back yard!”. All the stuff never sells.
We are just completing clean up of an estate sale that we held last weekend. The sale setup included removal of 20 cubic yards of trash, just to get to the stuff that was salable and accommodate it’s setup and shop-ability…And this household had record mounds of stuff to begin with.
We sold an unprecedented volume of stuff over 3 days which left the dregs of unsold stuff behind, in piles. Piles- because estate sale shoppers are not concerned with neatness, when sifting and picking through inventory, looking for the next “great find”. It looked like a cyclone had gone through the house.
This leftover stuff includes empty cardboard boxes from a myriad of items, including a closet of dust and cardboard scraps left from the sale of vintage board games, a lawn mower, old, out of style furniture, Xmas decor, Easter decor, Halloween decor, etc., cleaning supplies, a seashell collection, scraps of stained glass, jars, dried stuff, craft supplies, fabrics, sewing magazines, books, books, books, framed artwork, a daisy art collection, personal care items, shoes, clothes, a bed, a deep freeze full of old food, a Wurlitzer piano, weight bench, scraps of vintage toys, burnt out power tools, dusty fake floral arrangements, an unexplored attic full of who knows what…kitchen stuff, laundry stuff, Tupper ware, old food, and a hundred other items I can’t define.
Yesterday a 26 foot truck load went to charity. Today a 30 cubic yard dumpster or two is being filled with the leftover trash. The estate will pay for removal of the stuff, out of the estate sale proceeds and will still see a profit over and above all expenses.
This is the stuff of someones lives. And those someones left it all there for someone else to deal with-someday. Someday is here. I am the one who is dealing with it. This someone’s son was wise. He hired EstateMAX to handle the details of his parent’s stuff. The house will be sold and life will go on.
Advice to you pack rats and hoarders. You people with OCD, and shopping addictions: STOP now! Don’t leave this for your children to fix later. Take a pill, go to the beach, start running. Do something else while you are alive!
How Do We Do It
After you hire us-we have a very straight forward contract for on-site and online auctions, that offers additional services, too, like transitions services, packing, property clean out, updating and staging. We get to work.
We are a personalized company. You communicate what you need and we design your project to accommodate your needs.
For On-Site EstateMAX tag Sales, we organize, merchandise, price and set up our props, tables, the cashier station to conduct the sale on-site. (For on-site sales, typically our clients have already moved out with the things they are keeping. If not, we purge and organize before our set up.)
For Online OPS auctions we set up from your pre selected inventory, tag with a bar code and photograph in your home. These items stay in place until after the auction, when we come in to meet the buyers for pickup at a predetermined time, done in typically one day. (The Client is not part of the photography or delivery process.)
On-line auctions are appropriate for liquidating personal property in a situation where there is difficulty accessing the property, for a smaller property, where the owner is not selling and leaving the home and, where it’s OK for the auction house can “cherry pick” the inventory to sell only the best of the goods.
Typically, after the sale is over, we clean out the property, leave it empty and swept and ready for the next step-
What’s the difference in the results between onsite and online? All jobs are unique and they all have their similarities.
It’s all about the audience. An estate sale, regardless of the sales strategy- is NOT a retail setting. A fictitious example: Your Aunt Edna’s Grandmother’s vase, supposedly found buried in Latvia in the 17th century, (your prized possession)… It needs to be authenticated and appraised and if an antiquity, sold online, where it will be exposed to the largest audience. If we can’t do that, we shop for the best auction venue for you.
On the contrary, your Ethan Allen sofa purchased in the 90’s, and still barely touched, as lovely as new, is worth what we can get for it, regardless of the price paid. Why? Because of capricious tastes in furniture.
Your expectations should be in check. https://estatemaxops.com/2019/09/11/downsizing-selling-your-stuff-minimize-your-expectations-maximize-your-planning/
An onsite sale attracts hundreds of buyers in person who are responding to our professional marketing and advertising, who might have shopped with EstateMAX before, and also those who are “driving by” and reacting to street-side advertising. They want to come into the home and “experience the goods in the setting”.
Price points for on-site sales start, as it makes sense,-considering all circumstances: item’s condition, rarity, demand, setting. We set the price on a price tag and discount over the course of the sale, remaining open to negotiation based on the buyer’s volume purchases.
