If you read my blog, raise your hand and shake something you want to sell.
I’ve been a downsizer and transitions manager, estate and stuff seller for 22 years. I’ve written about it too much. Not much of what I write gets read by my potential clients. I think that’s too bad. Maybe I’m not great at SEO but I am great at estate selling.
We at EstateMAX have been working with real estate and moving pros with our clients through out the “pandemic” to liquidate personal property and clean out properties, and get packed and moved, without fail. No one has gotten sick and we employ required precautions.
There’s no argument to the fact that almost everyone has too much stuff. Unless you are residing in a monastery this applies to you.
Stuff is that word that defines personal property: a quagmire of objects of all qualities, shapes, sizes, textures, colors and ages. Stuff is the smorgasbord of things. No bias works in the stuff business. It all has value. At EstateMAX when conducting an on site estate sale we tag it and attempt to sell it all, other than the trash, that is put in bags and taken out before the sale setup. From the screwdriver in the junk drawer to the John Deere in the garage, or the dining room table.
When it’s time to move, it’s time to move. It’s all stuff, pretty or ugly, fine or rough, Dollar Store or Tiffany.
Let it up to EstateMAX to define the value of your personal property within the context of what it is and it’s sales environment. That includes the neighborhood, the time and date, the home itself in all of it’s peculiarities. We know what we are doing and have seen almost everything. No dead bodies so far. Well there was that canary in the Baggie inside the birdcage in the attic in NW DC that time…
We handle all the details of marketing and advertising, organization and setup, negotiating and payment, deliveries and trash out and final property clean up. EstateMAX helps get you packed and moved, your stuff sold and your home listed and sold.
Covid19 Regulations are used at all of our in person sales. 10 to 15 shoppers allowed in the home at a time- masks and social distancing required. Bring your own bags and boxes, please. Labor and a truck to remove your furniture always with EstateMAX supervision. We do not always provide labor to remove from the home. EstateSales are not conducive to handicap access or babies, typically. No walkers, wheelchairs, baby carriages. If you can not walk steadily on your own, please do not attempt to enter.
Here are the URLS of our upcoming January 2021 sales:
Thurmont Maryland, Studio and Gallery of Joyce Michaud Nice- All ceramics materials, wheels, equipment, lighting, unglazed pottery, etc. Gallery is full of her finished pieces and displays. URL to be posted on estatesales.net in early February.
Call Laurie Zook, Chief Estates Officer with any questions at 301-332-5585
First of all, I’m going to go with the idea that if you are reading this you are on track to hire a professional to assist you in your downsizing process and personal property sale…So, before you trust in that someone, ask yourself this:
What is your time and energy worth? What are your expectations? What criteria are you using to determine how to make your decisions, and are your capable of doing it alone? What is “Value” to you?
Our valuable project management comes into play for full transitions, move management, downsizing and estate and downsizing sales, with follow up property clean up.
During the estate and downsizing sale, we do everything needed to promote, merchandise and sell used personal property to “minimize the stress and maximize the returns” for our clients. An EstateMAX copyrighted slogan from 2015, often copied by our competition. Before, we help you downsize, pack, move, set up in your new home and can help you sell your property through our professional relationships.
Individual or our full menu of services, can be employed on contract to meet the needs of individual projects.
Those steps include:
For Downsizing & Moving Projects:
Downsizing the Home with the Client, Packing and Organizing for Move Out
Personalized Move Management-Step by Step
Moving Services, Recommendations on Moving Companies
Property Clean Up
Organization and Merchandising the Home
For Staging and/or Sale Event
Photography, Videography for Advertising
Advertising On Line and In Print
Conducting the Estate or Downsizing Sale
Cleaning up Following the Sale
Donating to Charity
Shipping to Family or Friends, if needed
Statement of Sales/Expenses
Additional Professional Services
Full House Cleaning and Specialty Property Services
Real Estate Services
The Value of “Stuff”
I’ve had clients compare what they paid for their furniture, 10 to 40 years ago, to the prices we negotiate for it today.
Presently, we do NOT buy outright, and we do NOT take items out of your house to sell them for you. We are not a method to supplement your income. Anyone who says they can promise you a profit over your original cost on your household goods is not being honest. Turning stuff into cash can be a disappointment. Be realistic.
Estate Sellers not retailers of used goods. We provide “liquidation” services and we do it en masse, in your home, after you have removed what you want to keep, or hired us to help you do so and move into your new home.
What this means is that your $5000 typical dining room set bought 12 years ago will probably be sold for between $1500 and $500, depending on condition, style, market demand, time of year, advertising coverage and buyers inclinations. We sell everything we can possibly sell in your home the same way. It all adds up. Our job is to handle all of that so you can go forward. The overall return on the project is where the difference shows up.
So Why Have an On-site Estate Sale?
