York Cottage Sales
York Cottage Sales

Having a Sale

Who uses Estate Sale Services?
Executors of an estate, people moving to smaller quarters, people moving to a retirement or nursing home, people moving in with a relative, or anyone who needs to sell most of their home's contents.
Why not sell it myself?
First, many people are not fully aware of the current market value of their possessions. In that case, a self-operated sale can result in two things: 1) Selling items at give-away prices or 2) The inability to sell items because they are priced far too high. Neither will result in an optimum return.
Second, preparing for and running a sale is a lot of work. Most people find it much less stressful to have a professional handle the job and simply receive a check at the end. Also, dealing with the disposal of a loved one's possessions can be emotionally draining. It is much easier to let someone else handle that task.
Finally, in many ways there simply isn't enough time to do it yourself. Allowing us to handle it frees you to deal with the more improtant aspects of your move or estate dispersal.
What kinds of things do you sell?
We can sell just about anything that is legal and safe to be sold...furniture, accessories, prints, paintings, kitchen goods, clothing, appliances, tools, garden equipment and most other household items. We also sell cars, trucks, and boats.
Of course, antiques and collectibles are always popular items that really bring in the buyers. This category includes the obvious things like glass, china, furniture, jewelry, paintings, stamps, coins, books, etc. It also includes lesser-known collectibles like old documents, photographs, advertising items, old correspondence, pens, and similar items.
A large part of our job is to find and identify those "sleepers" that might otherwise be ignored, lost, or discarded. That's why we ask clients not to "clean up" excessively before contacting us. There might be treasures in that trash! The real trash can be discarded as we prepare for the sale or after the sale.  You should focus on keeping personal papers, prescription drugs, family photos, and such. Even if you miss something, when we come across anything of a personal nature, we set it aside and save it for you.
What do you do?
Depending on the amount of material to be sold, we start working in the home between two and four weeks before the sale date.  We bring in folding tables and display shelves as required to display the items to be sold. We then unload all closets, cabinets, drawers, and the attic, if necessary, so that all items can be seen.  After organizing, we price everything, either individually or by using signs for groups of items. Pricing is based on our knowledge of the marketplace, reference libraries, price databases, and relationships with specialists in many antiques and collectibles fields.
On occasion we discover rate and valuable items in estates. In that case, we research the market value of the item and determine if the estate sale is the best venue for its disposal. Options may include attempting to sell it at our sale for a fair market value, selling it privately to a specialized collector, or selling it through a specialized firm. We will pursue whichever route promises the best return for you, the client.
We then advertise the sale. First, we develop a detailed listing of items in the sale and digitally photograph the merchandise. An email containing the merchandise list is sent to our customers who have requested notification of upcoming sales. (That distribution is currently over 1500 names long.) We also post the list on our website along with the photographs of the merchandise. Finally, an ad is placed in local papers along with the website address for more detail. (During the sale, we also post signs at nearby street intersections to entice "walk-in" customers.)
Then comes the sale itself. We hold firm to the published opening time for the sale. There are no "Early Bird" sales for those who arrive early. This assures our customers that, if they arrive at opening time, all of the merchandise won't already be sold. We typically have 50 to 100 customers waiting in line when we open the door. We do not reduce or negotiate prices on the first day of the sale. Prices will, however, be reduced on the subsequent sales day(s) to entice buyers back to the sale and to attempt to get as much merchandise sold as is possible. 
What about the items that don't sell?
Items that are left can be retained by the owner, donated to charity or discarded at the owner's discretion. We can assist in making that decision.
What are the charges for your services?
There is no up-front cost. Our fee is based on a percentage (commission) of the total value. The fee is deducted from the proceeds. There is also an advertising fee to cover the news paper and website.
Is there a minimum charge?
We do charge a minimum fee; however, the amount of goods in a typical sale generally result in a commission that exceeds that minimum.
How do I know if there's enough to justify a sale?
A phone conversation can usually determine whether there are enough items to justify a sale; however, we prefer to look over the items to be sold to get a good idea of their value. Sometimes we can arrange to combine two or more small estates to result in a bigger, better sale. There is never a charge for us to meet with you to look over a prospective sale.
Are there any other costs?
Additional charges may be incurred to employ extra personnel that might be required during the sale to provide customer assistance and security. Clean-out of items and/or trash after the sale and cleaning of the house are not a part of our normal services. If those services are desired, additional charges may result.  No charges of any kind are ever incurred without the client's prior approval. All charges are discussed and shown in the sale contract before any work is started.
 
 
 

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York Cottage Sales

hope@yorkcottagesales.com

 

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