What is an estate sale?

What is an estate sale?

It used to be the wording used for the liquidation of a deceased persons personal property was sold. Today it has become a generic term in most states for the liquidation of personal property whether the owners are alive or deceased. Read More »

Bonded and Insured: What it does

Bonded and Insured: What it does

When an estate sales company advertises it is bonded and insured in means they have purchased Liability Insurance and a Surety Bond. Not all companies do this. It is not a requirement in every state and is often the choice of the individual company. Read More »

What is USPAP?

What is USPAP?

USPAP is an acronym for Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice; the mandatory guidelines that govern the performance of all licensed and certified appraisers. The goal of USPAP is to promote and maintain a high level of public trust in appraisal practice by establishing requirements for appraisers. Read More »

Estate Sales Costs

Estate Sales Costs

Every estate sales company operates differently. Here is an overview of what you might encounter depending on the company. Read More »

Estate Sale Companies Are More Than Just Liquidators

vintage hatsRunning an estate sale company requires you to be proficient in many areas and wear many hats. Knowledge of personal property (antique to new) marketing (internet & print including the use of social media), enabling those who have suffered a loss to move through the liquidation process with empathy and understanding (social work of a kind) while trying to achieve successful results are just part of the estate liquidators jobs and one of the important areas we will discuss today is how to control the public before and during an estate sale.

As many in our audience are aware, EstateSalesNews.com was recently in Sierra Madre, CA visiting with Crown City Estate Sales for the sale of a gentleman who worked with Native Americans (at the time he was called an Indian Agent in the early 1920s) and a photographer for National Geographic.

His small home and property was filled beyond capacity (a hoarder house most would call it) with collections of valuable Native American artifacts that had been given to him by the tribes he worked with and a host of many other collections. To get a perspective of what Crown City Estate Sales faced please visit our Front Page from last Monday for the interview with Jackie Wise Fimbres and a brief video tour of the property. The sale has lasted four days, today being the conclusion.

I spoke with Jackie before the sale started last Thursday, July 17th and she informed me that at 1pm she already had 40 people waiting (this is a quiet residential area and street) and the sale wasn’t going to start until the following morning. She expressed to me that although she doesn’t always use numbers she recognized the growing crowd could become a problem without some type of order for admittance so she proceeded to hand out numbers to the gathering crowd. I received a message from her at the end of Friday stating that in that one day alone 1,234 people had attended her sale. Utilizing the number system (1,2,3….) she was able to control the flow not only in the small jammed house, but in the basement, garage, small out building and yard in the back.

It is very important for the safety of the public and estate sale staff, along with the protection of the property and security for the items for sale to control the flow of people entering and exiting an estate sale. Not every estate sale requires numbers. Some estate liquidators use a sign up list and others use a type of lottery system using playing cards, while some may not use any system at all. Rural locales unless they contain collections such as this property did probably do not require such systems. Each estate liquidator makes a judgement on what will best work for the estate sale, always keeping in mind that they are working for the seller(s).

When hiring an estate sale company ask how they handle the public. Remember, not every sale requires a number system or list, however, it is a good decision on your part to understand how the liquidator you are choosing thinks and works.


Friday – Estate Sales Are Everywhere, Are You Ready?

Estate Sale signThere are so many estate sales starting today it is not possible to know where to start with showing what’s out there so instead here is a quick reminder of what you should have with you if you’re shopping.

If you attend estate sales every week you probably already have your “estate sale kit” ready and maybe even keep it in the trunk of your car.

Be sure you have you route mapped out if you are attending more than one. It’s faster and safer. Include a flashlight, magnifying glass or loop, extra wrapping, some bags, boxes, cash, checkbook, and credit card.

Many estate sale companies will no longer allow large purses or pocket books in so you might want to consider using a small tummy waist bag just big enough to hold your auto keys and the items mentioned above.

Wherever you are headed today along with your excitement, please use your estate sale etiquette and treat your fellow shoppers and estate sale company staff courteously.

If it’s Friday – It’s estate sales.


What’s Selling At Estate Sales This Week

Today is the last day before some estate sales begin across the country. Some have even started today.  Several estate liquidators start on Thursday. With that in mind we want to show you some of what you might find at an estate sale this week. These items are from different estate sales across the country.

















To find these items and thousands more check out EstateSales.NET, Estatesale.com, EstateSales.org or Tagsellit.com


Estate Sale Work – What Estate Sale Companies Do

DSCN1461On Monday, June 14th we published a video of an interview and quick visual tour of the jammed pack house in Sierra Madre, CA where a four day estate sale will take place starting this Friday, July 18th by Crown City Estate Sales.

In the video the owner of Crown City talked about the preparation and work for this sale.

The heirs of this gentleman spent a year in this home prior to hiring Jackie removing the items that had sentiment and emotional attachment to them. Then they hired Crown City to come and conduct the sale.

