We recommend calling for a consultation as soon as possible. We can save you months of work and stress. We are often called after a family has spent countless hours trying to decide what to keep and what to do with the rest. We can help you through this process, save time, save money and make you more money. Before you take the first trip to the dump or charity, call us.
Just select the items you and/or family members plan to keep. Smaller items should be removed from the house or the sale area, and larger items can remain in the house with “Not For Sale” signs.
DO NOT THROW ANYTHING AWAY*
The adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is the rule here. We really do sell everything from cars to paper clips. Determining what to keep is a job for an experienced estate sale specialist. Our clients often want to help by cleaning out cabinets, donating items that don’t appear valuable and getting rid of junk. Everybody knows not to toss the silver and china; but old postcards, campaign buttons, toys, clothes and many other items all add up to make a really great sale! Our buyers love finding those hidden treasures, so please take no action until we can give some guidance on how to separate the “trash” from the “treasures”.
*Ok, we digress a little here; there are a few things that you should probably remove in advance. They include:
- Obvious trash
- Personal items such as bills, paperwork, photos (we do have buyers for old film and slides if you wish to sell them)
- Open food, home canned food, frozen food.
- Open toiletries and cosmetics (unopened are fine)
- Wire hangers (unless there are clothes on them)
- Undergarments (unless they are new or like new, designer or collectable vintage). Note that vintage clothing and jewelry are a huge draw for sales, high end clothing and coats also tend to sell well.
- Cassette Tapes and VCR Tapes
- Mattresses over 10 years old
We do not dispose of chemicals, paints, or hazardous materials for free. Sometimes these items sell, especially cleaning products, and some garage liquids, so it may not be necessary to dispose of them prior to the sale, but will require proper disposal post-sale if remaining. If you are not in a position to remove these items, we can assist you.
We are professional, discreet and can accommodate most requests.
WHAT WE DO-
Initial Meeting: We will usually meet with you at the estate to go over the contents, schedule, and answer any questions that you have. This is usually done at the home. At this time we discuss your goals and expectations, as each situation is unique. Some clients want top dollar for their items, even if that means only selling a portion of the estate. Sometimes the goal is to empty the house as quickly as possible. We frequently work with estate executors who have a fiduciary duty to maximize the financial value of an estate, must clear out the home, and handle the estate in a timely manner, so the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Once we have determined your goals and our workload, we will discuss our schedule, commission and will often sign the contract on site.
The next step in preparing an estate sale is determining exactly what we have to sell. This can be a messy process, but a rewarding one. Everything has to be pulled out of cabinets, drawers, closets, garages, and sheds. This involves hours of physical labor that are the key to an organized, quality estate sale. We realize that there are treasure shoppers out there, but most people prefer not to dig through drawers and closets. We bring in folding tables, bins and baskets to organize and stage. Similar items will be grouped to determine how they will eventually be displayed. Things that are broken, stained, badly cracked or chipped will be separated out. They may be recycled, thrown away or put aside to be sold as a box lot. After we sort, organize, and clean, we are ready for the next steps of appraisal and pricing.
Once we know what we have to work with, we need to determine the value of each item in the house and then place a price tag on it. Having a professional perform a proper estate appraisal is vital for a successful sale. We have a keen knowledge of the “book value” of your personal property and, more importantly, know how to price those items to sell in the Denver area market. Years of experience in combination with access to reference guides and services make the difference between a professionally priced sale and an amateur one. Appraisal and pricing is much more than just making up a price.
Property Appraisal Categories:
The items that we appraise and price fall into the following categories:
Antique furniture (What is antique- generally 100 years or older.)
Collectibles: art, sculpture, paintings, figurines, etc.
Ceramics & Glassware: porcelain, fine china, pottery, crystal, depression glass, etc.
Used furniture – This covers everything from fine contemporary furniture to “curb furniture”. We can appraise most used furniture based on our experience with the local market. Mid Century Modern is still our biggest seller (that’s from about 1933-1965)
Housewares – kitchen items, knickknacks, decorative items, lamps, pictures, books, electronics, records, tools – You get the picture. These items may lack the allure of antique treasures, but the sheer volume makes them hard to ignore. due to the everyday needs in this category, the proceeds from the sale of housewares can equal or exceed the furniture revenue!
Clothes, shoes, purses, furs – We know quality apparel and will spend the time necessary to sort, appraise, and price valuable items.
Jewelry – Our specialties include silver, watches and collectible costume jewelry (which can bring surprisingly high prices.)
Cars, boats, trailers – For auto appraisals, we consult the online Blue Book (NADA & Kelley) and may request a Carfax Report. Clear title and a notarized bill of sale are required. (death certificate and POA are also needed for deceased owners).
