In May thru June the EstateMAX team conducted 6 separate downsizing and/or estate sales in 30 days! How do we do it? We have our system! What do we do?
Set up includes merchandising, organization, pricing (based on our 30 years of market value experience, and doing additional market research as needed), extensive advertising including copyrighting all ads and marketing on line, producing sale videos, marketing on site with lawn signage and banners, then conducting and managing the sale of merchandise in the home on sale days and continuing the selling following sale days to “be backs” ( people who have thought it thru and come back for the item-) on furniture delivery and clean up days, then final house clean up including packing and broom sweeping, moving donations to charity and transport of consignments, if any, to Other People’s Stuff by EstateMAX, our estate liquidation warehouse. WHEW!
I pay my clients within one week of end of their sale by bank wire transfer and forward the sales statement by email and a hard copy with all sales receipts, and charity receipts by USPS.
Our clients only need to move out with the items they are keeping and leave the rest to us to sell and prepare their home for settlement or staging!
For those in the downsizing process, we also refer and coordinate with moving services on our client’s behalf as part of our MissionTransition, Transitions management services, or as a stand alone complimentary service to our clients.
We provide downsizing assistance to clients and their realtors to prepare a home for sale, and provide professional home staging which saves money on the staging process by eliminating duplication of services.
Laurie has a pro work background in interior design and furnishing (30 years)- which combined with the EstateMax resources and O.P.S. warehouse inventory gives our team unlimited resources to work with!
Call us for your no cost consultation for your once in a lifetime downsizing or family estate sale, transitions services and staging!
301-332-5585 Laurie Zook, President EstateMAX
Transition is Tough, We Make It Simple!
Answer these easy questions to see IF AN ESTATE SALE IS RIGHT FOR YOU!
*Do you live in the Maryland, DC, Virginia Metro area? [a top market to hold estate sales in the Nation!]
*Do you have a single family home, or a town home of at least 1,500 square feet?
*Would you like to make a profit off of your unwanted furniture, art, decor, antiques, collections, silver, china, and small items?
*Do you need the entire premises cleaned out as a result of a sale? [disposition of some unsold items is consignment in our retail store, by agreement.] [other stuff gets you a charity receipt] [trash is hauled out]
*Do you think you have at least $5 to 6,000 worth of sell-able stuff? [don’t toss anything out in preparation, as we sell “As is.”]
*Can you book a weekend for a 3-day sale with at least 2 weeks advanced notice? [we do book up, so call us soon for our availability!][ we do value research, all promo/marketing, photos in HD, and Pro-videos
*Do you want to attract the largest and best qualified group of estate sale shoppers? [We are the best at digital promotion, and online + Social Media Marketing with a reach of over 17,000 folks]
*Do you want to work with this industries current Angie’s List Super Service Award holder? [EstateMax holds the title!] Click HERE to see our Angies List Award Info 2016
*Reliable performance? [EstateMax has tons of great REVIEWS for you to see!] Click HERE to see our REVIEWS!
THEN…… click here to have your questions answered, and to book your Estate Sale! Click HERE for our Contact Information!
At EstateMAX and MissionTransition we know how to move you and your loved ones, forward with lower stress and make you money as a result of our work! Since 1999 providing transitions management and personal property liquidations!
I have a 90% recovery rate from past projects- uncovering lost items, find missing documents, important sentimental items from property organization and downsizing, readying my clients for their big move! I take chaos and turn it into a workable environment, ready for the next step!
We get you organized, find the right moving company, set up and conduct your downsizing or living estate sale, make you money through your unwanted items and clean up your home afterward, prepping it for settlement.
Staging the home for sale is a specialty for us. Following the downsizing we set your home up (with the realtor’s input) using your furniture, as possible , and borrowing from our Other People’s Stuff Showroom, adding smalls and decorative accessories as needed to make your home interior POP with design impact! I have a 20 year pro background in design and furnishing-it all comes into play in a staging project.
