We have put together a list of questions that we are asked often.
Q. What is your process?
Our first meeting is a FREE consultation. We discuss your goals for the sale, assess the items to be sold and the current market for those items as well as evaluate the physical arrangement of your home and the staff time needed to organize, price, and run a sale. If we feel an estate sale is the best option for you, we leave you with a no-obligation proposal for services.
Once you sign a contract, we provide all of the resources needed to sort, organize, display, research, price, advertise, and sell the contents of the estate in a professional manner. Throughout the liquidation process, your household contents will be treated with the utmost respect. We advertise your sale on our own website and Facebook page as well as national estate sale websites,
and place directional signs in appropriate places for locating your sale. We maintain a cash drawer during the sale and keep all proceeds until all checks have cleared the bank. Our fees and expenses are then deducted and the balance is paid to the designated recipient of the estate within ten days of the sale.
Q. What kinds of things do you sell?
We have extensive experience selling antiques, collectibles, estate property, personal property, and "anything and everything else" that can be found in a private residence! When pricing items, we consider all markets and other factors relating to the item, ensuring the best possible price for you. Our experience ranges from jewelry to automobiles, antique furniture to modern furniture, books to tools, household items to garden items, and ceramics to glassware, advertising items, art glass, bronzes, sculptures, camping equipment, Tupperware, Indian artifacts, baskets, clocks, coins, collectibles, crystal, depression glass, dolls, electronic items, figurines, fine arts, furniture, historical documents, Hummels, jade, linens, marble statues, office equipment and supplies, perfume bottles, porcelain, quilts, pottery, Roseville pottery, samplers, scrap gold, snuff bottles, soapstone, sporting goods, sterling silver flatware and serving pieces, toys, trucks, vintage clothing, vintage hats, vintage photographs, vintage purses, watches, and much, much more.
Q. How do you organize and display items?
We organize and arrange items in the most attractive manner possible so they will be appealing to potential buyers. Small valuable items are placed in locked display cases. Large valuable items are placed where they are easy to monitor and safeguard.
Q. What do you do about clean up after the sale?
In a perfect world, we would be able to sell every single every item in the house, but realistically, there will be leftovers. It could be the large, solid wood china hutch that is too big for most modern homes or the shelf of florist vases in the garage from past Mother’s Day deliveries. For an additional fee, we can arrange for all unsold items (with a few exceptions like hazardous waste) to be removed from the property.
The house will be left “broom clean.”
Q. What do you do about bad checks?
We do not accept checks.
Q. What does your commission include?
When you hire White Elephant to conduct your estate sale you are getting... our experience and expertise, our ability to attract buyers, our ability to sell your property for top dollar, our ability to solve problems for you, all necessary supplies and equipment, trained personnel, advertising, removal of ordinary household trash, and freedom from the concerns of receiving bad checks. We apply our management experience, business experience, product knowledge, people skills, and knowledge of the market to conduct a successful Estate Sale for you.
Q. Do you have a separate antique business or store?
I do not have a separate antique business at this time.
Q. Why should I sell my things?
Selling items you no longer need is a wise financial decision! Selling unused items allows you to invest the money, or use the money for other purposes. It can also make more room in your home, give your home a new look, and reduce upkeep, maintenance, or insurance expenses.
Q. What if I only have a few things I want to sell?
We consider consignment sales depending on the size and demand for an item, so call us to discuss an evaluation. We may agree to advertise it for you and/or arrange to sell it for a small percentage of the selling price.
Q. May I attend the sale?
We are very comfortable having you attend the sale. However, many people find it emotionally difficult and choose to do something else.
Q. What should I throw away and what should I keep?
Do not throw anything away until you have talked with us. The old saying that "one man's trash is another man's treasure" is very true. Practically everything has some value, and we can find a buyer for almost anything.
Q. How can I find out what my things are worth?
We will come in and assess the items for sale or we can arrange for a certified appraisal to give you an idea of the value of your property. But, the only way to find out exactly what an item is worth is to advertise it well, and place it for sale in a competitive public arena that is attended by a number of potential buyers who would like to own the item, and who have the money to buy the item.
Someone told me that my item is worth more! / I saw an item like mine on a T.V. show and they said that it was worth more! Some people may tell you what they think you want to hear - especially if they do not have to be accountable! Remember - there is a big difference between a verbal opinion of value and an offer to buy.
Someone told me that my sterling silver, cut glass, and china aren't as valuable as they once were. Is this true? Generally speaking, sterling silver, cut glass, and formal china are not as valuable as they once were. The reason for this is quite simple - many people do not have time for formal entertaining, many homes do not have formal dining rooms, and many people prefer a simpler lifestyle. Nevertheless, we do have a solid market for these items and we can sell them if the client is realistic about their fair market value.
Q. Do you pay people for referring business to you?
We do not pay referral fees! We want people to refer us based solely upon the quality of work we do, not based upon a possible financial gain. We appreciate referrals from people who are aware of the quality of work we do and our strict adherence to professional standards and codes of ethics. Our commitment to every person who refers business to us is that we will do a quality job that will make them proud that they recommended us. We believe that there is no better way to demonstrate our appreciation for referrals!
Q. Why can't I just do my own sale?
A successful sale doesn't "just happen." It takes a considerable amount of time to organize. It requires a wide range of knowledgable, experienced and hard working personnel who place attention and detail on every item from pricing to set up. We have seen what happens when an individual, friend, or family member conducts a sale themselves. Too often, the valuable items are sold at "give away prices" and the less valuable items are priced too high. This results in a home that is depleted of its valuable resources and left with the more common, everyday items that must be donated or given away. The result is far less money than we can earn for you! You never get a second chance to sell estate property. Make sure it is done right the first time. Selling family heirlooms and memories can be very difficult to detach from.
Q. What do I have to do to help?
We ask that you remove any item from the property you do not want to sell, if possible. Other than that, you do not have to do anything other than tell us what you want to sell, and accept our check for final settlement. We do all the work and we handle all the details!
PO BOX 1902, Laplata, MD 20646 | (240) 419-8966
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