Staging & Showcasing
Estate sale staging is the key to a successful sale. Professional showcasing will exhibit the home contents to provide the best exposure and maintain traffic flow. We often use the spaces in a home to showcase the contents, but may provide tables when needed. Fine jewelry and small expensive things will be displayed in cases or in constant view. We rearrange furniture, hang pictures, and place decorative items so they receive prime exposure. We create a smooth flow for customer traffic through the house. There is usually just one door that will be used to enter and exit. Once the showcasing is complete, it is time for final pricing.
Now we take our research and appraisal information and knowledge of the Colorado market and get ready to price. We print out information for specialty pieces, put tags and stickers on items, and post price lists and purchase information for items like books, cds, and some clothing. By now we have a very good idea of what is in the home and what it is worth, so anything without a tag can easily be priced at checkout.
Careful pricing avoids confusion, and it goes a long way toward cultivating a base of loyal customers. The customers need to feel that they are being treated fairly–That all customers will be given the same deal.
Once the items are priced, we are ready to advertise our fabulous sale!
Estate sale advertising has to be well conceived and extensive. It is an essential component of an estate sale service. Thorough and careful staging, pricing and advertising will almost guarantee a successful sale. Thousands of people view our sale listings and Silversun Estate Sales has an advertising plan designed to bring motivated customers to each estate sale.
Before each estate sale we prepare a comprehensive listing of the items for sale. We photograph the contents. This information is posted on our website. We also post this information on various estate sale websites and in classified listings. The sale location and time are given, along with careful directions to the house. We may also distribute flyers to interested antique shops, antique malls and flea markets. Estate sales are a primary buying source for local antiques dealers and decorators, so they are an important target for advertising. They are often reached by personal contact, in addition to the methods explained above. We also maintain a list of eager collectors looking for specific items such as clocks, records, postcards, paintings, etc. We email the sale information to our list of hundreds of customers. We have compiled this email list from years of sales. Therefore, the people we email have requested to be notified. No spam!
Within 24 hours of sale day, we place signs on streets near the sale and at busy intersections in the area.
We have large, easy to read signs, a very important component of directing traffic our way!
Estate Sale Day!
Days to weeks of work have led up to Estate Sale day. All of the planning, appraisal, pricing, showcasing and advertising are what will make this day a rousing success. The house will look amazing and everything for sale will be displayed to its best advantage.
Normally, our estate sale are held on a Friday and Saturday, beginning between 9-10 a.m.* Before the sale begins we make sure all signs are posted, lights are on, off-limits areas are clearly marked and/or locked, and any outdoor items that were secured overnight are brought out. Sales are generally cash only, but for larger sales, we can accept credit cards.
*We sometimes offer our email customer base and dealers a special one hour preview sale on Thursday. To join this list, contact us with your name and email and any special areas of interest that you have.
When the sale begins, the doors will be opened and the dash for treasures ensues. The sale can be a bit of a madhouse for several hours but we work hard to keep things moving smoothly. We divide the home into manageable areas, with extra attention to the entrance/exit points and the higher value items. We are constantly on the move within each area, talking to customers, and rearranging items as things sell. After an often hectic, and (hopefully) profitable day of selling, we close up around 2 p.m. We return the next morning and do it all again.
On the second day of the sale, prices will be reduced and the serious bargaining begins. By 2 p.m. we have sold many, many items from the estate. Occasionally, with client’s permission, we are able to sell the remainder as one lot, and the estate will be fully liquidated.
Is Your Home for Sale?
In many cases, the house where the estate sale is being held will be for sale. We are happy to work with the homeowner’s realtor. (If you are in need of a realtor, we can also recommend some great ones.) Estate sale day brings in hundreds of people and this provides a good opportunity to advertise the home. We can display the realtor’s flyers in the house during the estate sale and pass along the realtor’s contact information. This is done solely as a courtesy to our client, as we are not involved in the sale of the house.
Post Sale Cleanup & Remaining Items
When the estate sale ends, we promptly remove all of our supplies, signs, and fixtures.
We understand that by this point, you just want this all to be OVER.
Every home has unsold items at the end of the sale. What happens to those items is discussed ahead of time, and we handle the remaining items according to each client’s needs and wishes. If the client wishes to handle the remaining items themselves, we will leave all unsold items in the home as they were at the end of the sale. This is often the case for clients who wish to run another sale, place items on consignment with a local dealer, donate them, or send them to auction. We offer fee based haul away services for clients who prefer to have us clear out the home after the sale.
Our final job is to provide an accounting of the sale proceeds. Within a week following the sale, the client will receive a printed statement of the gross sales and commission paid to Silversun Estate Sales. We keep all proceeds after the sale and until everything has cleared the bank. Then our fees and expenses are deducted and the balance of the proceeds are paid to the designated recipient of the estate, usually within 14 days of the estate sale.