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 Sales buyers etiquette – entry to a sale can get challenging

lining upOver the last few months I have spoken with estate sales liquidators from across the country. All of them agree that during the last few years the buyers showing up at estate sales have become increasingly demanding and on occasion down right difficult to work with or satisfy.

Buyers are what makes an estate sale a financial success or bust, however, buyers  should follow some basic etiquette for estate sales.

When lining up for entry to the sale follow the directions of the estate liquidator. Pushing, shoving and arguing may result in not gaining entrance to the sale. What ever the entrance procedure is be it a list, number system, cards or initial time of arrival respect the estate liquidator and fellow buyers.

Many estate sales companies limit the number of buyers that can enter to ensure security for the items in the sale and safety of the buyers and liquidation staff. If you decide to be present at your estate sale it is advisable to let the professional liquidator you hired handle the buyers, negotiations, and entry to the sale.



Estate Sales a great way to go green and celebrate Earth Day

vintage sinkOld doorsEarth Day was Monday, April 22. Estate sales, however, enable sellers and buyers to celebrate Earth Day 365 days a year.

Whether you are selling furniture, lighting, clothing, dishes, general household, or toys, reselling these items keeps them from the landfill a little longer and helps keep the earth green.

If you are planning on remodeling look at selling windows, doors, garage doors, sinks, bath tubs and even appliances (as long as these items are in good and working condition). There are several stores across the country from California to New England that acquire these items and have them available for resale. Old doors and sinks can add character. It is also possible in many cases to have an old sink or tub resurfaced. Here is a link to a site that offers architectural  salvage shops across the country

Vintage clothing stores are popular across the country featuring accessories and even costume jewelry.

Whatever you’re looking for consider an estate sale to go green and sellers, DON’T THROW ANYTHING OUT until you have had a professional estate liquidator evaluate what you have.



Winter Park Florida estate sale filled with high end collections

LaliqueMoser BohemianDuring my news coverage in March of the 2013 Estate Sales Conference held in St. Louis conducted by EstateSales.Net I met Sharon Germaine, the Estate Sale Director from Creating Divine Order located in Casselberry, Florida. We discussed this sale which is filled with large quantities of high end items commonly referred to by antiques dealers and estate sale liquidators as “smalls”.

Sharon said that Creating Divine Order are Certified Relocation and Transition Specialists (CRTS) as well as certified members of several other organizations.

Their Winter Park sale which starts this Thursday, April 25- April 27 has signification collections and features Meissen porcelain, Lalique, Royal Crown Derby, Quimper, Royal Worcester, bronze statues and chandelier, Moser Bohemian, an extensive collection of perfume and scent bottles, art, and mid century furniture. To view more of this sale click here


Detroit Estate Sale at mansion of former President of Burroughs Corp.

roomsolariumHartt Estate Sales of Detroit, Michigan will be conducting a two part estate sale in May at the former mansion of Standish Backus Sr. the former president of The Burroughs Adding Machine Company. Mike Hartt, owner of Hartt Estate Sales  and Antiques Gallery spoke with Estate Sales News about this immense sale. The mansion is 9,600 sq. ft with a full length 3rd floor ballroom and a 13,500 sq. ft. basement.

Mr. Hartt said this is the finest and largest quality contents in Hartt Estate Sales history.

The mansion is located in historic Indian Village. The first part of the sale which starts May 9th will have the first and second floor of the home open. The second part of the sale later in May will feature the full basement and the 3rd floor ballroom.

libraryTo quote Mr. HarttThe present owners of this residence have lived here almost 50 years, so their unique museum quality collection of antiques, furniture and furnishings and other household goods is exquisite and in excellent condition.”


Estate Sales News will be in Detroit May 7th to bring you more news on this sale. If you would like to see other photos of this sale click here


Trending in estate sales – multiple estates & seeding a sale

trendsTracking sales across the country some new trends and some old are emerging.

In many states where the estate sale has very large collections that cannot be displayed properly for an effective sale in the residence (or in some cases the owner/heir does not wish to have their residence used for an on site sale) professional estate sales companies are relocating the collections to large open rooms (similar to what an auctioneer would use) to stage the quantity of items to be sold. If you have such a collection or collections, you should inquire on the interview if the estate sales company performs such a service and what it will cost you. It would be unusual for a professional liquidator to absorb the cost of the move. It is usually preferable to most estate sales companies to conduct the sale on site, however, not only can large collections present a challenge, but so can some gated communities where they will not allow an estate sale on site.

