EstateMAX Action Page: See if an Estate Sale is Right for You!

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*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!     

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.

Downsizing & Selling Your Stuff? Minimize Your Expectations & Maximize Your Planning!

To Boomers and Seniors or Estates considering downsizing and why and how to sell their stuff by any method- Auction, Online Auction or Onsite Estate Sale-


The Reality of Stuff

All estate sale companies do the pretty much the same thing-

We all sell as much as we can over the period of the estate sale for the highest possible return. The more we sell, the more income for the client and for us!

The key word here is “possible”. It’s relative to conditions.

EstateMAX’s goal is to clear the house, but realistically that rarely happens. We sell between 70% to 85% of contents. 

(After the sale what do we do with “what doesn’t sell?” No, I don’t burn it in the back yard…I like to tease customers when asked. The balance goes to charity or auction, but only IF the auctioneer wants it, and most don’t want the dregs of a household.)

How do we get the buyers into our sales?

EstateMAX uses progressive social media cross marketing techniques, bringing in hundreds of potential buyers over a 3 day sale. We produce You Tube videos and ongoing live videos on Facebook during the sale. We use every “ticket in the book” to market your sale. The competition for used stuff is fierce!

Under normal conditions, it’s a busy estate sale market. On any (pre-Covid) weekend you could count on 30 to 60 estate sales in the DC Metro area.

Most of it is now sold online, and that does not empty a household.

Online agents “cherry-pick” the home and sell the stuff that is going to bring the money. The tough-to-sell furniture ( it takes a sales person to move it out!), clothes, screws, bolts, garbage bags, cleaning products, linens, volumes of books, household and junk, and who knows what- are left behind for the homeowner to deal with. Charity does not pick up with less than a 8 week schedule and worse, during Covid times. So, what’s the value in hiring EstateMAX? What is the Real Value in Hiring EstateMAX?

(EstateMAX has continued to perform our job onsite during this pandemic following State Realtor Regulations and we perform a full sale over 3 days and a complete clean out afterward making the home ready for settlement or improvement.)

We set realistic starting prices and discount over the course of the sale, and negotiate ongoing on larger purchases. We take bids on the big stuff and the highest prices offered at the end of the day Sunday. We run 3 day sales, typically 8 hour days, depending on location and inventory. Auctioneers start at a buck for online and off site auctions, typically. It doesn’t matter what is being sold if it’s typical household goods and used furniture. 

We MAX out the sales hours and sale possibilities!

So, Potential Sellers Should Consider these Points When Considering Hiring a Company to “Sell Your Stuff”:

  • You have lived with the items for a while. How long-doesn’t really matter when selling your “stuff”.  It is all “used merchandise”- to the buying public. These Items have served their purpose, and made your life better  over the days past. Now the time has come when you don’t need them. For whatever reason- they don’t serve your purposes, are worn out, the style is no longer what you like, etc.
You are moving on! So let go of the stuff and the expectation!
  • Your emotional attachment and opinion about your stuff doesn’t matter anymore… What matters is what the potential buyer thinks.
  • We are talking about used furniture and personal property of all types. It’s intrinsic market value is from 10 cents to 25 cents of the original dollar. Yes, there are exceptions.  If you are the lucky owner of rare, hard to find, specialty collectibles, coins, precious metals, certain antiques, antiquities, certain vehicles, machinery it can be a seller’s market on those items. ( In 21 years of conducting estate sales I have only run into rarities a few times.) Most people’s homes are duplicates of one another, with differences in color, pattern, furniture style, perhaps, but still- what people have been living with for 30 to 40 years has been dictated by furniture manufacturers and designers of the era. Cookie cutter environments, for the most part.
Stuff is expensive to move and moving is stressful.
  • From Maryland to Florida, for instance- figure a 26 foot truck load is from $5600- up. It’s based on weight and distance and that does not include packing fees, boxes, paper and saran wrap used to cover furniture is several thousand more. Moving is a small fortune. It’s usually fiscally beneficial to disburse of the stuff locally, and buy good, used or new in Florida. You can buy it there for 25 to 50 cents on the dollar. Used stuff is cheap to replace, even the good stuff!
Hire EstateMAX, a reputable company, make a small investment in quality service and reap the financial and stress- free benefits of selling and donating the stuff you no longer want or need.
  • What you think is pretty, useful, cool, valuable, special or handy, is subjective. Estate sale shoppers  might not be as awestruck by it. (Your custom, large floral print valances and Ethan Allen brass and glass coffee table with the Ionic column pilaster legs and the French Provincial armoire were your taste, in the 90’s. Sure they look like-new and have barely been used, but it takes a special someone to walk in the door of your estate sale who will have that similar sense of style and a place to use them, and a few thousand dollars to dole out the weekend of the sale.
The world is innundated with used brand-name and older furniture.
  • Baby Boomers are retiring by the thousands daily and moving out of their homes, leaving the stuff behind they don’t want. The smart ones “get it” that it’s all used, out of style, worn out or somewhat worn out, stuff.
  • Expect a sell through of 70% to 85%, more or less, if your style is “in-style” or vintage, collectible, and the quality is great, and your house is full of small, useful objects and affordable pieces. Highly stylized furniture takes a specific buyer.
  • Be prepared. Get packed up with the stuff you are keeping (30% of a household is typical when downsizing ) and allow your seller enough time to advertise effectively, saturate the market with information, and set up and conduct the sale.
To Make it Easy on Yourself, Start your downsizing 6 months in advance of your move. EstateMAX can help.
  • Hire EstateMAX a minimum of 6 weeks prior to your move out date. Give us time to advertise and get the word out for the best result! We need two weeks prior to your sale for initial pictures and ten days for proper setup, sale and clean up,- that’s a smaller home. Larger homes should have 5 to 7 sale days to maximize results and minimize unsold merchandise.

