Frequently asked questions

What exactly is an estate sale?

An estate sale is held used when someone is in need of a way to sell items due to downsizing, moving, divorce, bankruptcy, or death.   On sight sales are the best answer in order to liquidate the entire contents of a home and surrounding buildings.  Everything in the home can be sold--from furniture, jewelry, antiques and artwork to basic home décor, housewares, clothing and tools.  Estate sale customers are usually on the hunt for better quality unique additions for themselves or their home, collectable, antique and vintage treasures. Not to mention daily household item..
Never toss... Good, Old & Ugly...we sell it all.

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Who has an estate sale?

Estate sales are for any one.  Any size home  contains many items that could be valuable to someone else.  Some clients need to downsize because they are moving, going through a divorce or foreclosure, or transitioning to an assisted living facility or nursing home, estate sales are not only for those who have passed away.  Estate sales can be held in virtually any size home—from condos and townhouses to mansions.  

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How does the process work?

We know that everyone's circumstances are unique.  The first step is to contact us. We would be thrilled to answer any questions you may have.  The next step is to schedule a no-obligation appointment in order to meet you in person, tour the home and assess the contents.  We sit down and listen to your ideas, concerns and goals.  Based on our discussions and your schedule, we make a plan for the best way to market and sell the entire contents of the home in a way that is most effective and profitable.  Once the contract is settled, the dates for the sale are scheduled.  You decide what items you would like to keep, have them removed or locked away behind a closed door and we take care of the rest.  At the end, we present you with final details, the sales proceeds and your home based on your final after sale plans which can include the option of an empty and broom-swept home

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Why should I hire you?  Why shouldn’t I just do my own estate sale?

We believe that hiring a professional is MORE than worth it, it ensures that you receive a greater total value for the estate.  We had developed a faithful following of buyers and with the marketing including a strong social marketing.  From past sales I can show you easily over 14,000 views of the sale thru my various advertising campaigns, if only 10% of that comes it will be a strong sale.   I have over 2000 followers on our Facebook page and over 1500 private emails.  Additionally, holding an estate sale can be a challenging, stressful and daunting task, especially after losing a loved one.  It takes a considerable amount of time and effort just to do the research alone, even for an experienced estate sale company.  We are here to help accomplish the goal of liquidating your estate professionally and honestly. We handle all the little details such as sorting, organizing, researching, accurate pricing, displaying and highlighting items in a beautiful manner which adds to their value, advertising and security so that you don’t have to.  We understand negotiation--the balance between making the most money possible and satisfying our customer base in order to liquidate all items in the estate quickly and efficiently.  We strive to be the best and always maintain a lively, fun and friendly environment to attract a large customer following.  Let our knowledge, dedication, and hard-working attitude serve you! 

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I am thinking of having an auction, which is the best way?

This is a very common question we are asked.   Usually an estate sale will raise more money than local auction houses. The reason is simple.  Often we offer "pre-sales" on hard to move items and high value items,  using our set up time (7-21 days) in addition to our 2-4 day on sight sale to find the right buyer.  Typically we start at the top end of fair market value where as an auction starts low and works their way up.  You have to hope there is at least 2 persons at the auction at the same time your item is up for bid, in order to hope for your maximum return.    Many buyers don’t want to spend all day much less all weekend at an auction waiting on the one item they want to come up for sale.  Now having said that, some very high end items along with finding the "right" auction house is the smarter decision.  Usually the item will have to be shipped out of state.  Another exception locally is farm equipement, car collections this type of items draws crowds but typical household furnishing and belongings, I do believe the best answer is an estate sale. 

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Do I have to have valuable antiques or art to have a sale?

No.   Most sales really do involve normal household contents such as kitchen items, furniture, and clothes.   Although we have a strong market to sell antiques and art, the more common items are often more salable because everyone can use them. Whereas not everyone can spend $2500.00 for an oil painting, almost anyone can use a new shirt, an extra frying pan or a pair of pliers. All these small items will add up.

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What about all the junk?  Should I throw anything away or send to the thrift store?

Please, we ask that you DO NOT throw anything away until you have met with us! And we can always send to charitable stores after the sale so also do not give away anything..  Virtually everything in a home can be sold at your estate sale—even common household goods, cosmetics, half empty toiletries and cleaning products, old papers and on and on.  This is especially true given the current state of the economy. People gladly buy things from an estate sale if it costs less than at a retail store.  Please do not be embarrassed if the home is cluttered or untidy.  This is our job, this is what we do.  We will organize and tidy up, artfully arranging the merchandise on tables and display stands or cases that we provide in order to create an aesthetically pleasing environment for the sale.  My favorit story is the "dipped into Vaseline jars" .  Had a lady ask me once what do you do with the partially used Vaseline?    What?   well we toss them...   I am willing to pay you for them if you will hold them for me...     ......sure, may I ask what you use them for...  My horses,  I resuce horses and I use them on their hoofs..   Well that makes sense to me.... gave me a how new way to look at everything.   You just do not know!

