Frequently Asked Questions
What is your process?
Our first meeting is at “no cost/no obligation”. If you decide to choose Honest Estate Sales, during our second consult we listen and evaluate the best way to tailor your sale. From there, we look at the layout of the home and formulate an effective flow for your sale. Then the sweat work begins as we sort, organize, display, research, price, and market the sale. We believe our attention to detail and our knowledge and experience of identifying and valuing antiques and collectibles will allow for a successful sale. We then email our subscriber list and post your listing online. During the sale we place signs that will make your sale apparent. While the sale is in full swing, we conduct business in a professional manner while respecting your home and its contents. Once the sale is finished, we close out and process the sale, and then distribute your proceeds within ten days.
What can I do to prepare for the in-home consultation?
The number one way to prepare is to be 100% clear on what will and will not be included in the sale. The in-home consultation is a two-way interview. You are interviewing Honest Estate Sales to see if we’re the best fit for your needs, and Honest Estate Sales is interviewing you. Our team has a specific system for conducting estate sales, which makes some opportunities not the best fit for us. Clearly knowing what will be included makes sure the two-way interview can accomplish its goals. Bonus points for having pieces labeled that will not be a part of the sale.
How do you charge for your services?
Our services are paid for by a percentage of the total estate sales gross. We’re a big fan of this percentage system. It puts us on the same team. If the sale is a giant success you win and we win. The percentage is different for each sale and is based on many factors including – the size of the sale, location, types of items included, and the amount of work involved. We let you know what percentage we would charge during the free in-home consultation.
Why can’t I just do my own sale?
A successful sale doesn't "just happen." It takes a considerable amount of time to organize. It requires a wide range of knowledgeable, experienced and hard working personnel who place attention and detail on every item from pricing to set up. We have seen what happens when an individual, friend, or family member conducts a sale themselves. Too often, the valuable items are sold at "give away prices" and the less valuable items are priced too high. This results in a home that is depleted of its valuable resources and left with the more common, everyday items that must be donated or given away. The result is far less money than we can earn for you! You never get a second chance to sell estate property. Make sure it is done right the first time. Selling family heirlooms and memories can be very difficult to detach from.
What should I throw away and what should I keep?
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.
How can I find out what my things are worth?
We will come in and assess the items for sale to give you an idea of the value of your property. But, the only way to find out exactly what an item is worth is to advertise it well, and place it for sale in a competitive public arena that is attended by a number of potential buyers who would like to own the item, and who have the money to buy the item.
What do I have to do to help?
We ask that you remove any item from the property you do not want to sell, if possible. 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!
Do you do any pre-sales or pre-views before the official opening day?
No we do not. We’re not fond of the idea of only letting a select few in a sale early to pick it over. Our sales and the items inside are offered "first come, first served" at the official opening day of the sale.
How do you advertise?
We develop a campaign that is designed to attract the maximum number of qualified buyers to your sale. We advertise to your local market using our email database, website, social medias, and other avenues on the internet.
Can I live in the house while you are setting up the sale?
Yes, we will work politely and professionally in a home that someone is living in.
How long do you typically work inside a house?
From the first day of organization to the last day, we’re typically in a house 1.5 – 2 weeks.
How do we inform the neighbors of the sale?
We ask since you know your neighbors the best to knock on their door and let them know of the estate sale. We have a large sign by the front door asking customers to be mindful of the neighborhood and where they park. We also post custom "no parking" signs on one side of the street to ensure that traffic flows smoothly.
My neighbor / friend / brother / mailman want to buy something?
We have seen countless situations where people have sold items to neighbors, friends, and even the mailman for a fraction of their fair market value. Ask yourself if your relationship with the person is such that you want to give the item to them. If it is, then just give the item to them. Otherwise, do not sell anything yourself! An individual simply cannot know fair market values unless they are engaged in selling property on a daily basis!
Someone told me that my item is worth more! / I saw an item like mine on a T.V. show and they said that it was worth more!
Some people may tell you what they think you want to hear - especially if they do not have to be accountable! Remember - there is a big difference between a verbal opinion of value and an offer to buy.
May I attend the sale?
Of course! However, many people find it sometimes emotionally difficult.
What payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards and cash.
How am I sure my items are secure?
We lock small valuable items in locked display cases. Large valuable items are placed where they are easy to monitor and safeguard.
We will help advise for removal of any remaining items.
How fast am I paid after the sale?
We understand that getting a check quickly is of high importance. All of our clients receive their payment in full within ten days of the sale closing.