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.

What Do We Sell!?

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:)

  • Furniture
  • Decor ( Lamps, Lighting, Mirrors, Wall Shelves, Hardware. etc.)
  • Clocks
  • Books
  • 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
  • Appliances
  • 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!

 

 

 

Amateur Estate Sale Newcomers Spoil the Results for Senior Clients!

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 end20190515_094204What 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.

Check us out and call us! We get more for your good stuff.

Tips on choosing an estate sale company – from SeniorAdvisor.com

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Estate Sales

[Tips and checklists from http://www.SeniorAdvisor.com]

Estate sale companies are businesses that facilitate the organization, pricing, marketing, and selling of some or all of the contents of an individual’s or family’s home. These services may be necessary after a family member passes away, or may be part of the downsizing process when the resident of the home moves into a different living arrangement.

Learn more about estate sales:

View a glossary of estate sale industry terms.

What are the benefits of using an estate sale service?

Many of the activities involved in hosting an estate sale may sound like holding a yard sale or garage sale, something many homeowners have done themselves. While there are certainly similarities, estate sales operate on a much larger scale, and often deal with items of more value. It is possible for an individual or family to have an estate sale without professional assistance, but hiring a service can make the process much less stressful and more profitable.Benefits of hiring an estate sale service include:

  • Saves time and energy. Family members don’t need to personally sort and catalog every item in a home, or worry about how to set up and run the sale.
  • Reduces stress. Professionals offload the burden of managing all of the “stuff” and provide an objective, experienced perspective in an emotionally fraught process.
  • Increases revenue. Estate sale companies know which items are most valuable to buyers and price your items accordingly, helping families make the most of the downsizing or liquidation process.
  • Boosts visibility. By marketing and advertising your sale, service providers ensure that you attract as many buyers as possible.
  • Adds credibility. Professional estate sales carry a greater perceived value than family-run sales, attracting a higher quantity and quality of customers – sometimes up to several thousand people in a day!

What are the different types of estate sale services?

Estate sale services describe their businesses in a variety of ways depending on their specialty, but there are two basic categories:Companies that focus on estate sales after the passing of a loved one:

  • Estate sale services
  • Estate liquidators

Companies that focus on assisting seniors with downsizing:

  • Senior relocation services
  • Senior move management services
  • Downsizing or “rightsizing” moving companies

Regardless of the focus, these businesses typically provide similar services, including organizing the contents of a home, researching and assigning a fair market value to the items designated to be sold, advertising and marketing the estate sale in order to attract buyers, running the sale itself, and assisting with removal of any remaining items after the sale.

How does an estate sale work?

An estate sale, also known as a tag sale, is the process of selling all or most of the contents of a home. Estate sales are typically held after a death or other major life event, such as moving, divorce, or bankruptcy. Although they can be run by the homeowner or family, estate sales are typically held by professional service providers and operate at a larger scale than a yard or garage sale.

Organizing the Sale

Before a sale, the estate sale company assists the family or homeowner with organizing, sorting, and pricing their belongings. They then prepare the house for the sale by cleaning and staging the items to optimize visibility. The day of the sale, the public is invited into the home to browse the items for sale. The estate sale company coordinates the buying and selling process from end to end.

This often includes managing substantial traffic flow. Popular estate sales can open with a line out the door, and estate sale etiquette dictates that customers remain in this order so that everything is seen on a “first come first serve” basis. Some estate sale companies use a number system to guarantee this process, in which every customer is given a number as he or she arrives and shopping proceeds based on that order.

Purchasing and Selling the Items

At the sale, customers simply pick up smaller items that they wish to buy and take them to the check out station to complete their purchase. They may also tell sale attendants to mark larger items as sold. The option to bargain for price depends on the sale. Some estate sale companies will also allow bids on more expensive items, using a system similar to a silent auction in which a customer sets out a price that he or she is willing to pay, but only retains claim on that item if someone else is not willing to pay more. The item is sold to the highest bidder at the end of the day. Traditionally, many estate sales only took cash, but that is changing with mobile credit card readers and some sales now accept major credit cards as well.

Some estate sale companies sell items through other venues in addition to the home, such as online auctions, directly to antique dealers or brokers, or to private collectors. The vendor is motivated to sell your belongings for the best possible price, because their compensation is based on the value received for your items. In return for their services, estate sale companies take a percentage of the total earnings from the sale, typically 25-35%.

What services are provided by estate sale companies?

Whether an estate sale company is assisting with an entire estate liquidation or helping with the downsizing process, they typically offer an end-to-end set of services that help families transition out of the existing home. Services provided by estate sale companies may include:

Preparing for the estate sale

  • Meeting with an estate attorney if necessary
  • Helping decide what to sell, what to donate, what to keep in the family, what to move, etc.
  • Determining what can and cannot fit in a new home
  • Organizing and sorting personal belongings according to individual wishes and/or a will or trust
  • Cleaning items for sale as necessary
  • Inventory and photographing items for sale
  • Appraising items to be sold and determine most profitable sales method (in-home estate sale, online auction, antique dealer, private collector, etc.)
  • Cleaning and preparing the house
  • Advertising and marketing the sale

Running the estate sale

  • Staging the home and its contents for optimal flow and visibility
  • Organizing items for sale attractively with clear pricing
  • Managing the sale the day of, including customer service, traffic flow, purchases, inventory management, bookkeeping, and hosting
  • Providing security to direct cars and secure valuables
  • Selling items via other venues such as online auctions or direct to dealers if optimal

After the estate sale

  • Taking follow-up inventory
  • Coordinating removal of remaining items, such as donations or delivery of heirlooms or inherited items to family members or new owners
  • Accounting for profits from sale and any additional legal or financial considerations, such as tax deductions from donations
  • Arranging for storage if necessary
  • Preparing the existing home to be sold, often including cleaning and/or repairs
  • Working with senior real estate agents, accountants, elder law attorneys, movers, additional experts or appraisers

News and Articles about Estate Sales

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