Get in touch with Laurie Zook or Steve Berryman at EstateMAX to discuss your project. 1-844-378-MAX1
2017 Downsizing & Estate Sales
What We Do-We Merchandise, Price, Advertise, Sell, Stage & Clean Up Your Property So You Can Go Forward With Ease. We Pay You Within 7 Days of End of Sale! With Your Real Estate Pro, We’re the Only Other Team Member Whose Goal is Find YOU Money in the Haystack of Your Personal Property! We Do it Every Time!
We’re Not Cherry Pickers! We Sell It and Leave Your Property Clean! You Do Nothing Except Move Out In Advance of the Sale, With The Things Your Want to Keep! Your Settlement Goes Smoothly Because We Handle the Details!
Call Us Today for Your No Cost Phone Consultation. We Come to You To Visit Your Home and See Your Stuff, After We Know We’re a Match!
Hey Richard, It’s me, Laurie. I wrote a very similar piece in my blog 6 years ago- The MissionTransition Trans-Act-On Plan. I’ll repost. It’s what we live at EstateMAX. How to best liquidate personal property for our boomer and senior clients.
Most clients are reasonable in their expectations but there are those who expect the moon from results. The truth is: it matters little what you paid for something. What matters i what it’s worth now. And what it’s worth is what I can get for it! With exceptions of truly rare and collectible items, or valuables.
The world is full of furniture. Personally and professionally, I think it’s a tragedy that the milennials spend their money buying crap press board and vinyl furniture at box stores, ( yea we all love IKEA’s great design but the quality is what it is and not designed to last and in the short term will end up in a landfill in a few years.
These are the same people who are “green” advocates, want mini houses and no fuss so they should roll that philosophy into their homes. Being environmentally conservative does mean re-use..
Fact is I could sell them a solid wood dining room set for $400. Same goes for every room in their house. Those with smarts and creativity can paint, stain, and re-do the Pennsylvania House solid maple side board from the 1970’s and revise it’s purpose into a great looking bar, for instance. Dressers, Dining Room Sets, etc.
Back to the estate and downsizing sale reality: Results are cumulative..all the household stuff, the garage, books, decent clothing, attic, china, crystal, silver, collections, automobiles, lawn equipment, dolls, linens, furniture and smalls. It all comes together to produce a final sales number. That is what matters!
My advice from almost 20 years of managing stuff- When downsizing, remove only personal papers, photos and true trash from the residence. Leave the rest for EstateMAX to manage. We sell, donate and consign the best of what’s left at Other Peoples Stuff after the estate sale.
After my father died at 94 in September, leaving my sister and me to empty his one-bedroom, independent living New Jersey apartment, we learned the hard truth that others in their 50s and 60s need to know: Nobody wants the prized possessions of your parents — not even you or your kids.
Admittedly, that’s an exaggeration. But it’s not far off, due to changing tastes and homes. I’ll explain why, and what you can do as a result, shortly.
The Stuff of Nightmares
So please forgive the morbidity, but if you’re lucky enough to still have one or more parents or stepparents alive, it would be wise to start figuring out what you’ll do with their furniture, china, crystal, flatware, jewelry, artwork and tchotchkes when the mournful time comes. (I wish I had. My sister and I, forced to act quickly to avoid owing an extra months’ rent on dad’s apartment, hired a hauler to cart away nearly everything we didn’t want or wouldn’t be donating, some of which he said he’d give to charity.)
Many boomers and Gen X’ers charged with disposing the family heirlooms, it seems, are unprepared for the reality and unwilling to face it.
They’re not picking out formal china patterns anymore. I have three sons. They don’t want anything of mine. I totally get it.
— Susan Devaney, The Mavins Group
“It’s the biggest challenge our members have and it’s getting worse,” says Mary Kay Buysse, executive director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).
“At least a half dozen times a year, families come to me and say: ‘What do we do with all this stuff?’” says financial adviser Holly Kylen of Kylen Financials in Lititz, Pa. The answer: lots of luck.
Heirloom Today, Foregone Tomorrow
Dining room tables and chairs, end tables and armoires (“brown” pieces) have become furniture non grata. Antiques are antiquated. “Old mahogany stuff from my great aunt’s house is basically worthless,” says in, Va.
On PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, prices for certain types of period furniture have dropped so much that some episode reruns note current, lower estimated appraisals.