Another trend that for years has been little spoken about is what is referred to as seeding a sale. Sometimes when a sale does not have enough items to draw significant public attention some estate liquidators will bring in items from other small sales or if they also sell retail they may bring in merchandise of their own. If your contents are limited, be sure to ask during the interview whether the estate sale company will want to  seed the sale, where the items are from, and how they will be tagged  to differentiate their merchandise from your items. Accurate recording of items sold from others is needed to ensure all monies are distributed appropriately.


Estate Sale – San Diego – Collections of lusters, silver & gramophones

lustresgramma phonesI conducted a telephone interview yesterday with Carol Edwards, owner of Life Transitions serving the greater San Diego California area. Ms. Edwards became a Certified Personal Property Appraiser with the Appraisers National Association 15 years ago.


Her North Park estate sale (some photos above) starts this Thursday, April 18th. It has the largest collection of lusters she has come across along with a gramophone and phonograph collection (she has brought in a specialist to assist her with this very specialized collection) high end silver plate and sterling, telephone collection and clock collection to mention a few. Ms. Edwards said the collections were so large it took over a month to complete an inspection.

I asked Ms. Edwards what she does for security. She informed me that in many instances she hires security guards. She also does not put the address out in public until the night before the sale starts.


Estate Sale armed robbery in Seattle – Security is concern

Tracy Vedder of KOMO News in Seattle Washington recently wrote about a local armed robbery that took place in West Seattle at an estate sale in January of this year.

For potential amateur sellers this video clip from KOMO may help you decide why hiring a professional estate sale company can be so important to the safety of your sale and why you should choose your estate liquidator carefully. Not all estate sales companies are knowledgeable about security and take adequate measures.

I recently spoke with Linda Brannagan of New Jersey Estate and Moving Sales in northern New Jersey about security concerns she had for a large sale she just conducted for four days in Plainfield. This estate sale was filled with valuables and she expected the volume of people showing up would warrant hiring two security guards as well as being heavily staffed. She informed me that the sale had a line of people up to 2:00pm on the first day.

This article also discusses how even in retail outlets such as a consignment or antique shop security measures have been increased and how more and more estate sales companies are accepting charge cards to lower the amount of cash taken in and their vulnerability.


Estate Sales where pets have been.

TBone catEstate Sales companies frequently encounter homes where people have had pets. I have two cats and wouldn’t trade them, however, in some instances pets can present challenges to estate sales companies.

Over the course of my time in the estate sales business I worked in homes where an elderly person wasn’t able to take the small dog out and needless to say the carpet and smell of the carpeting was over powering. On one occasion the owner seemed not to notice that the animal had pooed on the floor.

Often times animals that shed can create allergy problems for the public attendees and even the estate sales staff.


Looking For An Estate Sale Company? Check For Reviews

If you are looking for an estate sale company check out the internet for reviews, good or bad. Today the majority of people in the United States have access to the internet.

Google is a great source to look for reviews, however, Google only accepts reviews from people that use gmail. Another great source to check out is the BBB (Better Business Bureau). A serious complaint from a consumer can end up on the doorstep of the BBB.

You can also look at the yellow pages. Believe it or not people do leave reviews.

You can check social media such as Facebook, however, an estate sale company like anyone else on Facebook can remove unwanted comments.

One other internet source is Yelp.com.

If you do have internet access you may want to type in the name of the estate sale companies your are looking at and see what shows up.


Hiring an appraiser – USPAP by Judith Martin ISA CAPP

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)  is published by The Appraisal Foundation located in Washington DC.   This document is re-issued every two years and is the guidelines for Appraisers and the users of Appraisals.  USPAP involves real estate, personal property and business valuation.  

The document is broken into nine parts.  The first seven sections (Definitions, Preamble, Ethics Rule, Record Keeping, Competency, Scope of Work, and Jurisdictional Exception ) pertain to all those who use USPAP in their professional lives.   The following sections are The Standards which pertain to the development of an appraisal and the reporting of the findings.  The final section is the Statements which clarify, interpret, explain and elaborate the Standards.     

All  the parts of USPAP are important in an appraisers work.  However, USPAP does not state how reports are to be written.  The Standards only indicate what needs to be included in the report to be a USPAP compliant report.