Estate Sale Process

Listen In

Here’s a recording of a real call from a potential customer.

This should answer most of your questions about our estate sale process.

Discover the Prestige Difference.

The Estate Sale Process Outlined:

We will discuss:

  • Free phone consultation to discuss procedures, timelines, fees.
  • Discuss availability, as booking usually happens weeks in advance.
  • Company explains the entire sale process: preparation, pricing, marketing.
  • Importance of appropriate pricing for all items.
  • Details on operation hours, discount policies, and transaction records.
  • Emphasis on marketing: social media, website presence, quality photography.
  • Transparency in transactions with credit card acceptance and cashless systems.
  • Prestige Estate Services focuses on transparent, efficient operations and maximizing proceeds.

12 Step Guide To The Estate Sale Process

Give us a call! We are here to help you with your estate sale needs.1. Make a call to the estate sale company

Estate Sale Companies offer a unique opportunity to discuss their process, time-lines and fees etc. with a free phone call. This is your chance to hear about their estate sale process and schedule a free in-home consultation. There should never be any form of payment for this service and there should be no obligation.

2. Talk about dates first.

Estate Sale Companies generally book 2-6 weeks out. If you have a “hard stop” such as a real estate closing, be sure to mention that. Let the company know what your timeline is, or ideal timeline is.

3. Ask them to explain their estate sale process.

The company needs to explain how they operate and what the procedures will be going forward if you hire them. Often after this explanation, many, if not most, of your questions should be answered.

4. How do you prepare the sale?

Do you pull things out, display them, do you use tables that you provide to set things on? How do you price items? What kind of pricing expectations should I be expecting? The sale preparation process is one of the most important keys to a successful sale. Without the proper setup, items can be missed, mis-priced, not displayed appropriately and worst never get the chance to sell.

Hosting an estate sale

5. Do you price everything?

Picture yourself walking into a department store and only some things were priced? Nobody wants to go up to the register and have to ask, “How much is this sweater?” Even is the sweater is $10.00, or it’s a $150.00 sweater. Nobody wants to have to ask the price of an item. It can be a waste of his or her time. It can make them uncomfortable to ask. They may be afraid it’s too much and they just put it back. You should never see a sign that says, “Bring it to the register for pricing.” When people shop, they want to know how much the item is. We do utilize bulk pricing signs. Example. We go through a closet and there are 3 nice sets of sheets. We will bundle that nice set and tag it with $15.00. The other miscellaneous individual sheets would have a bulk price sign stating “All Individual Sheets = $2.00 unless otherwise marked”.

6. Be sure to ask the estate sale company about sale days, hours of operation, how they discount merchandise.

Our typical sales are three days and run Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. We have run them 4 days a week and as long as 16 days and as little as a small one-day sale. The average estate is a 3-day sale Thursday (Full price), Friday (25% discount) and Saturday (50% off). This is a fairly common industry standard.

7. Does your company provide a copy of the transactions from the sale?

Prestige Estate Services uses an electronic register that tracks each sale, discount, gross sales, taxes collected, net sales. This information is imported into our system which is saved and backed up to a server and covers every category of items sold, the number of items sold, and the amount of all items sold. We also provide a sample of this at the time of the walk-through. You should always receive an accounting breakdown along with your proceeds check. Please be sure to request a sample of the accounting as this should be provided at the walkthrough and our agreement does state that you have seen a copy of this before signing.

8. How does your company advertise your sales?

If you are going to do one thing in the estate sale process that affects the overall sale profitability, marketing is at the top of that list. Every estate sale needs a few things and one is, shoppers! Without them, nobody wins!

We advertise throughout the process using various forms of social media, our website, conglomerate websites, photographs. Each sale and it’s discounts days will be posted, so that shoppers who may not be able to afford an item on the first day, know the next day it will be discounted and how by how much. You need shoppers but you also need these shoppers coming back throughout the sale process! Return customers provide approximately 50% of every sale’s gross revenues.

estate-sales-process

9. Does the company have a website?

While just about everyone now days has a website, is the site professional, easy to navigate, clear information on how to contact the company, a place for people to ask specific sale day questions or about specific inventory at a sale. We do, and we get live updates from these sale inquiries throughout the duration of the sale. This way, when someone wants to know about an item, they can ask the question on the same page as the pictures. We get those “Return” customers because of our process and our ability to respond to these inquiries in expedited process, which means more sales and more revenues.

10. Does your estate sale company provide photography services?

Yes! We take photographs of items and utilize this in our extensive advertising. Good photographs of items in the sale can be the difference of someone coming to the sale to shop or deciding to go somewhere else. Without the shopper the estate sale process is impossible for success. Do the photos look nice? They should!