And if you’re thinking your grown children will gladly accept your parents’ items, if only for sentimental reasons, you’re likely in for an unpleasant surprise.
“Young couples starting out don’t want the same things people used to have,” says Susan Devaney, president of NASMM and owner of The Mavins Group, a senior move manager in Westfield, N.J. “They’re not picking out formal china patterns anymore. I have three sons. They don’t want anything of mine. I totally get it.”
The Ikea Generation
Buysse agrees. “This is an Ikea and Target generation. They live minimally, much more so than the boomers. They don’t have the emotional connection to things that earlier generations did,” she notes. “And they’re more mobile. So they don’t want a lot of heavy stuff dragging down a move across country for a new opportunity.”
And you can pretty much forget about interesting your grown kids in the books that lined their grandparents’ shelves for decades. If you’re lucky, you might find buyers for some books by throwing a garage sale or you could offer to donate them to your public library — if the books are in good condition.
Most antiques dealers (if you can even find one!) and auction houses have little appetite for your parents’ stuff, either. That’s because their customers generally aren’t interested. Carol Eppel, an antique dealer and director of the Minnesota Antiques Dealers Association in Stillwater, Minn., says her customers are far more intrigued by Fisher Price toy people and Arby’s glasses with cartoon figures than sideboards and credenzas.
Even charities like Salvation Army and Goodwill frequently reject donations of home furnishings, I can sadly say from personal experience.
Midcentury, Yes; Depression-Era, No
A few kinds of home furnishings and possessions can still attract interest from buyers and collectors, though. For instance, Midcentury Modern furniture — think Eames chairs and Knoll tables — is pretty trendy. And “very high-end pieces of furniture, good jewelry, good artwork and good Oriental rugs — I can generally help find a buyer for those,” says Eppel.
“The problem most of us have,” Eppel adds, “is our parents bought things that were mass-produced. They don’t hold value and are so out of style. I don’t think you’ll ever find a good place to liquidate them.”
Getting Liquid With a Liquidator
Unless, that is, you find a business like ______________ which calls itself “the fastest way to cash in and clean out your estate” in the metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville and Richmond, Va. Rather than holding an estate sale, Nova performs a “buyout” — someone from the firm shows up, makes an assessment, writes a check and takes everything away (including the trash), generally within two days.
If a client has a spectacular piece of art, Fultz says, his company brokers it through an auction house. Otherwise, Nova takes to its retail shop anything the company thinks it can sell and discounts the price continuously (perhaps down to 75 percent off), as needed. Nova also donates some items.
Another possibility: Hiring a senior move manager (even if the job isn’t exactly a “move”). In a Next Avenue article about these pros, Leah Ingram said most NASMM members charge an hourly rate ($40 to $100 an hour isn’t unusual) and a typical move costs between $2,500 and $3,000. Other senior move managers specializing in selling items at estate sales get paid through sales commissions of 35 percent or so.
“Most of the people in our business do a free consultation so we can see what services are needed,” says Devaney.
8 Tips for Home Unfurnishing
What else can you do to avoid finding yourself forlorn in your late parents’ home, broken up about the breakfront that’s going begging? Some suggestions:
1. Start mobilizing while your parents are around. “Every single person, if their parents are still alive, needs to go back and collect the stories of their stuff,” says Kylen. “That will help sell the stuff.” Or it might help you decide to hold onto it. One of Kylen’s clients inherited a set of beautiful gold-trimmed teacups, saucers and plates. Her mother had told her she’d received them as a gift from the DuPonts because she had nursed for the legendary wealthy family. Turns out, the plates were made for the DuPonts. The client decided to keep them due to the fantastic story.
2. Give yourself plenty of time to find takers, if you can. “We tell people: The longer you have to sell something, the more money you’re going to make,” says Fultz. Of course, this could mean cluttering up your basement, attic or living room with tables, lamps and the like until you finally locate interested parties.
3. Do an online search to see whether there’s a market for your parents’ art, furniture, china or crystal. If there is, see if an auction house might be interested in trying to sell things for you on consignment. “It’s a little bit of a wing and a prayer,” says Buysse.
