Frequently Asked Questions
We've collected answers to these frequently asked questions on all aspects of hiring us to do your estate sale. If you have a question that we didn't address or would like greater clarification on a question, then contact us at Becky.Mehtala@gmail.com.
For more information on shopping at one of our estate sales, please visit What to Expect When Attending a Sale.
Our first meeting is a 1-hour free consultation. We discuss your goals for the sale, assess the items to be sold and the current market for those items as well as evaluate the physical arrangement of your home and the staff time needed to organize, price, and run a sale. If we feel an estate sale is the best option for you, we leave you with a no-obligation proposal for services.
Once you sign a contract, we provide all of the resources needed to sort, organize, display, research, price, advertise, and sell the contents of the estate in a professional manner. Throughout the liquidation process, your household contents will be treated with the utmost respect. We advertise your sale on our own website and Facebook page as well as 3 national estate sale websites, send out a weekly newsletter to our e-mail subscriber list, and place directional signs in appropriate places for locating your sale. We maintain a cash drawer during the sale and keep all proceeds until all checks have cleared the bank. Our fees and expenses are then deducted and the balance is paid to the designated recipient of the estate within ten days of the sale.
We have extensive experience selling antiques, collectibles, estate property, personal property, and "anything and everything else" that can be found in a private residence! When pricing items, we consider all markets and other factors relating to the item, ensuring the best possible price for you. Our experience ranges from jewelry to automobiles, antique furniture to modern furniture, books to tools, household items to garden items, and ceramics to glassware. And we have sold just about everything from the $1 Avon bottles to the used $10,000 car as well as. . . advertising items, art glass, bronzes, sculptures, camping equipment, Tupperware, Indian artifacts, baskets, clocks, coins, collectibles, crystal, depression glass, dolls, electronic items, figurines, fine arts, furniture, historical documents, Hummels, jade, linens, marble statues, office equipment and supplies, perfume bottles, porcelain, quilts, pottery, Roseville pottery, samplers, scrap gold, snuff bottles, soapstone, sporting goods, sterling silver flatware and serving pieces, toys, trucks, vintage clothing, vintage hats, vintage photographs, vintage purses, watches, and much, much more.
Do not throw anything away until you have talked with us. The old saying that "one man's trash is another man's treasure" is very true. Practically everything has some value, and we can find a buyer for almost anything.
We organize and arrange items in the most attractive manner possible so they will be appealing to potential buyers. Small valuable items are placed in locked display cases. Large valuable items are placed where they are easy to monitor and safeguard. Please browse through the photos of our current and past sales to see how we stage your home for a sale.
After 20 years in the business, we are fortunate to have a loyal following of established buyers. We advertise and market your property using:
- Our weekly newsletter emailed to over 4500 subscribers
- Our website and Facebook page
- Three national sites and their thousands of email subscribers
- Sandwich board directional signs in appropriate places for locating your sale
We have the experience and expertise—as well as product knowledge, people skills, and understanding of the local market—to conduct the most successful estate sale for you. We supply all necessary supplies and equipment, use trained personnel, advertise your sale, attract willing buyers, sell your property for top dollar, and handle all cash and credit card transactions. We deal with all of the potentially stressful details so you don’t!
Shops tend to purchase items at a very low price so they can turn around and make a profit reselling the piece. Listing items on your own can be far more hassle than it's worth, especially if you have "buyers" who don't show up for appointments. The most successful estate sales have a variety of items that appeal to a wide audience of shoppers.
A successful sale doesn't “just happen." It takes a considerable amount of time to organize; a wide range of knowledge to price items correctly; and experienced, hardworking personnel who place attention to detail on every item from set-up to pricing to the sale.
We have seen what happens when an individual, friend, or family member conducts a sale themselves. When sorting through a family home, every item—especially family heirlooms—can bring back memories so it’s easy to get distracted and allow the process to drag on. Emotional ties to items can result in pricing mistakes, and watching customers walk out the door with your “memories” can be extremely upsetting. The result is more time invested for far less money than we can earn for you.
We have seen countless situations where people have sold items to neighbors, friends, and even the mail carrier for a fraction of their fair market value. Unless you are engaged in selling estate property on a daily basis, establishing the current fair market value is almost impossible. If you are especially close to someone and want to give them a gift from the estate, by all means do that. However, you may want to schedule a consultation with us so we can give you an idea of what items will turn your potentially exciting estate sale into a less enticing sale.
We ask that you remove all paperwork and personal items such as birth certificates, bank statements, family photos, prescription drugs, etc. as well as any item from the property you do not want accidentally sold. Other than that, you do not have to do anything other than tell us what you want to sell and accept our check for final settlement. We do all the work and we handle all the details!
Absolutely. Almost everything can be handled via phone, email, or postal service. We regularly work with local attorneys and realtors who can meet us for the initial consultation and then provide a key or code so we can access the house for the set-up and sale.
In a perfect world, we would be able to sell single every item in the house, but realistically, there will be leftovers. It could be the large, solid wood china hutch that is too big for most modern homes or the shelf of florist vases in the garage from past Mother’s Day deliveries. For an additional fee, we can arrange for all unsold items (with a few exceptions like hazardous waste) to be removed from the property. A tax receipt will be obtained for anything donated, and the rest will be recycled or taken to a landfill. The house will be left “broom clean.”
Of course—as long as you allow our employees to work and our customers to shop uninterrupted. It can be extremely difficult to hear people talk about your family’s possessions in a dispassionate manner, and watching customers walk out the door with your items can be emotionally taxing. We find that most clients would rather not participate.
It is a wise financial decision! Selling unused items allows you to invest the money or use it for other purposes. It can also free up room in your home and reduce upkeep, maintenance, and insurance expenses.
We consider consignment sales depending on the size and demand for an item, so call us to discuss an evaluation. We may agree to advertise it for you and/or arrange to sell it privately for a small percentage of the selling price.
Although Becky started out with an antique business, she does not have one at this time. Some of our employees do buy and sell items online or in antique malls, but any staff member who wants to purchase an item must stand in line and pay the same retail price as the general public.
We price items for an estate sale at “Fair Market Value” which is what an interested and willing buyer will pay for a publicly available item. As a company that conducts 2-3 estate sales per weekend, we know what prices will entice buyers, although that price may differ considerably from what you paid for the item or what you think it is worth.
We do offer valuation and appraisal services at an hourly rate for estates, bankruptcy, insurance, and divorce as well as provide expert testimony in court. Becky Mehtala & Brian Mehtala are members of the Certified Appraisers Guild of America.
Some people may tell you what they think you want to hear - especially if they do not have to be accountable! There is a big difference between a verbal opinion of value and an offer to buy.
Generally speaking, sterling silver, cut glass, and formal china are not as valuable as they once were. The reason for this is quite simple - many people do not have time for formal entertaining, many homes do not have formal dining rooms, and many people prefer a simpler lifestyle. Nevertheless, we do have a solid market for these items and we can sell them if the client is realistic about their fair market value.
No. We do not want people to refer us based on possible financial gain. We appreciate referrals from people who are aware of the quality work we do and our strict adherence to professional standards and codes of ethics. We believe the best way to demonstrate our appreciation for referrals is to make them proud that they recommended us.
We assume total responsibility for these issues. We pay you the total receipts of the sale (minus sales taxes and our commission) regardless of any bad checks or disputed payments.
We have an outstanding reputation for uncompromising honesty, integrity, professionalism, and service. We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, an A rating with 19 reviews on Angie’s List, and you can read more testimonials here. We would also be happy to provide you with a list of references.