11. When and how do buyers pick up their items?

Buyers pick up their purchased items at the time of purchase, or, on any additional sale days. Some companies claim, allowing additional pickup days for items is a advantage but this opens you up to having to drag out the process and the interruption of random people stopping by your home for more days after the sale. All estate sale items should be removed during sale day hours.

12. Do you accept all major credit cards at your sales? What about cash?

We were the first company to accept credit cards in our industry years ago. Seems like a no brainer but some still do not accept cards. Be VERY leery of this, as they do this so they don’t have to claim all of the income on their taxes. What other business practices are they doing if this is their approach?

Why You Ask?

Why would you want to deter people from using their credit cards? Often it is because they want to encourage more cash transactions so they can claim less income? Or possibly other dishonest practices that are a serious problem with cash operations. We have now gone to contactless payment systems due to these concerns as well as recent developments with the COVID-19 environment and have found, that going to a cashless operation at this time was a great time to make a seamless and well accepted transition to a cashless operation.

Why does this matter?

Every transaction is now accounted for and verified through our credit vendor and bank and there is 0% chance on accounting errors due to cash counting, fake bills (YES we have seen them quite often). This provides 100% transparency on all transactions and not many other companies are willing to do this. You may want to ask yourself why?

We did several studies to look into and verify that there was no loss in sales due to being cashless. And we found that sales are actually up as people use credit cards from a bit more of a limitless position then cash. With cash a person is limited to how much they have on them at that moment. There are no ATM machines in a typical home. With contactless payment our sales are up and that means so will your sale proceeds. Just about every person in the world has Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo or the standard credit or debit card we accept them all.

So, this can provide our clients comfort in knowing there is no way for cash errors to be made on your sale and they are making more money with Prestige Estate Services.

Estate sales offer an unparalleled combination of history, value and personal connection, making them an exceptional way to experience and sell a world of unique treasures and hidden gems.

At Prestige Estate Services, we take estate sales to a new level, delivering a seamless and rewarding experience for both buyers and sellers–before you know it we’ll send you a proceeds check!

Here’s a step-by-step summary on the process:

Step 1. Gathering Information

  • Call us! Learn what questions you should be asking estate sale companies, such as: How long have they been in business? Are they licensed, bonded, insured?
  • Schedule your walkthrough with one of our managers. There is no cost and no obligation, let’s just see if this is a good fit for you.

Step 2. Working Together

  • Once you decide to proceed, we lock in the estate sale dates and sign your agreement.
  • Decide on what you want to keep and what you want to sell. (Don’t throw anything away, you’d be surprised at what sells!)
  • Work with your manager to arrange access for their team to start prepping for the sale.

Step 3. Creating the Sale

Your manager will start advertising your sale, creating a listing that includes photos, descriptions, dates and all the details that will entice shoppers that this is a sale they don’t want to miss.

  • We advertise through multiple channels including our website, estatesales.net, estatesales.com, estatesales.org, social media, and local marketplace sites.

Step 4. Setting Up the Sale

Leslie Working Her Magic, Organizing The Content.

To prepare for your sale, we handle all the details, including:

  • From trinkets to clothing we organize the items within the estate for the sale, staging and displaying them to optimize attractiveness.
  • Research current market trends and conduct informal appraisals if needed.
  • Tag items with pricing and set-up displays.
  • Prepare check-out and hold areas.
  • Alert client to any found personal/private items.
  • Add additional photos and information to the sale listings, and finalize advertising.

Step 5. Preparing for Shoppers

To maximize the customer experience, we:

  • Post indoor signage.
  • Designate crowd control areas.
  • Conduct a safety and security assessment.

estate-sale-services

Step 6. Holding the Estate Sale

To ensure a safe, smooth and successful sale, we:

  • Set out professional signage.
  • Staff the sale with uniformed employees.
  • Record transactions with a professional point of sale system.
  • Continually re-stage and organize items throughout the duration of the sale.
  • Update shoppers on upcoming discount days to encourage repeat sales.
  • Finalize daily estate sale accounting.
  • Secure and exit the home.

Step 7. Following Up

After the sale we:

  • Finalize estate sale accounting.
  • Email you the estate sale summary.
  • Mail you the estate sale summary and proceeds check within 4-6 business days.

That’s it! When you hire Prestige Estate Services you are under the care of an experienced staff of appraisers and estate sale staff with over 30+ years of combined experience. We can typically get your sale scheduled and completed within a few weeks.

Previous Estate Sales

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Specialized and Experienced to Guide You Through

Milestones in Motion: A Statistical Sampling of Prestige's Experience and Journey

Years In Business
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Estate Sales Hosted
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Appraisals Written
Age Of Oldest Item Appraised

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