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Selecting An Estate Sale Company Is An Important Decision

  • Our approach to estates sales is different and we carefully protect your privacy and your home from the intrusion caused by other estate sale companies.  Most estate sale companies sell estate items from within your home itself, intruding on your privacy and your family, while other estate sale companies will sell everything online starting at $1.00 an item. We have a different approach. We bring all saleable items to our Estate Valet Gallery, where we research the appropriate price, display items in our Gallery and put the items up for sale.  This process allows you the freedom of avoiding strangers in your home, looking through your treasures and, if necessary, the freedom to prepare and market your home without the stress of the typical estate sale.

  • While we limit our sales to certain quality items, we also help you donate unwanted items or work with other third party estate liquidators for the remainder of your items.  Whether you have an entire estate, a collection, or a few rare items to sell, we can help. Our team will thoroughly evaluate and research your items and present an estimate before making a decision to consign with us. We handle all marketing (direct and online) and staffing to make your sale completely hassle-free. And best of all, you don’t have to worry about individuals rummaging through your home or having to keep track of what you’re selling or not selling while these strangers are in your home.

  • We make the entire process of planning and managing your estate sale easy and we are here to help.  Whatever your situation may be, if you need to liquidate the contents of a home, condo or a storage unit, let our experts do the work for you. For more information – call or email Valet@EstateValet.com or phone us at 210-802-6682.

  • Who needs a Estate Valet

    With about 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day, baby-boomers account for most of the individuals wishing to downsize. But plenty of other people find themselves in need of help to liquidate property, whether they are struggling to fit recently inherited antiques into a tiny apartment or simply moving across country for a new job. The average American home spans 2,500 square feet (not counting the storage units rented by one in 10 U.S. households), and emptying one out isn’t easily accomplished alone.

  • What’s my stuff really worth

    Television programs like “Antiques Roadshow” have trained people to think they may have a basement or an attic containing valuable treasures, when the fact is most people don’t. Things like Hummel figurines that were handed down by grandma, are just not worth much these days due to changing tastes and a saturation of the market with antiques of all varieties, including historic works of art. At the height of their popularity, Hummels sold for between $100 and $450, but today all but the most coveted examples might sell for just $15 or $25. The furniture market has more potential sellers than buyers, too, and downsizing boomers are often appalled that their classic, sturdy pieces fetch a fraction of what they paid for them. Estate Valet  can help, sorting through all your possessions to find items with real value.

     

  • How do know the value of items?

    Research, research and more research, followed by years of actual experience in buying and selling antiques and art as an antique and art dealer, gives us the edge to evaluate your items for you.  We also have a lot of tools at our disposal, including books, personal contacts, and online memberships that help us determine what items have sold for in the past, what is currently selling poorly and what is currently selling at higher rates.

    If we are unable to determined a value of any item, we then turn to experts and appraisers for guidance and advice.  If an item is truly worth something of great value, like an authentic Cartier, Tiffany or a major painting—then we turn to our third party contacts that might be in a better position to sell such items to a worldwide audience.

  • Have a lot of stuff? We can help

    Hoarding was recently recognized as an official disorder, with the condition’s inclusion in the American Psychiatric Association’s fifth edition of its handbook of diagnoses. While most people would not consider themselves as hoarders, many folks push the accumulation envelope,when it comes to collecting and just buying things. Many seniors who survived the great depression and their children are often loath to part with the most mundane of items.

    Folks should begin the decumulation process before there’s any need for an estate sale, by shredding unneeded financial documents and old phone bills etc..and giving away possessions when they’re still healthy and able to do so. This way, items can be thoughtfully given away, donated or disposed of before the time crunch that often accompanies an estate sale.

    While it’s hard to part with sentimental items, families can take steps to ease the process by inviting family members and friends to help them decide that important to keep. Taking photos of accumulated treasures for an album can also help people say goodbye-bye to them. The memories are not in the items, but the experience and history of an item, like a memory of sitting around that old table.