This sale will take place in a small house, basement, one car garage and attached building used as an apartment along with a small patio/yard area.

Jackie and Frank spent the first week sorting out and eliminating the trash. The owners did just what we all keep telling them – don’t throw anything out! As the result 45 small dumpsters were required after carefully going through each and every box, closet and cabinet in the house. With such a small house space was premium and nothing that had value was discarded. With over 30 years in the business Jackie and Frank are very careful to not eliminate anything that would have monetary value. It is also a good policy to protect the public from searching through what could be hazardous or dangerous (broken glass, old medications etc.).

After removing unsellable items and trash, the work began in earnest sorting through all the contents left. Multiple collections of various items including arrow heads, butterflies, buttons, art pottery, sterling silver (an 8 foot table is required just for this and the sterling was spread out throughout the house). Careful room by room sorting was done. Jackie, Frank, and their staff had spent 18 days at this property up through last Friday, July 11th when Estate Sales News was there. From early morning until well into the evening they have been working with Jackie even taking home the button collection to bag after a long day in the home. This home does not have air conditioning and the windows do not open. The only source of air was the front and back doors open and portable fans provided by Crown City Estate Sales.  Working in a dusty very warm cramped space takes patience and experience to get through the day.

The work continues this week with displaying as much as possible initially in a very small space as well as pricing. The heirs have done their part by giving Crown City unencumbered access to the property and letting them do the job they hired them to do. Trust between client and liquidator is very important.

Not every property requires such an immense amount of work, but preparing for an estate sale is not an easy task. It requires knowledge, experience, a strong back, and a great staff and very important trust between client and the estate sale company.



Outstanding Native American & National Geographic Photographer, Hoarder Estate Sale- Sierra Madre, CA

It isn’t very often that your editor becomes speechless, but our visit with Crown City Estate Sales at their upcoming hoarder house sale July 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st accomplished that.

Jackie and Frank Fimbres are preparing a sale for a family whose grandfather was an Indian Agent and photographer for National Geographic. The contents which date from 1909 thru the 1960’s include enormous collections of Native American artifacts, antiques, art pottery, sterling, books, and everything imaginable from  A-Z. The video you will be watching was taken after 18 days of them working morning to night and they still need several days of preparation. The house is so jammed along with the garage, out building and basement that it appears as though not much has been done. This is far from the truth. After many dumpsters were used to clear out what was unsalable, the house is still overflowing with such great to outstanding items the problem is finding the space for them. Some of the collections include thousands of butterflys, African American memorabilia, listed art work, an unbelievable button collection, cologne bottles, good china and glass, a huge number of very important negatives showing Native American life, photographs, and so on. There is even a book written in the Navajo language. This will be a once in a lifetime event and we hope that this also demonstrates the great amount of time, effort and physical labor that an estate liquidator uses to prepare for a hoarder house sale or any estate sale with extreme contents and limited space. It should be noted that Jackie has expertise in Indian artifacts.

Here is a link to Crown City Estate Sales to view and read more on this fantastic sale


It’s Estate Sales Friday And Estate Sales News Is Going To California

We are flying to the metro Los Angeles area for estate sales. Where are you shopping today?

We hope you find what you’re looking for, save $$$ and help keep our planet green.

We encourage you to Like Us on Facebook, follow Us on Twitter, repin from our Pinterest boards and view our estate sale videos on YouTube.

If it’s Friday it’s estate sales. Here are a few samples from around the country for sale now.









Moving And Need An Estate Sale, Tag Sale Or Event? What’s Next?

Estate Sales News included all these different terms for estate sales because they apply depending on your location in the United States.

If you are moving or downsizing and not taking most of your belongings with you there are some important steps to follow.

Decide what you want or will need where you are going. Pack those items and if possible arrange to store them in a storage facility, with a friend or in one room of the property that can be securely closed off.

Once your personal items are packed away it is time to find your estate sale company or estate liquidator. Following guidelines provided here on EstateSalesNews.com (for choosing your estate liquidator) when you show your chosen company through they will be seeing the items to be sold. Estate sale companies have to make decisions about excepting or passing on a sale based on the amount and type of items to be sold to see how that will affect there balance sheet. They have a variety of costs including monthly exposure (internet), advertising, staffing, etc. to consider.

A word of advice to sellers.  Please don’t feel it’s personal if a an estate sale company turns you down. They are a business and make business decisions. These may be personal items to you, but for them it is whether they can make a profit to provide for their families and themselves.

