Estate Sale Process
Upon signing the contract, we will discuss how much time and access we will need. We require a set of keys that access all the areas of the estate to properly stage and price all of the items in the sale. How much time we will need to set up will depend on the size and contents of the home. We typically spend 1-2 weeks getting a sale ready even longer for larger estates. Please note that we may work at all hours of the day or evening in your home or property preparing for your sale. It would be very disruptive to anyone living in the home during this time. Be prepared to be away from the property during the set-up and the estate sale. The process and timeline can be compromised if the home is occupied. This can also be an emotional experience for family members seeing people handling personal items and putting a selling price on them. We will remain in communication during the estate sale process for any questions, concerns or last-minute thoughts.
Permits and Requirements
We help you determine the type of sale, and depending on the city or township requirements we’ll secure the right type of permit to allow the sale to take place and follow their rules and regulations.
Organizing and Set-up
We post interior signage for safety, informational needs and the policies of the Estate Sale. We tape-off restricted areas. We provide display tables, display shelving, locking jewelry and display cases for valuables when needed. We bring clothing racks as necessary. All items are displayed for easy accessibility and with safety and security in mind. Valuable items are placed within sight of staff at all times.
We arrange furniture and stage your home to optimize the flow and safety. We search cabinets, closets or wherever items may be hiding! All possessions are organized, inspected, and sorted keeping any items worth selling and loading trash containers or a dumpster where necessary. Any personal items that are found as we sort through all areas of the property will be kept in a safe place for you. You can then determine if you would like to keep them! We group items to make them more presentable while turning your home into a store-like shopping atmosphere.
Our goal is to sell at the best possible price. We also need to sell your items to potential buyers with value pricing in mind so as few items as possible are remaining at the end of your estate sale. We evaluate items to be sold and mark prices on them using price stickers, tags, or signs that we provide.
Household items are evaluated and priced based on recent fair market values. We price your items near the current fair market value with a focus on generating sales. Since the estate sale is commission based, if we don’t generate sales neither of us makes money! During the course of the sale we use our judgement to attain and accept the best possible offer. We do not discount on the first day of sale. We do however encourage customers to submit offers for their desired items that will be considered each morning on subsequent days of the sale if that item hasn’t already been purchased.
In the case of rare or specialty items our staff researches our extensive reference library checking recent selling price trends from price guides and internet sources of items recently sold. We may also use a network of individuals and independent appraisers with expertise in a wide variety of specific specialty areas. Specialty items may include antiques, art, sports items, books, coins/currency, collectibles, electronics, musical instruments, and more.
In cases where we find rare, highly unique and unusual high value items, we may find it necessary to contact a national auction house in order to yield maximum proceeds that you can only get from a wider audience. With some higher priced items such as vehicles, boats, or larger slower moving items we may use a silent bidding system.
Hidden Gems Estate Sales attracts the interest of as many people as possible to your sale. We photograph items for sale to display on multiple websites and place listings online where buyers who attend Estate and Liquidation sales are most likely to view.
We also use E-mailing campaigns to potential buyers contacting a network of individuals, collectors and dealers who have interest in particular items to acquire the greatest number of potential buyers for your sale.
We provide directional signs on the day of the sale at nearby intersections attracting local traffic and directing them to your estate sale in communities that allow signage. In addition we may distribute flyers in your neighborhood telling them about your sale.
We take reasonable steps to guard against theft, for example placing smaller high-value items near personnel in locked cases. Our staff wears our company shirts so shoppers can easily spot our presence and ask for help. We place wireless security cameras which are temporarily installed to deter theft where appropriate. We only allow an appropriate number of people in at a time to better help the customers, reduce the risk of damaged to items, help prevent loss and reduce overcrowding.
Besides cash we also accept all major credit and debit cards to help ensure we don’t miss any sales. Count on us for management of the sale itself, all negotiations and pick up needs. Only our cashier(s) come into contact with your money. Sales are tracked electronically by category so there is accountability for all of the Estate Sale transactions!
We provide booties (shoe coverings) for attendees to wear at your sale upon client's request or in poor weather conditions. We can provide customers with third party moving resources if they don’t have anyone that can help move large items they wish to purchase and we coordinate the customer pick up schedule.
At the end of the sale
Within 10 business days after the sale you will receive a final accounting with an itemized sales summary by item or category plus the selling prices. You will also receive a check for the sales proceeds minus any fees agreed upon before the sale. Your keys are returned at the end of the sale after all the buyers have picked up their items and after any additional after sale services you needed our help with have been completed.