The Witch of Pikesville… She Can Turn $6000 into $20000 of Used Stuff!

We met with a woman this week, after a lengthy phone consultation, after I had qualified her and she had qualified Estatemax as the likely company to hire.

Later, upon looking at her address on Google, after agreeing to go to her home to sign an agreement and set a date for a sale, I discovered she lived in a townhome community where NO PARKING was written on every curb, meaning there was no place for estate sale shoppers to park.  I called her and her phone was not taking calls so I emailed her canceling the appointment until she could work it out with the HOA to allow parking, or not.

She called me really demanding that we come because she had changed her entire day of plans to meet us. And, of course she is on the board of the HOA and they don’t pay any attention to those NO PARKING signs. Her estate sale would work. There would be ample parking. So we went.

We met her. She showed us around the house, in detail, and with great neurosis. It was normal, clean, brown furniture, nothing “valuable” and not a lot of items. Pretty but dated furniture and no kitchen or significant small items. No basement or garage or shed. It was a small inventory, mostly furniture, Waterford, Lenox. Ad nauseum.

I should have stopped it there, sat down and signed the deal. It would have saved me the next hour of B.S.  (It frankly doesn’t matter what she had to sell. We sell it all, whatever is left in the home.) We have a minimum fee to cover that, in case a customer removes more than they said they would at our consultation.

I asked her if she had educated herself, as I had asked her to do by reading my website, She admitted she had not- nor read our reviews. My website is a bible of how to and how not to do a downsizing, an estate sale, etc. It is packed full of information. She could have saved herself and us a lot of grief.  And she said my Angie’s List Reviews don’t matter to her. She doesn’t “believe” in Angie’s List. ( Tell Angie Hicks that who has made millions…)

I told her it matters to me and we work very hard for the clients that leave reviews of our services there. She said she “heard she could be sued for leaving a negative review there” and had hired someone off it before and he did a lousy job for her. I told her that was not me and she can’t judge everyone by one jerk. ETC. I told her she had not done her due diligence and asked her what criteria she was using to hire us? She had found me on ASEL. American Society of Estate Liquidators. EstateMAX is an accredited member. That does matter, but not as much as reviews.  ASEL is a marketing venue. I am vetted through them, but I am also vetted on A.L, the State of MD, and have advertised on many sites for 10 years.

She said “Well now that you have looked around what do you think you could get for all of this?” I told her I don’t know and I don’t promise a number. We had only done a quick walk thru -but it was definitely a sale and she would make money.  She pressed me. I said,” between $6000 and $8000 for a house of this size.” That is what I always say for a house of that size, regardless of contents. And the silver and crystal, etc was hidden.  She shrieked ” NO! I would expect between $20,000 and $30,000! I told her there was no way the sales would get anywhere close to those numbers…( where were the 200$1000 resale items in that townhome? Or the 10) $2000 items, or the 40) $500 items. or the 20,000) $1 items?  OYVEY!)

She had already talked to an auction company, she had been set straight on what she should expect from them ( $1 to $10 an item) and the cost of removal would be more than my fee. We were her best bet to get the job done.

Anyhow, we read through the contract together, in detail, which most clients don’t bother doing, they just go for it, which upsets me, so I was happy she was doing that. We made some adjustments and got to the money part and she started: Well, I’ll pay you this and not that and this much and that. I will not pay you a fee but will give you a 60/40 split of the sale. I said “No, that won’t happen, I don’t work that way, and it’s not worth my time.” You don’t have enough here to make it worth my committing myself to advertising, setup, pricing for 2 days and conducting a 3 day sale. And a 3 day sale is what you need to get this stuff out of here. I can get the people here but I can’t make them buy if they don’t want what you have”.  “I am not taking a risk for you. It’s your stuff, you have used it, lived with it, and it’s your burden, not mine.”

So, we walked without a deal. The first time in my career that happened. But some deals aren’t worth the trouble and she was trouble through and through. Unrealistic, over expecting, demanding and a manipulator. Glad I have the experience to know the difference.

 

Planning Your Future, One Step at a Time-All Details Handled!

Planning Your Future: One Step at a Time-Do It Before You Hire Anyone!
EstateMAX is a service company specializing in transitions and downsizing, estate and downsizing sales and property clean up on all size properties.
Additionally our professional resource network in the moving, estate/legal, and real estate industries are available for our clients for consultation and hire! Just ask us!
Our aim is to handle all the details of an individual’s or family’s life transition, beginning with comprehensive planning and fulfillment of the physical transition of their personal property to its new home,  living-estate and estate sales, real estate sales and property updating, as needed.
Hire us for one service, or the entire package!

Specifically, our professional team includes: transitions/downsizing specialists, moving companies, estate attorneys, real estate pros, estate/downsizing sales, property improvement contractors and last but not least, trash out and basic property improvement. All of our team are known professionals in their trades. 

We can leave your property sold, clean and ready for settlement and you moved and set up in your new home!
Call Laurie Zook of EstateMAX now for your no cost phone consultation.
Let’s Plan Your Future Together, One Step at a Time. 301-332-5585

EstateMAX is a 6X Angie’s List Super Service Award Earning Company, as Reviewed by Real Clients! Since 1999-fully vetted and insured.

Just for Marketing- Our URL’s

Why do we have so many URL’s? Because we direct them all to this website. And we have fun making them up.

dcmetroestatesales.com

estateliquidatormaryland.com

estatemaxauction.com

estatemaxonlineauction.com

estatemaxops.com

estatemaxopsauctions.com

estatesaledc.com

estatesalemaryland.com

haggledicker.com

lauriezook.com

marylandestateliquidation.com

marylandestateliquidation.info

marylandestateliquidation.net

marylandestateliquidation.org

marylandestatesellers.com

maxestatesale.com

missiontransition.net 

Downsizing, Do it or Die Trying!

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

 

Integrity Notice: CAVEAT EMPTOR When Hiring Estate Sale and Auctioneers

INTEGRITY NOTICE: State of Maryland has no licensing requirements for auctioneers or estate sale companies!

The industry is becoming a playground for the inexperienced, unincorporated, uninsured newbie (sometimes criminal), individuals and unestablished small businesses looking for a “fun” income, “digging through” houses, and running weekend “yard sales”. (The results reflect the same.) These are the people handling your assets!

In turn, the State ( and Montgomery County, MD has instituted rigorous legislation that enforces sales of second hand goods of many types: Electronics, Jewelry, Furs, Fine Art, etc.

Your estate sale company is required to be registered with the State Police and report any item in a Maryland home that is up for sale that falls under these categories or risk prosecution.

(Just what small business doesn’t need, more regulation but…) Because of a few criminals and too many operators with low standards, we all pay the price.) 

On the contrary, EstateMAX is registered, fingerprinted, taxpaying and reporting. With 21 years in this business, in the Washington DC Metro, we are a known entity. Check our Angie’s List Reviews!