Tag Archives: What estate sale companies do

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.

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.