FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why should I have an estate sale in my House?
Over time, the conventional 3-day in-home estate sale format has proven to be the most cost effective strategy for disposing of a large percentage of a house full of items in the shortest period of time. Needless to say, the more items on offer the better in terms of attracting large numbers of prospective buyers.
Do I need to get rid of things I don’t think will sell before I have an estate sale?
Please do not get rid of anything! It is a time tested fact that one man's trash is another man’s treasure. Old tools and sporting goods, electronics, lp’s, cd’s & dvd’s, books, crockery, glassware, figurines, dolls, toys, pots & pans, planters, statuary, even old clothing have value and can be sold during an estate sale.
Will The Home Secretary offer and/or negotiate additional discounts from marked prices during the sale?
Full price on Day #1 of the sale, then 25 percent off on Day #2 and 50 percent off on Day #3 is the standard discounting process during the sale. Offers made below these prices will be shared with the owner and, with owner consent, negotiations will begin with the owner making the final decision.
How much will it cost for The Home Secretary to run my sale?
We charge a commission of 35 percent for our basic services depending on the estimated market value of all the items on sale. Our basic services include preparation, photography, advertising & promotion, research & pricing, staging, running the sale and accounting. Our commission is paid from the proceeds of the sale.
Why should I hire The Home Secretary to run my sale?
The Home Secretary is a professional organization with years of experience as a successful estate sale agent. Determining fair market value on household goods, antiques and collectibles is a specialized skill we have honed over time. Coupled with our ability to draw collectors, dealers and qualified buyers, the right price ensures success. Our competitive advantage comes with our personal touch.
If I decide to use the services, how much lead time do I need to give The Home Secretary?
To maintain our reputation for high-quality, high-touch service, The Home Secretary runs a maximum of 2 estate sales each month. Presented with multiple opportunities, we never outsource a sale to others. Typically our services are booked 6 weeks in advance, but we can be flexible – client needs and circumstances determine our calendar.
What if my house requires cleaning or moving heavy furniture before my sale can begin?
If an estate sale requires extraordinary cleaning or moving heavy furniture before the sale can begin, then we will engage the required services (cleaning and/or trash removal and/or furniture moving) for a fixed fee plus project management as specified in a client-approved quote for pre-sale activities.
What if my house requires cleaning or clearing out of unsold items after my estate sale ends?
If an estate sale requires house cleaning, clear-out and/or pick-up/removal of unsold items after the estate sale has ended, then we will engage the required services (cleaning and/or removal) for a fixed fee plus project management as specified in a client-approved quote for post-sale activities.
What if I decide to donate unsold items to charities after my estate sale ends?
Our preferred charity is Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, but we also work with others who, like CHOA, have full 501(c)3 status and provide receipts for tax purposes. We work with charities for a fixed project management fee as specified in a client-approved quote for post-sale activities.
Do I need to move out of my house before the sale?
Ideally, yes. If however there is room enough in-house to accommodate both the sale and living space, then rooms can be blocked off. Additionally, large items not on offer can be moved into rooms closed to public access.
When are estate sales usually held?
The Home Secretary in-home estate sales are typically open to the public Thursday thru Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM. However each sale is different and the needs of owners vary. So, we are flexible and the days and hours of operation can be set to ensure success with consideration for the needs of the owners.
Do I need to be out of my house during the sale?
We know how difficult it is to see your treasures sold for a fraction of the price you paid for them. Additionally, neighbors coming by to visit with owners during sale operating hours tends to interfere with shopping and cashiering. For these reasons, we recommend owners not be in-house during sale operating hours.
How long will it take for The Home Secretary to prepare my estate sale?
To photograph and merchandise all of the items on offer typically requires 10 business days. During that time, we will organize the offering by category and create logical adjacencies so customers can easily find what they are looking for. Preparation also includes research & pricing.
How will The Home Secretary protect my home and property?
Small, valuable items and collectibles will be merchandised in display cases manned by dedicated staff members. Staff members will also be assigned to each area to observe customer behavior and protect personal property from damage or theft. Access and egress will be limited to a single point adjacent to our cashier to ensure no one leaves without paying for selected items.
Does The Home Secretary have any special requirements?
Only three: (1) Homeowner’s insurance must be current and in force throughout the sale; (2) heating and air conditioning must be in working order before we begin work, and the water, gas and electricity must be turned on and kept on throughout the sale; and, (3) if you are the representative of an estate, you will need to provide copies of the legal documents that authorize you to dispose of the items on sale.
When can I expect to receive my share of the proceeds?
Reconciliation is typically completed and owner proceeds paid within 5 days after the day of the final transaction.