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Is the phrase almost everybody leads with when they begin to consider what to do with a houseful of possessions – including heirlooms and valuables as well as the not-so-valuables. What items are “priceless” and should be passed on to succeeding generations? What keepsakes should you hold onto for sentimental value? What items are truly valuable, worth selling and what is the best way to sell them? Will an auction house take it? Should I have an estate sale? What items should I donate to charity? What about eBay?
That’s how most of my students and new clients begin a conversation with me about their ideas for moving, downsizing and possibly selling some of the things they have accumulated over a lifetime. Usually we have a conversation on their unique circumstances. They invite me over to see their homes, get a feel for their needs and to take a look at some of the things they are most curious about. Then we sit down and have an informal discussion on the process and the questions they should ask.
Unless you are a cataloger for an auction house or a curator at The Smithsonian you are certainly not alone. George has spent his entire career handling antiques and collectibles, visiting estates and working with their owners. He understands where value usually can be found and has an excellent eye for the no-so-obvious valuable items you may own. When he is not sure, he draws upon his many colleagues and other contacts in the business for advice and ideas. The expertise comes from knowing what you don’t know but knowing who and how to ask.
Everyone seems to share this concern when thinking of selling antiques and items that may have unique value in the marketplace. We understand this concern very well and provide our experience, diligence and research capabilities to carefully consider each item and place it in the best possible venue for sale.
Start with the person or firm’s background and track record. Who seems to have the best feel for the subject and displays honest enthusiasm for your items? What do their references, clients and industry peers say about them? Remember that appraisals are not sales, high estimates are sometimes counter-productive and that the key to success is working with someone whose priority is your best interests.
Advice is free. We offer an absolutely no obligation initial consultation. We only charge a fee for the items that we ultimately sell (through auction, eBay or private sales) and only after they are sold. If you decide to use an auction house for certain items, we are able to secure you a lower percentage seller’s fee. If you decide to use eBay for certain items, we are experts and can handle the process from start to finish. If you decide to have an estate sale with the bulk of your items, we know the market very well and will help you select the right company.
Our fees are structured as a percentage of the sale price of the items we ultimately sell for you. Included in our services is pickup, storage, marketing costs, auction house/eBay fees and delivery. We keep you informed and in the loop as to where, when and how your items are being sold. We also provide you with advice and counsel every step of the way (including if you conduct an estate sale, decide to donate to charities etc.) until the job is complete.