What we do
When a loved one passes away, the last thing that one wants to have to think about is how to dispose of their unwanted property. Unfortunately, sometimes these things cannot be put off. If a house is to be sold or moved into by heirs, that property will have to go somewhere. In times like these, a professional estate liquidator is often the wisest solution. It's useful to have a better understanding of just what a professional estate liquidator does.
From the day when a potential client contacts us until the final disposition of the estate, this is a typical timeline:
A person contacts us to inquire about the liquidation of their loved one's estate. We arrange, at their convenience, to meet with them and view the contents of the estate.
PREPARING FOR THE SALE
We examine the property and compile an itemized list of the more valuable objects as well as a general estimate of the overall value of the estate. We photograph any items that may require further research.
Back at our offices, we use proprietary software to catalog the property. Drawing upon our knowledge and experience, as well as such resources as auction catalogs, we determine the optimal venue for each item.
Based upon the quantity of items, the complexity of the sale and the overall value of the estate, we calculate the appropriate commission rate.
We present the prospective client with a comprehensive dossier of this information.
The client reviews the information and engages us to liquidate the estate. We collect copies of the keys to the property.
If necessary, we co-ordinate with real estate agents who may need to show the house and help with staging, if needed.
We transport any items more appropriately sold through auction houses to those venues.
We go through the home, removing any firearms, ammunition or other goods that cannot legally be sold in an estate sale. We shred any financial or otherwise potentially sensitive documents, properly dispose of any medications or hazardous waste and haul away any goods that have too little value to justify selling.
We take care to ensure that personal items and heirlooms are reunited with loved ones, rather than unwittingly sold or discarded.
We clean the premises and make them safe and appealing for customers. We may bring in supplementary lighting, fans or other equipment to make the area more safe and comfortable.
We move larger, more valuable items into the main sale room, both for security and to enhance their appeal. Smaller, more valuable items are displayed inside of glass cases.
We may rearrange furniture for better traffic flow or to show off fine furnishings. We may also close off one or more areas from public access as necessary.
We advertise the sale through our e-mail mailing list, through the newspaper and through on-line bulletin boards such as CraigsList, to ensure maximum customer turnout.
In most cases, our sales begin on Friday to accommodate the resale trade that patronizes estate sales. Saturday customers tend to be collectors and people looking for useful items. Both markets need to be appropriately served. Most sales last two days, but in some circumstances, three days may be required.
AFTER THE SALE
On the day of the sale, we arrive at the sale location early and make the final preparations for the event.
We post signs on all nearby intersections, to drive more traffic to the sale and prevent confusion.
We ensure that customers do not disturb neighbors or leave a mess. All employees are equipped with walkie-talkies for security and customer service.
The sale begins. We allow a limited number of customers into the premises at any one time, to prevent damage or injury, to maintain security and to ensure good customer service. As customers make their purchases and leave, more new customers are allowed in.
We periodically rearrange merchandise as space is cleared.
At the end of the day, we secure the premises, remove signage and tidy the house, inside and out.
We haul away any unsold merchandise, either to be sold at a flea market, to be donated to charity or to be appropriately recycled or discarded. We provide the client with the tax write-off from their donated goods.
We leave the house "broom clean" so that it is ready for the real estate agent to show, or for the new occupant to move in.
We return the keys to the client.
We provide the client with a copy of the cash register tape and an itemized receipt for all sales.
We deliver the check for the in-house sale, and any checks for off-site proceeds such as auctions or flea market sales.
Isn't it nice to know that -- at the very time you need help -- there's someone who can do all of this for you?