In contrast but not to the detriment, online auctions are 1-dimensional. They attract an online viewership comfortable with buying used goods without testing, poking and touching. The items are photographed either on site or on a stark, white background. From a thousand to a hundred thousand viewers and more…that all depends on the auction and the depth of advertising dollars spent.
All items are sold “AS IS”, Electronics and equipment are not tested, but sold “AS IS” with that caveat. All sales are final for both sales strategies. You, the client is paid within 5 days of the end of the sale by secure bank wire transfer.
EstateMAX puts up for sale the personal property-all contents- of estates and homes that both gone through their downsizing process or estates that are full of personal property, AS-IS.
In which case we do full organization and trash removal as part of our estate sale service.
Just ask us if you have questions about our ability to market your items to the right buying groups.
Inventories of used and like new items can include and are not limited to, (in no preferential order as below:)
- Decor ( Lamps, Lighting, Mirrors, Wall Shelves, Hardware. etc.)
- Antiques and Collectibles of all Types and Descriptions
- Precious Metals and Coins
- Fine and Costume Jewelry
- Fine and Decorative Art
- Figurines, Sculpture, etc.
- Fine Porcelain, China, Pottery
- Fine Crystal
- Vintage Glassware
- Electronics, including non working, vintage computers, receivers, stereos, etc
- Vinyl LP’s and 45’s
- DVD’s, CD’s, XBox, etc.
- Cell phones, other phones
- Day to Day Kitchen Ware in Good Condition
- Linens, Table and Bedding
- Quilts and Fabrics, Textiles
- Sewing Equipment
- Dolls, Doll Accessories
- Advertising Memorabilia
- Native American Collections
- Specialty Collections
- Military Uniforms and Medals and Flags
- Legal Firearms, Armament
- Passenger Vehicles: (whether running or not)
- Lawn and Garden Equipment
- Farm Equipment
- Power and Hand Tools and Hardware
- Garage Items
- New Building Materials
- Musical Instruments
- Ephemera of all types
- Designer and Vintage Clothing and High Quality Clothing including
- Bags, Scarves, Shoes
- Food in Cupboards
- And More- Just Ask!
What we do not sell: These Items Can be Considered as Trash or Recycling For all Intents and Purposes of an Estate Sale and Should be Removed From the House Before Estate Sale Setup-either by the Client or EstateMAX Will Handle as Pre-sale Trash Out at Additional Cost, Deducted From the Sale Proceeds-
- Mattresses and Box Springs ( we can give away with the Headboard, etc.) Against the law to sell used. Ask Us!
- Piles of empty boxes
- Particle Board Furniture- Does not usually survive moving and re-installation
- Broken Furniture, Unless Antique or Collectible-Ask Us!
- Used Building Materials, Unless Pristine!
- Personal Trophies, Photos (Antique Scrapbooks are OK!)
- Old Software Not Dedicated to Vintage Electronics
- Old Clothes, Unless Designer and or Vintage/Antique
- Lawn Chemicals that are opened or illegal ( DDT, etc.)
- Worn Towels, etc. are donated to Animal Shelters
- Expired Personal Care Products
- Very Old, Expired Foods
- Periodicals-unless Collectible- Ask Us! ( Not Ntl. Geographics.) Are all recycled!
- Non working appliances- can be recycled by your electric company if they are operating, or can be recycled as scrap
- Old Baby Cribs, Car Seats, etc. that are not up to current safety codes
- Soiled Kitchen ware
- Plastic storage containers, can be recycled
DO NOT DONATE ANYTHING TO CHARITY BEFORE YOUR SALE INVENTORY IS REVIEWED BY ESTATEMAX.
WE SELL FIRST, THEN DONATE AND TRASH LAST
CALL ESTATEMAX at 301-332-5585 for your No Cost Consultation!
WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOUR ESTATE LIQUIDATOR BEGINS THEIR WORK
15 TIPS FOR A SMOOTHER PROCESS
Your estate liquidator has a multi-faceted, complicated job ahead. Before they can begin their work in your home, your assistance in making sure that the following steps are followed are always appreciated. These steps will help the estate sale professional prepare for the large task at hand and genuinely appreciate the professional courtesies you extend to one another.