  • What your percentage of the sale

    All estate sale companies generally get paid a percentage of the total take of the estate sale. Rates vary according to locale but average around 50% and don’t assume the price includes the removal of all unsold items. Most estate sales companies charge an hourly fee of $125 if clients want the home to be left “broom clean,” with all remaining items donated or disposed. That’s roughly $1,000 a day. To ensure a good turnout at the sale, marketing is key.  At Estate Valet, we pick up and take the items we accept for consignment for 40% of the sales price.  If you wish for us to help you dispose of other items through third-parties or by donations, we charge $125 an hour, but assume no responsibility for picking up the items ourselves.

  • Keep your secrets & personal items safe

    Money stashed away in an old book or jar, old family photos tucked in away in drawer, or diamond rings in vase? Don’t forget to look into crevices where sometimes family members don’t even venture. We have found all sorts of things hidden away including a stash of cash and other valuables. An estate sale liquidator should never be the first person who digs into the belongings of someone who’s no longer living—a family member or friend should always do a first pass.

  • Can you help mediate family disputes

    It’s not our job to mediate family disputes. (Unlike the television show “Hoarders,” it’s not a common practice to have therapists to help family members.) Loved ones and family members can help smooth the way for an estate sale by making decisions.

  • What happens if someone tripped and fell?

    What happens if someone trips and falls at an estate sale in your home? Could be that both the homeowner (or his estate) and the estate sale company gets sued. If the estate sale company carries no insurance, the homeowner may bear the full liability.  Those considering an estate sale in their home must also check to make sure that the appropriate homeowner’s policy is still active, and find out what it covers, especially if the house hasn’t been occupied for a while. At Estate Valet, all items to be sold are removed from the house and sold at the Estate Valet’s Gallery, which is insured.

  • We’re thinking of snagging some of your valuables for ourselves

    Some estate sale companies will buy items from an estate they’re selling. It’s not unusual for an estate sale company to buy items they may like as well. While this practice may seem harmless and even beneficial, it presents a potential conflict of interest. Some feel a professional should not buy items that he or she has priced, since their motivation to buy might motivate them to set the price low so as pay less. If your estate sale company wants to buy an item, make sure you have all the actual paperwork (actual copies of what past like items have sold for) so that you will be able to make an appropriate decision.  If Estate Value decides to make an offer on an item we have priced, we will disclose that we would like to purchase the item and provide you with our research in setting the price.  The decision is always yours.

  • Can we be there to help sell the items

    It’s always best if the family members stay away from the sale as someone may interfere or even try to prevent the sale of a sentimental item for instance, or lobby for an inappropriately high price which can be a problem. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of the estate sale is to strike a balance between price and efficiency.

FAQs

  • While most estate sale companies sell everything in your house from your house, and some sell your stuff online starting at a $1.00 an item. We have a different approach. We bring all saleable items to our Estate Valet Gallery which gives you the freedom of staying in your house or getting your house ready for sale, or to just stay put.

  • Research, research and more research followed by years of actual experience in buying and selling antiques and art as an antique and art dealer. We also have a lot of tools at our disposal, including books, personal contacts, and online memberships that help us determine what items have sold for in the past and what is currently selling poorly and what is currently selling.

    If we are unable to determined a value of any item, we then turn to experts and appraisers for guidance and advice.  If an item is truly worth something of great value like an authentic Cartier, Tiffany or a major painting—then we turn to our third party contacts that might in a better position to sell the items to a worldwide audience.

  • It’s not our job to mediate family disputes. (Unlike the television show “Hoarders,” it’s not a common practice to have therapists to help family members.) Loved ones and family members can help smooth the way for an estate sale by making decisions.

  • Yes –With about 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day, boomers account for most of the downsizers. But plenty of other people can find themselves in need of help getting rid property, whether they are struggling to fit recently inherited antiques into a tiny apartment, liquidating assets as part of a divorce settlement, staving off creditors, or simply moving across country for a new job. The average American home spans 2,500 square feet (not counting the storage units rented by one in 10 U.S. households), emptying one out isn’t easily accomplished alone. Estate Valet can help!

  • Yes – Whether you inherited an entire estate, a collection, or a few rare items – we can help. Our team will thoroughly evaluate and research and your items and present an estimate before making a decision to consignment with us. We handle all marketing (direct and online) and staffing to make your sale completely hassle-free. And best of all, you don’t have to worry about individuals rummaging through your house

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