Frequently Asked Estate Sale Questions
Who needs an Estate Sale?
Estate sales can arise under circumstances such as a death in the family and the contents of the home needs to be reduced to cash for estate distribution purposes. Estate sales are necessary if there is a move due to downsizing of a lifestyle or relocation.
Will there be a charge to come to the home and estimate potential for an estate sale?
There is never a charge for an initial consultation. An appointment will be set up to meet with the family members who would like to be in attendance. The time to have this appointment is when a fair representation of what will be offered in the sale. During this appointment, an estimate of potential outcome will be a part of the consultation. I will ask for a tour of the home but only to see the potential volume, to determine how much preparation and staging is required and how much staff will be necessary to properly prepare and monitor the home during the sale. The home will be photographed and an inventory will be prepared upon acceptance of the sale. If your home does not qualify for one of our sales, we will let you know and help you with alternate choices that meet with your needs.
What do I need to do to get ready for your visit to the home?
First, do not throw away anything. Do not trash, donate, have a yard sale, sell to dealers or give friends that have been of help things until you know what you have. We want you to take what you wish to keep and leave everything as is. As a Certified Appraiser of Personal Property, I have a handle on the marketplace and the ability to get your inventory to the end user which is who will pay the most for your personal property.
How can Zoe TeBeau Estate Sales be of help?
Zoe TeBeau Estate Sales has been serving the marketplace for over 20 years covering the greater Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino and Palm Springs areas. We have a tremendous following for all of our sales. We specialize in American and European antiques and collectibles, fine art, fine and costume jewelry, household contents, automobiles, knowledge of the marketplace for consignment to auction houses and negotiate rates and fees that are favorable to our clients. All staff is highly specialized and come with expertise in the field of the secondary market and understanding of values and trends.
Where are the sales conducted?
The venue is always in the home of where the contents need to be liquidated.
What are the fees?
We work on a percentage/commission of the sale. Our fees are explained once the home has been inspected. Percentages vary for to many reasons but mostly due to investment in time for preparation and proper staffing. All sales are not alike.
How the home gets set up for a sale?
We will arrive with tables, elegant table cloths, display cases for items that need to be watched, proper lighting, and all materials for tagging and laptops with broadband to research when necessary. The home will look like a show room. We provide exceptional attention to details that make everything tempting for buyers to enjoy their time in the home and leave with their treasure. There is special attention to how the flow will be from entry to exit; check-out is in a secured area, appropriate staff to watch rooms, exits and entries. The staff is identified with name tags and money is handled in one location by cashiers issuing receipts and charging the appropriate sales tax. Most homes require at least 50-80 hour’s of preparation. The success of an estate sale is well prepped and well staffed. These are two areas we do not short cut. For this reason, we need at a minimum of one week to prepare the home for a sale.
What advertising do you do?
The ads are posted on our website zoetebeauestatesales.com as well as estatesales.net and all the relevant newspapers and their websites. I have a large following that is notified through my email blast that goes to thousands of followers of our sales. Attendance is typically 1,500–2,000 responding to our ads, emails and simply driving by. Our signs are professionally made and are placed in appropriate locations to directionally get people in and out of the neighborhood. Signage in most cities is very restrictive so a good ad campaign is critical.
How far in advance do I need to book an Estate Sale?
The minute you know you are in need of a sale, contact our office to let us know what you are thinking. This way we can see you right away, even if the sale is off in the distance. Then we can be mindful your sale is in the future and we can support all questions you may have until you are ready to go forward. If you are listing a home or accepting offers be sure your sale needs are considered by your realtor as well as the new buyers.
When is the best time to have an estate sale?
All year, any month and the best days for sales are Thursday through Sunday. Some cities are very restrictive about when a sale can take place. We are aware of all local requirements and secure all permits and paperwork that is required by their City Hall.
What happens to the contents of the home that did not sell?
Wheeling and dealing is a part of the fun of an estate sale. Many times with the residual a buy-out business will be consulted. Other options are donation groups that are contacted for a non-cash charitable contribution. There is usually a transition day from the last day of the sale and before the clear-out process begins so the family has a chance to review what remained unsold. As an appraiser, I can prepare a valuation statement for your tax reporting purposes. The final stage is a hauler to come in and remove all debris so the home is cleared of all contents.