Here is a list of important things to remember:
- Always make sure family has removed everything they would like to keep from the estate. Please do your due diligence in selecting and removing items from the estate before the contract is signed. This way, nothing can be sold by accident and no errors will take place.
- If, after the contract is signed and the estate liquidator has put a tremendous amount of time and work cleaning, advertising, displaying, setting up, etc., and additional items are removed from the sale to keep, you will most likely be subject to additional fees as per their contract. The estate sale professional accepted the sale based on a previous walk-through and mutual understanding. The professional may have already advertised these items, and if the items should disappear, it would tarnish the professional’s reputation.
- Discuss any questions or concerns with the estate sale professional before the contract is signed and before the estate sale is conducted.
- Make sure the contract is signed, the dates are set, and everyone is on the same page. Keep a copy of the contract.
- Remove all personal documents such as tax returns, medical/health records, financial statements, personal bills, etc.
- Remove all photos, personal letters, diplomas, journals, and other personal papers you want to keep. If these are left behind, you take on the risk that they could be sold, discarded or donated.
- Collect house keys from neighbors, friends, etc. Secure the house. If necessary, change the locks. Give one set of keys to the liquidator. Consider a new alarm code or password just for the liquidator. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for neighbors, friends and family who have keys to remove items in the middle of the night.
- Dissolve or properly dispose of prescription medications unless it is agreed upon that the professional will do so. Some cities have a prescription drop-off at pharmacies or the local police station.
- If there are any “sensitive” items or collections, discuss openly with the estate liquidator whether these things can be sold or should be discarded.
- Remove any stashes you may be aware of. If there are coins, cash, jewelry, guns, etc., hidden in the home, please notify the estate sale professional so they can notify you when/if they find them.
- Clean out the refrigerator and freezer unless it is agreed upon that the professional will do so.
- As a professional courtesy, give the estate liquidator the time and space they need in order to prepare for the sale. Preparing for an estate sale is very challenging work and there is much to do in a certain order. They genuinely appreciate it.
- Keep your expectations in neutral regarding what items will sell for. No one can be an expert at everything, but a professional estate liquidator will know how to price items, how to research and find the answers or contact a colleague who does have the answer. They know what these items are currently selling for, as opposed to “asking prices” anyone finds on the internet. What an item sells for and what the asking price is are two distinctly different figures. Anyone can ask high retail prices, but that is nowhere near accurate in today’s softer economy. Offering old appraisals are good for identification purposes, but not valid for today’s values.
- As with everything else in life, there are no guaranteed outcomes with an estate sale, however, the estate liquidator will do their best with all aspects of the sale as they want you to do well, and want themselves to do well. The outcome is dependent on many things, including but not limited to; who comes to the sale, how much money they are willing to spend, the weather, location of the sale, fair pricing, etc.
Working together amicably with the estate sale professional will ensure a mutual beneficial relationship based on trust. When it starts off well, it will end well too.
©2018 The American Society of Estate Liquidators®
Julie Hall, Director of ASEL
The American Society of Estate Liquidators, LLC
A Thesis on Current Trends in the Estate Sale Industry
Steve Berryman, Director of Sales EstateMAX
There are a greater number of novice estate sale companies we are competing with for estate sale jobs now, chasing a clientele that has more options than ever to liquidate using their own means and outlets. This is a “double-whammy” in impact to us. To get a new job, we now have to win twice: We must win the selection by a client agreeing to use our services, and, and our format has to win over competing formats that are in some ways different from our own. We have to stand by our experience and reputation and use progressive marketing techniques to win new customers.
EstateMAX’s primary business is as a “True” estate sale company, processing sales within a home, as a “tag sale” with everything priced. We use a 3-day sale typically, discounting heavily on day 3 and promoting dynamically throughout the event that we ourselves host and monitor. We know from 21 years of experience, that this yields the most cash-for- stuff for the client, chiefly because we don’t have any moving expenses to take goods off-premises to a warehouse setting, for instance, and then we benefit from the added advantage of taking-in local customers who see our many strategically placed directional street signs taking folks right to our door. We have at times made 30% of all sales just from “walk-ins” who never saw an ad, but just dropped in by chance.
Our step one is to acquire a new job. We must differentiate ourselves from everyone from Facebook community pages, to outside auctions, to inside auctions, many of whom do not bring with them extended experience, true knowledge bonafides, process knowledge on marketing, sales, and know how on hi-tech photograph and videography.