That’s true. But you might get lucky. I did. My sister and I were pleasantly surprised — no, flabbergasted — when the auctioneer we hired sold our parents’ enormous, turn-of-the-20th-century portrait of an unknown woman by an obscure painter to a Florida art dealer for a tidy sum. (We expected to get a dim sum, if anything.) Apparently, the Newcomb-Macklin frame was part of the attraction. Go figure. Our parents’ tabletop marble bust went bust at the auction, however, and now sits in my den, owing to the kindness of my wife.
4. Get the jewelry appraised. It’s possible that a necklace, ring or brooch has value and could be sold.
5. Look for a nearby consignment shop that might take some items. Or, perhaps, a liquidation firm.
6. See if someone locally could use what you inherited. “My dad had some tools that looked interesting. I live in Amish country and a farmer gave me $25 for them,” says Kylen. She also picked out five shelters and gave them a list of all the kitchen items she wound up with. “By the fifth one, everything was gone. That kind of thing makes your heart feel good,” Kylen says.
7. Download the free Rightsizing and Relocation Guide from the National Association of Senior Move Managers. This helpful booklet is on the group’s site.
8. But perhaps the best advice is: Prepare for disappointment. “For the first time in history of the world, two generations are downsizing simultaneously,” says Buysse, talking about the boomers’ parents (sometimes, the final downsizing) and the boomers themselves. “I have a 90-year-old parent who wants to give me stuff or, if she passes away, my siblings and I will have to clean up the house. And my siblings and I are 60 to 70 and we’re downsizing.”
This, it seems, is 21st-century life — and death. “I don’t think there is a future” for the possessions of our parents’ generation, says Eppel. “It’s a different world.”
Next Avenue Editors Also Recommend:
Copyright 2011 Re-Flea LLC
B.A.D. We are Born, we Accumulate, we Deny. Downsizing is not a human inclination, but it sure cleans things up before it’s too late.
“Trans-Act-On” Steps to Support You in Reaching a Renewed Environment & Lifestyle!
Follow These Keys to a Successful Transition:
- R. B. D.- Relocation By Design:Design a Plan and an “exit strategy”. Hire a great Realtor and a Transitions Manager. Your Attorney, Financial Advisor and all the professionals you count on should be notified you are moving forward with your life. Then “work it”… getting the right help is important at the start.
- D.O.S.-Downsize, Organize and Strategize: The 1 year rule-of-thumb. I suggest beginning your plan 1 year before listing your home, or before; (when it first occurs to you that you should be working on it, it’s time!) The length of time and amount of energy you dedicate to this depends on your personal circumstances, of course, so give yourself plenty of space! Do not procrastinate. Your move out date will sneak up on you without a plan.
Behaviors to Be Aware of and Quash
- Denial and Procrastination Creates Crisis. Bottom line, this is my observation of the number one reason for “life going sour” for my clients.
- Stop (Accumulating). Put the money you would normally spend on more “stuff” aside in a separate bank account.
- Beware the Arm Chair Expert: The neighbor, family member or other acquaintance offering too much advice in your time of stress. Maintain Perspective.
- L.B.Y.L.- Live by your List: Write it all down. At first, generalize, then get specific as you work your plan. Be methodical. Who (to give to), What (to move or give), When (to do it all,) Where (to move, etc. ) Why (all the reasons.) This is your life plan for your future. When in doubt, read it for affirmation.
- H.O.H– Hire Objective Help.Family can be very helpful, if you are lucky! Don’t count on them to manage your transition. Consult with an experienced, professional Transitions manager who can work with you to assess your situation, develop a plan, and handle the details with your and your family. This is the person who sees you through the confusion and keeps you “on target”. Your right hand, and extra brain.
- S.Y.S.- Sell Your Stuff:With the help of a professional, you can sell almost anything that you decide you do not want to move with you. Furnishings, vehicles, and yes, the kitchen sink. It all has a place in someone else’s home or salvage yard or auction, waiting for the right new owner. With the money made treat yourself to a new wardrobe, cruise or pay off your moving tab.
- Keep it Simple: The old adage, but in times of big change, always the best policy. Move less stuff, add what you really want to enhance your new lifestyle!
Live Happy, Live Well!
