Frequently asked questions

What should I do to prepare for my consultation?
  • Decisions of what is to be sold should be made prior to the sale consultation. Items not for sale should be marked “not for sale” and/or removed from the home before the consultation. This will help me to determine if there is enough to conduct the sale.
  • If you need to know the value of some of the items in the home, during the intiial phone call you may request a personal property appraisal. At the consultation I do express a few values on items to give you an idea of my pricing.
What items do you not sell at an estate tag sale?
Items you can donate before the sale are clothing with the exception of vintage clothing. We consider pre-1970 clothing vintage. We sell higher end coats, designer clothing and as well as vintage hats, purses, hunting clothing and vintage military clothing. Condition is everything. Make sure to check pockets and compartments before donating.
We also do not sell medical supplies, food , hand guns , wines and liquor.
What can the family do before the sale?
Gather up personal papers and photos. The frames can be sold if you need easy storage for family photos. Make sure you pull out desk and dresser drawers as this is where money and papers can fall. Look underneath and in the backs of drawers for “lost “papers and money.
  • We do not dispose of old paints or chemicals, these can be taken to Clean Sweep in Madison. Tires, wood and metals can be recycled. We usually have to get a dumpster for home clean ups. The dumpsters range from $165.00 to $240.00. If there is excess trash, these dumpsters are time savers and convenient. We do clean the houses of non saleable items but do have an extra fee to rid of the items that are not saleable. If you want to save money, sort as you go then you can do the clean up. People may not have time and we are happy to do it for you.

Do you sell jewelry, coins and stamp collections?
If you are thinking of having someone come and purchase items from your home before your estate sale, you could be making a mistake.

Don’t sell out the “draws “before your sale. An estate sale has to have a certain selection to make it successful. People will come to buy antiques and collectibles but usually also will buy the kitchen items, books, etc.

I have learned that the sales that have been “picked over” don’t generate enough income for me to conduct. There is a tendency for the turn out to be limited when these draw items are removed.

If you want a good turn out and better prices I suggest you keep the antiques and collectibles in the sale. If you don’t feel you have enough to have a sale and have antiques to sell you may want me to appraise them first.

Should we sell the antiques and/or items (such as to the new owner of the house) prior to the sale?
Diamonds, pearls, semi precious stones, and coins (if gold or antique) should be professionally appraised. Take the jewelry to a certified gemologist and tell them you need the appraisal for fair market and NOT insurance replacement. You don’t need a typed appraisal; hand written is fine. Don’t get a verbal appraisal. Keep a copy for you and one for the sale conductor. I recommend that you do not sell stamps and coins at an estate sale. This is something that can take alot of time to research. If you wish to sell these items, I can sell the collection for you but there will be an additional appraisal fee and would be sold at a later sale.
Do you inventory the items at the sale?
Before you have someone start working on the sale, take photos of items of importance. This is for everyone’s reassurance to compare inventory notes. When you hire someone to do your sale, my suggestion is to make sure they do keep an inventory of some sort. I do an inventory of all items $50.00 and above. The client gets a copy of everything sold.
This is so later you feel comfortable with what was sold. It’s not a matter of trust but protection from error
What do you do with what is left after a sale?
With all forms of sales, you will have items that do not sell. Our process is to ask the owner or personal representative of the estate to view the items left after the sale. If there is nothing that they may want or are concerned about, we box it up and schedule a pick up of donation. We get a receipt, put in a value and give to the owner. If there are some nice pieces of furniture left or something that has a significant value we work with the clients to sell those items elsewhere for them. I also offer online sales either on Ebay or our website. It all depends on the time frame to have items removed from the home.
What areas of Wisconsin do you service?

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