We also have the hidden advantage of having a direct following, via our mailing lists and many versions of Facebook dedicated pages our industry. We reach about 120,000 interested potential shoppers, many we know from repeat sales. They know we only accept “good sales.”
The chief problem is that many folks that go fishing for an estate sale company have never done so before, and may have never even attended one in the past. How for them to be the judge? This especially in a “mad-world” where anyone that has ever conducted a yard sale, can talk the talk, and experiment with transferring this process into a house. As there are no licensing or regulatory hurdles in our area, MD, DC, NVA, anybody can claim to be an estate sale company!
In order to differentiate our offerings, and “what makes us different,” there is not but one answer in place, but a string of doing steps just a little bit better is essential. These include, and are not limited to:
*Having as much exposure at the front-end of the game as possible in order to get as many “at bats” or chances to press our format to potential clients. We have and generate as much word of mouth with realtors as possible. We engage our past clients to write positive reviews for us, and to get them to want to introduce our services to their needy friends and relatives.
*We conduct ongoing pro-level photography and videography which is added to our web presence, www.EstateMAXops.com and is cross posted to our own Email distribution lists, many dedicated Facebook pages, and to our own custom ads created to go onto estate sale platforms like EstateSales.net, etc.
*We submit proof of performance directly from all sales to Angie’s List, and do maintain a AAAAA rating going back years, and we hold their “Super Service Achievement Award” for 5 years going up to and including 2019, just announced.
None of the above good stuff is light hidden under a shade! We are presenting this directly to clients and real estate agents, and are producing written articles and blogs that further get our story out.
In the final analysis, to a client that is willing to listen openly, has not made any prior commitment to another company (of format) and is willing to take the time necessary to read our reviews, and stories of estate liquidation conquest, given a fair shake we win the jobs a high percentage of the time.
To beat the trend of greater competition, it must be done actively with extra preparation of marketing materials and methods. Extra attention must be taken to make that first impression on sales leads in the fasted and most positive way.
And care must be taken to look deeply into “hidden objections,” and answer to the ways of Auctions, In-Home Auctions, Facebook Marketplace, Craig’s List, and E-Bay. Again, most sophisticated neighborhoods already have been using the alternative Facebook listings, spoiling existing pricing structures, for several years now.
For instance, it is industry standard, especially in outlying areas, that a fully realized estate sale will return about .24 cents on the dollar, compared to that of an auction, which standards reveal as closer to .11 cents on the dollar.
Also, it cannot be overstated, how much money is lost selling “smalls” not piecemeal but as a lot in an Auction, and it cannot be overstated how much potential is eaten up by Auction companies that truck and cherry pick goods to an Auction House. A TRUE estate sale, as EstateMAX insists on conducting, easily these other methods of liquidating a property in the most productive way.
All of this said, a professional conversation with the clients, impressing them of the differences and company structures is essential. There is much to be learned in order to make an informed decision on what company to choose, but keep remembering, in the vast number of client meetings one is dealing with newbies that you must take the time to spoon feed, give examples, work out timetables, and encourage them ask answers to prove they were even listening- in some cases!
It’s a real war out there, and those that are prepared will come out on top.
You are only ONE CLICK Away:
*Click HERE to see if an Estate Sale is Right for YOU!
*Click HERE to Read About How WE DO IT, and what makes EstateMax Special!
*Click HERE to Read our Reviews!
*Click HERE to See our You Tube Channel! [actual sale Promotional Videos, and tours of our recent estate sales!]
*Click HERE to see our Angie’s List Super Service Award, that SHOWS we are different!
*Click HERE to see how we can help you Organize, Pack-up, and Coordinate your Move with “Mission Transition”
*Click HERE to Contact us to ANSWER YOUR Questions, or to Book your Estate Sale!
At EstateMAX we know that an estate sale company ( or any) is only as good as their word and their persistence, as well as their business practices.
During the 22 years in the transitions and estate liquidation industry our team has pushed through situations for our clients where others might have folded, thrown in the towel, wept and walked out of the sale process: all before, during or after the estate sale!
We at EstateMAX have persisted-through securing contracts, handling set up, selling, clean up afterward and continuing to sell for our clients, on specialty items, to make our estate and downsizing sales success stories!