Expect the best of your estate sale professional- The EstateMAX team is a pro-active, problem-solver, ready to step in and handle personal property disbursements resulting from divorce, old age, suicide, death of elderly, and downsizing transitions.


“There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations” 

 

― Jodi Picoult

A Hoarders house, after the sale. This is the stuff that is left after the crowds bought what they wanted. It gets sorted, goes to charity, trash and recycling.
A table top view of a set up ready for the sale in a condo. A real collector.

We Do the Dirty Work!

You get to move on with those things you love and want and need to live with, and leave the rest behind. We deal with all the details.

There is nothing new to EstateMAX about helping our clients move forward with ease.

Move Management, Sorting, Packing, Unpacking on the other end. Complete sales services of the contents of your home you are leaving behind, clean up, trash outs and disbursal to charity.

Since 1999. Experience and Credentials Count.

EstateMAX, Maximizing Returns & Minimizing Stress For Professionals & Their Clients

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2017 Downsizing & Estate Sales

What We Do-We Merchandise, Price, Advertise, Sell, Stage & Clean Up Your Property So You Can Go Forward With Ease. We Pay You Within 7 Days of End of Sale! With Your Real Estate Pro, We’re the Only Other Team Member Whose Goal is Find YOU Money in the Haystack of Your Personal Property! We Do it Every Time!

We’re Not Cherry Pickers! We Sell It and Leave Your Property Clean! You Do Nothing Except Move Out In Advance of the Sale, With The Things Your Want to Keep! Your Settlement Goes Smoothly Because We Handle the Details!

Call Us Today for Your No Cost Phone Consultation. We Come to You To Visit Your Home and See Your Stuff, After We Know We’re a Match!

 

 

 

On-Site Estate Sale or On-Line Auction? Strategy is Relative!

On-Site Sale or On-Line Auction? EstateMAX uses both strategies, to MAX-OUT the returns for our estate and downsizing clients and bring the best of what’s left to Other People’s Stuff for sale to the public at progressive discounting.

What are the factors that should come into play in making the call? We direct potential clients toward the best strategy based on all of these:

Time Frame: Is there enough time for an estate company to set up, conduct and clean up and in home sale prior to settlement, listing, property updating, the next step?

Neighborhood and Position of Home: SFH or apartment? Does the community support on site estate sales? HOA? Parking? Signage allowed? Is there a “captive” audience close by, walk-in traffic as well as drive up, to support a bottom line?

Condition of Home: Is the property safe? the Interior a maze of Stuff? Is this the home of a packrat or a tidy owner?If the first it can be a great onsite estate sale IF there’s enough time to organize and clean and price the contents. Is the approximate return worth the time and labor investment? Either way, the house has to be sorted and cleaned out to go to donate and trash and there is a cost to that service!

Contents: High to Medium End Inventory, Antiques, Vintage in Combination with Household Goods, or Cheap Worn Out Items? Is the return there?

Time of Year: Every client can’t be fortunate enough to schedule for a spring or fall sale. Winter and summer can be productive times for an onsite sale.

On-Site Sales are held in the home, the inventory is in context and arranged in vignettes ( merchandised to make the best of the the goods.) Priced to start at below comparative value ( using major auction platforms for comparison, this is not a retail environment) taking under consideration all factors that come into play in getting the estimated result, Items are organized, tagged, local street signage and in-depth social media marketing are in place -the sale is conducted over 3 days or more, progressive discounting is employed with ongoing negotiation and shoppers are encouraged to leave bids ( with deposits) on the higher end goods… and property is left organized and ready for the next phase of sale.

On-Line Sales are typically handled two ways (by the competition,) depending on circumstances: 1. Inventory is “Cherry picked” for the best merchandise, photographed on-site, or moved to a warehouse and sold with a minimum starting price or Buy it Now 2. Items are photographed and most items are sold starting price $1. Smalls are sold in “lots” ( boxes) or table full for one price, vs. individually priced.

On-Line Sales are for the convenience shopper who isn’t inspired by the “hunt”. They want inventory cessed out for them in advance. They buy items that they haven’t inspected in advance and have to take what they get. Photographs and description are not adequate to insure the bidders understand all facets of the goods. There is typically no return allowed and the winning bidders have to go pick up at the sale location. That said, the prices paid are lower than on-site sale results.

In all three options, the sales result is not guaranteed and there is a cost to hiring the sales company. On-Site Sales yield highest results across the board. The upfront cost can be relatively higher. It’s a “classier” approach and great for the full home, high to mid end residence including household goods.

On-line auctions have to be marketed to a vast email audience to attract bidders. That said, results typically come in at comparative last day estate sale pricing, for the cherry picked items, or less.

EstateMAX and MAX-Out!, Our On-Line auction division provides both strategies- even on one property in tandem, as we feel best for the client, all factors considered.

We utilize an On-Line full blown estate sale auction platform under MAX-Out by EstateMAX, list higher and brand items also on Ebay, the volume of stuff on $1 Auction sites, Craigslist regional DC, Facebook, National Furnishing Sites like Chairish. If an Item is “too good” for a household tag sale we know where to sell it. We have sent things to nationally recognized auction houses on our client’s behalf.

Please give us a call for a no-cost consultation! Please pass this information along to your downsizing and estate clients! 301-332-5585 Laurie Zook

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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