Because the buying public likes to shop in person, in the home, regardless of Covid 19. We have hundreds of shoppers at most of our sales. We take all needed precautions. (Our production fell approximately 40% in 2020 but so far in 2021 we have produced 10 sales in 4 month, yielding almost $200,000 of revenue for our clients!) Context is important. How the items look in place, were used, give the buyer an understanding of their vintage and quality and the care the original owners gave to their furnishings and decor. Selling the volume of the little stuff; the nuts and bolts, the linens, the garage and shed items, clothing, pantry items, along with the furniture and decor is possible in the context of the home, not through on line auction.
Bottom line- there is a volume of used personal property on the market because of the aging of Americans.
Estate sellers compete with Goodwill and other charities for the same public dollars. We present the goods in the best possible way, merchandised on our own table tops, taken out of cabinets, pulled out of closets and unpacked out of boxes. What is not sold on site, is then donated to these charities so our pricing has to be sharp to sell it in the home. Online sales venues like Facebook Marketplace and Letgo, etc have sullied the class that “estate sales” used to enjoy.
Furniture and other consumer property is “commodity.”
The loss of retail value on new furniture, just like vehicles, which we also sell, happens relatively quickly. We explain up front where the bottom line is on the return value of used furniture. If it’s collectible, rare, and in style, which makes it of true interest to the buying public, the value is higher. Such defines less than the 30% of goods in a home, typically. The 70% of the return is in the cumulative sale of all things in a household, and the time and labor savings and stress reduction recognized pays for our services.
We ask our clients for a positive review following our work for them. Our results are not only measurable only in dollars and cents, they are in attention to detail, getting the job completed and ready for settlement, on time without hassles. We are not an “auction house” We are a services company. If our clients can’t leave us a positive review, we know that the questions I posed above have not been clarified in advance of our work for them and I take that personally.
EstateMAX handles the details for you, efficiently and honestly. Call Laurie Zook today for a NO-Cost Consultation.
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!
Seniors and Boomers downsizing takes time. It’s not an overnight process. Unless you don’t-and it is!
I’ve heard seniors say (bragging…) that ” They’re just going to leave it all for their kids to handle after they’re gone.” Why, I ask myself, would any parent dump a houseful of stuff, junk, belonging, personal property, things that their kids don’t want, on the people they say they love the most?!
Sifting and sorting stuff, packing, assembling, dis-assembling, giving it away, deciding what to keep-all in the perspective of a big and maybe next to final life transition.
Suggestions from me, a transitions pro with 20 years of experience working with people just like you:
Give yourself a deadline and work in reverse. Mark the tentative exit date from your property on a calendar and break down the project room by room, then start working.
Buy boxes and tape
Buy green painters tape and mark all of the big stuff you think you want to take with you. Leave the other stuff unmarked.
Write an inventory list of those items, go around again in a few days, and make adjustments twice, maybe three times.
Leave 70%, take 30%. Donations are in the Leave Pile. Those get disbursed later, not now.
Start packing. Closets, dressers, linens, kitchen, etc. Be tough.
If you are told by a real estate agent to downsize so they can list the house, do it this way:
Pack the stuff you are taking as you were doing and leave the rest for a second packing. Impose upon the realtor to come in and mark the things he or she wants you to leave in the home for showing, then pack the things not to be left out. Use BLUE painters tape. Stash those boxes in the garage separate from the ones you are taking. Better yet, if the timing works rent a transportable container for the move pile. Pod.com, etc.
If it’s all too much, hire a transitions manager to work with you, to get you started and set up a plan or work with you weekly providing common sense and labor. EstateMAX can help.
When the house is finally stripped of everything other than those items that accentuate the architecture and interior features and furniture rearranged with some accessorizing ( called Staging) your realtor will have it on the market and it will be sold before you know it. If you don’t have to jump through hoops to sell it, the downsizing will be done and it will be time for you to move and an estate sale company to come in and liquidate and donate what you have left behind. Again, EstateMAX can help.
In 10 days from start to finish EstateMAXOPS.com will set up, sell, and pay you your sale proceeds.
Call Laurie Zook today for a no cost phone consultation. 301-332-5585
At EstateMAX and MissionTransition we know how to move you and your loved ones, forward with lower stress and make you money as a result of our work! Since 1999 providing transitions management and personal property liquidations!
I have a 90% recovery rate from past projects- uncovering lost items, find missing documents, important sentimental items from property organization and downsizing, readying my clients for their big move! I take chaos and turn it into a workable environment, ready for the next step!
We get you organized, find the right moving company, set up and conduct your downsizing or living estate sale, make you money through your unwanted items and clean up your home afterward, prepping it for settlement.
Staging the home for sale is a specialty for us. Following the downsizing we set your home up (with the realtor’s input) using your furniture, as possible , and borrowing from our Other People’s Stuff Showroom, adding smalls and decorative accessories as needed to make your home interior POP with design impact! I have a 20 year pro background in design and furnishing-it all comes into play in a staging project.
Get in touch with Laurie Zook or Steve Berryman at EstateMAX to discuss your project. 1-844-378-MAX1