At EstateMAX and Mission Transition we work very hard for our clients, holding ourselves to high standards. We work with our senior, boomer and estate clients as if we are their right hand, planning and executing their move in a time and cost effective manner. We have been in business since 1999 and have worked the bugs out of our processes.
For our Tag/estate sales, we approach organizing and selling personal property in a personalized yet linear fashion. Unless there are valuables in a home, of significant value-such as precious metals, fine art, fine jewelry, antique items that are over and above the norm, are most residences are similar, based on the style and stock of furnishings and decoration sold at retailers in the mid century.
We are experts at pricing and selling these items. For valuables, we do the research needed and call on experts to help in valuation. EstateMAX Maxes out our marketing for our sales using numerous online and local print media.
We might ask our clients to provide us with an appraisal, if possible, on any items they know are unique and deserve special review. Laurie Zook has a depth of knowledge in furnishings, design and fine art sales, auto sales and procurement and Steve Berryman has 35 years of in depth retail experience.
For On-Site Tag Sales, we spend from 100 to 250 hours from start to finish with our crew, handling the set up, marketing, running the sale, cleaning up, working with charity and tying up any loose ends, leaving the property ready for settlement or to be updated.
Our clients are paid the proceeds of their sale within a week of the completion. If you are not an Angie’s List Member ask for our review list.
So, If you are reading this blog, considering hiring EstateMAX or any company to do an estate sale for you consider these issues that come into play during the process:
Market competition: there are lots of new estate sales companies in the Washington DC market. Most of them are new in the industry. There are between 5 to 45 estate sales in the DC Metro on most weekends. That’s a lot of used stuff being sold. It’s a buyer’s market. It takes strong sellers to succeed.
It is all about professionalism. Considering all these points of the individual estate sale company, when making your choice, will make the difference in the process, sales results and terms and conditions of your contract.
- Prompt payment/fiscal responsibility
- Physical security
- Flexibility: the ability to conduct more than one type of sale
- Market knowledge- knowledge about what is being sold, how, your location, and time frame
- Knowledge of competition
- Pricing to the local and regional market
- Evaluating merchandise/ability to research/partnerships in the industry
- Marketing resources and strategy/what is best method for your location and time frame/advertising
- Liability Insurance
If you’re not an Angie’s List Member, you can check us out by clicking on this link. It should take you to our public profile.
WASHINGTON D.C. auction services
Notes from the Nest:
Common Characteristics of “Pack-Rats”-
(in no Particular Order.)
Note: These symptoms can be telltale signs of Mental Illness: OCD, Depression, etc, and other physiological degenerative disease. Alzheimers, Dementia in general.
- Denial and Resistance to change
- Obsession with Minutia
- Complete blindness to overall ( mess) disarray but will fixate on things like arrangement of art on a wall or objects on a shelf
- Does not get rid of things that no longer serve them on any practical basis.
- Clothing that does not fit, stashed away, in graduated sizes, for years.
- Holds onto mounds of their children’s clothing
- Holds onto mounds of papers, of all sorts: newspapers, old bills, cancelled checks, etc
- Can sleep in a bed, having mounds of mixed items and their pets sleeping with them, night after night: this is called the “Rats Nest”
- Mildew, Mold, Cobwebs and Dust is not an issue, although they might complain about it.
- Every room might look alike because each room has the same piles of boxes and stuff (extreme cases)
- Surfaces are unattended: countertops, shelves, tables, desk, bed, and on.
- Lots of small framed photos on many surfaces. Too many to focus on. Used as decoration.
- Obsession with “keepsakes” as if they are the event where they came from, itself.
- Full Suitcases with tiny scraps of things in them, clothes, medicine, forgotten for weeks, months or years.
- Duplicates of many items…lost track of posessions
- Old Rotting Food in Fridge and Cabinets
- General shoving of things to the back of cabinets, closets and piling on top of surfaces and shelves
- Resistance to moving things out that are no longer useful or are in bad condition
- Collecting of things, for the sake of collecting stashing them here and there. No specific interest in what is collected, just that things have “value” in their mind, for whatever emotional reason, and perhaps buy them because they know they have true market value but hold onto them, and never liquidate.
Add your own observations in the notes area…