Some Estate Sale Anecdotes
Real life stories surrounding our real life client experiences include: selling through the aftermath and clean up of broken water pipes that flooded our client’s basement on sale day, working through the beginning of a ( suprise!) snowstorm only to leave the home 3 hours later and drive home in 8 inches of newly fallen snow, a precarious two hour trip; holding a sale in Ashburn VA, the property, down a quarter mile one lane road in the forest which demanded de-snaking, de-spidering and de-mousing then selling on a rainy weekend directing ( bad drivers?!) traffic in and out of the muddy property. We’ve moved an (almost unmovable) 1958 Silver Cloud Rolls Royce out of it’s garage to our property by flat bed, then sent a courier to meet the buyer at the airport who flew in with an attache full of hundred dollar bills, then return him safely to the airport. A week later we met the car transport and sent the Rolls to Iowa. We have sold 400 Christmas Village buildings and their accessories, and matched them to their boxes in one sale, while selling the rest of the contents of the home. In another sale, on the coldest days of the year, we set up and sold over 400 die-cast model tractors in the detached garage, built a fire in the wood burning stove ( thank goodness it was there!) and reaped over $7000 in sales in two days just from that… We have sold the contents of 8000 square foot home packed full of vintage and new decor, including a huge garage full of unopened bags of NEW stuff from Homegoods and other box stores. That was a 6 day sale and the client purchased a new car with the proceeds! The USPS lost a Priority Mail Envelope-within which was a Cashier’s Check made out to a client in dire financial need. We worked ( pleaded) with our bank to cancel the typically non-cancel able check and then client personally with a new one. (BTW the original showed up a month later at their home.)
We have found ourselves ( too many times- but it’s the job-) purging multitudes of stuff, and then again de-cluttering the home, just in order to set up to photograph then price it all to do a sale. We spend what it takes to advertise, whether pre-sale for large items, photograph, video and cover the market with information, organize and price and during the sale, keep the ball rolling with yet more on line videos, on going merchandising and surveying of the property for customer activity, field questions, “put fires out”, meet buyers of specialty goods, sign Bills of Sale, turn in vehicle tags, manage removal and payment of everything, secure the doors and windows at the end of every day and go back after the sale is over to pack and organize, if contracted, and meet charity for pick up of unsold goods.
If it can happen, it probably will happen in the course of an estate sale. EstateMax knows how to handle the pack rats, the hoarders, the unprepared homeowner, the poor maintenance issues and unlikely events that occur.
EstateMAX under Re-Flea LLC, is vetted by Angie’s List, Inc. where you can find our reviews by at least 70+ actual clients. We do business with a black and white agreement, (no smoke and mirrors.) We are FBI finger printed, hold Montgomery County Second Hand Personal Property Dealers Licensing and State of Maryland Precious Metals Licensing.
– Dale Wallace
We don’t know how this could have gone better. EstateMax was very punctual in the initial meeting
and review. Everything was spelled out for us beforehand. The best part was we did not have to lift a
finger…EstateMax handled every aspect of the estate sale. Throughout this whole process EstateMax was extremely professional and did all they said they would. We highly recommend them for this type of service.
- Category: Appraisals – Antiques/Jewelry/Items, Furniture – Sales, Auction Services
- Services Performed: Yes
- Cost: $4000
In the course of several recent estate sale client interviews, it has become apparant that there are now many “newcomers” to our business (of 21 years) that are confusing the market with sub-par performances.
The problem is that there is no licensing requirements in MD, VA, DC, to be in the estate sale business, so that basically anybody that has ever had a yard sale thinks they can join the business! Caveat emptor!
This is an art and a science that can only be honed by YEARS of trials of technique. Since most clients only hold and conduct ONE in-home estate sale in their lifetime, the newcomers with half-baked methods are never “outted”, and continue to take advantage of new clients with minimal results and perhaps no payment at the endWhat was once chaos becomes order and assets with EstateMAX estate sales systems.
We at www.EstateMAXops.com have 72 client reviews you can read on this link from Angie’s List, and we hold their highest honor, the coveted AAAAA Super Service Award earned by real client experiences over the past 9 of our 21 years in the industry.
If you want experience and integrity with solid business practices, call Steve or Laurie at EstateMAX for your no cost consultation to get started.