A topic that has been an on going problem for many estate sale companies and sellers is when the seller(s)s decide after an estate sale company has gone through the property, prepped all the items to be sold and priced and the seller decides they want to take some of those item(s) with them. Sellers your job is to look carefully and thoroughly through everything ahead of asking a liquidator to come to your property and remove any possible items you may want. You can always change your mind and give them to the estate sale company to sell, but removing anything that was to be included in the sale and priced is not good business. Many estate sale companies have a paragraph in the contract allowing for the charging of a commission on items that were to be in the sale and removed. The commission is usually based on what the item would have sold for on the opening day of the sale.

When you are moving or downsizing take your time and go room to room and if necessary box to box in the attic or basement and choose what items you will be taking with you and leave the rest for the estate sale company. Don’t throw anything out. Let your chosen professional make that determination. If you have done your due diligence, made the best choice possible and have trust and confidence in your estate liquidator let the estate sale or event commence.


Have Questions About Estate Sales? Email Us – Front Page Topics

questions and answersWhether you are a seller, estate sale company or buyer there seems to be no limits on the concerns and questions to be asked about estate sales.

After 25 years in the estate liquidation business and with the continually changing laws and needs of clients we want to hear from you so we can discuss these issues here on the Front Page of EstateSalesNews.com.

From what to do when you need or want to have an estate sale, finding a liquidation company, interviewing and hiring an estate sale company, what is the process (how and why it works), what to expect before, during, and after and what if something goes wrong, we want you to email us.


When everyone involved understands what is expected and on the same page the process can be less stressful and more successful.

EstateSalesNews.com is your resource for estate sales information, help, and news.


Estate Sale Attic And Basement Finds – Hidden Treasures

If you live in an area where you have an attic, basement or both you could have hidden treasures.

Most people put things away in the attic or basement and then forget about them. We love to store things. Whatever you do, if you are going to have an estate sale don’t throw anything out. What may appear to be of little value could surprise you.

When an estate sale company comes into your home they will look from from attic to basement. Many hidden treasures including vintage and antique toys, vintage clothes, furniture, tools, Christmas ornaments (vintage and new), cologne bottles, cooking utensils, jewelry, christening gowns, and the list is endless. In the attic heat and cold are concerns.

The same applies to the basement. The concerns for basement items is dampness and possibly mold, but each property is different.

Below we are showcasing some attic and basement finds that we found on Pinterest. We thank those who have allowed Estate Sales News to share their finds.

Attic and basement finds.










A recent Google Alert article pointed out that when you attend estate sales as a buyer taking along a flashlight and a magnifying glass can be useful.


Estate Sale Or Auction – What Works For You

gavelEstate Sale signTwenty plus years ago most rural areas in the United States used the auction method of selling off the contents of a deceased persons’ estate. It was held on site and would last one or two days. Most auctioneers back then did not charge a buyer premium (only the seller paid a commission to the auctioneer) and most had no reserve. Only the large exclusive auction houses like Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Bonham, and Skinner held high end and speciality auctions.

Today let’s look at the small auction companies and estate sale companies.

Many estate sale companies have branched out into the auction business as well. They have done this for several reasons, particularly when an onsite estate sale cannot be held, there is too little in the estate to sell at an estate sale, and they can combine multiple small estates into a one day or evening event. In many cases this also provides them the ability to charge not only the seller a commission, but a buyer premium as well (a set percentage of the gross sale of the item purchased). The opportunity to possibly attract a larger audience is another factor.

There are estate sale companies that have also branched out to conduct online auctions. They do not require a brick and mortar building to conduct the auction, merely the space to store the items for sale and eventual shipment. This has become an alternative when some items fail to sell at an estate sale for various reasons and they are looking for a broader audience.

There are still more estate sale companies than auction companies and online auctions. With the rise in unemployment several years ago and the internet presence of estate sale listing sites this has greatly increased the number of estate sale liquidators. Many estate sale listing sites started off listing only estate sales and now include auctions and online auctions as all these businesses increase.

With the estate sale process one of the prime differences is that almost all take place at the property and no commission is charged to the buyer. The estate sale company has a fiduciary relationship with the seller. They work solely for them. When hired they are given access to the property to stage and price the items to be sold, and conduct a two, three or four day sale. Pricing is done before the sale. Although bids may be excepted on some items the majority of what is at the estate sale is sold based on prices determined by the estate sale company. The seller and estate sale company will have a contract that details the work to be done by the liquidator and requirements of the seller including whether the estate sale liquidator will leave the property “broom cleaned” (all unsold items removed). In most cases the only items for sale are those of the “seller(s)”. Like an auction company they have staff to assist before and during the sale.

Some hold to the concept that expensive items cannot be sold at an estate sale, however, your editor knows of several estate sale companies from the east coast to the west coast that have had sales into 6 figures and sold items in 6 figures. Many factors are involved including the area and advertising. Both estate sale companies and auctions market extensively.

The choice becomes what will work best in your region. Both methods can provide successful financial results, however, it is important to review the auction or estate sale companies you are considering, do your due diligence and choose the company that you feel will work best “with” you.