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I am just moving, can I have an estate sale?

Believe it or not, most estate sales are moving sales. It is far more common to have people move out of state, downsize to a smaller home, or move into an assisted living center.

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How do you ensure a large crowd for the sale?

The client should offer both higher dollar items and housewares that motivate buyers to attend the sale. Removing “choice” items from the home and leaving only “ordinary” items will not generate the interest and crowds necessary to ensure that most of the sale items will sell.  Secondly, in order to attract the highest number of potential customers possible, we use a large number of proven advertising methods and various websites and social media to advertise your sale with detailed descriptions and photos, including estatesales.net, .com and .org,  Craigslist, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.  I am proud to say that we have have the largest following on Facebook than any other local similar company.  as of the end of 2017 we have over 2000 followers where the next closet company has only 996,  Debbie is strong on the internet spending countless hours keeping sights fresh adding photos & updated information.  On the days of the sale, we post professional signage at nearby intersections as allowed by local laws.  

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Will we meet with others involved with the estate such as attorneys, accountants, realtors and family members?

We would be happy to meet with anyone involved with the decision-making process.  Our initial meeting is at no cost and no obligation.  If you decide to sign a contract with us, any additional meetings are also at no cost.  However, there must be no more than 1 primary contact and 1 secondary contact.  The primary is always the one we will rely on for final judgement calls, with the secondary as a back up if primary can not be reached in a reasonable time based on the question at hand.

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Do I need an estate sale contract?

Yes.  After we assess the home and you agree that an estate sale is the best choice, a contract is signed by both parties.

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What about the items the family wishes to keep?

Items that the family wishes to keep should be removed from the home prior to the sale, if possible.  If this is not possible, the next best thing is to designate a room to hold these items and you may move them into that area, it will be kept secured and off limits to customers.  We can also clearly mark any larger items  as NFS  -“Not For Sale” before set up begins.  

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How do you price the items and what types of items can be sold?

We maintain an extensive research library and also subscribe to the latest online resources in order to obtain proper fair market values on all the items to be sold, including art, antiques, collectibles, furniture, jewelry and home decor.  If needed, we are able to consult with specialists to assure you accurate higher priced items.  We can sell anything in the home that is legal to sell, even general household goods.

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How long does it take to set up an estate sale?

Not rushing is the best way to sell the harder to move or higher end items...  For effective pre-sales,  advertising and set-up, we prefer a three week lead-time.  The actual set up usually lasts 4 -10 business days, depending on the size of the home and the amount of contents to be properly displayed.   The actual sale days are from 2 to 4 days but most sales generally take place for three days—Thursday, Friday and  Saturday.  For very large sales, we may add an additional day or an additional weekend.  Moving/downsizing sales are sometimes are only held for 2 days due to the smaller quantity of items in the home.  Then based on what you wish for after the sale typically 2-3 days for breakdown and clean out.   Final details can be discussed when we do a walk thru and discuss your goals.    

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What fees and/or costs are involved with having an estate sale?

There are NO UPFRONT FEES, NO DEPOSITS.     The Good  The Old  The Ugly  works for you on a commission basis and pays all of the expenses related to the sale, including pre-sale organization, research, pricing, staffing, advertising, signage, packing materials and credit card processing.  The commissions are generally 35% but have ranged from 30-40% with singular high ticket items (boat, RV, etc) negotiable.   You are NOT required to pay any deposit or upfront fees.  After the sale options like total clean-out services are an optional service that we provide which can be deducted from the proceeds of sale.  Any additional costs will be discussed prior to the sale and will be included in the contract

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What happens to the unsold items?

After the sale,  you may want to consign selected items to continue to sale through “The Good  The Old  The Ugly”  Consignment Studio on our eBay store, Etsy and Ruby Lane where we are a top-rated seller, or through other methods that we have at our disposal.  I strive to obtain buy out offers for remaining unsold items thru antique dealers, flea market dealers and online resellers.  Many prefer "Make it Go Away"  meaning we arrange any and all methods, consign, buy outs, donate, trash removal and broom swept interior.   Fees for donating, trash removal and broom swept  can range from 0$-500$ subject to what is left.   Sometimes based on value of what is left the flea market dealer I work with will remove all unsold items , trash and sweep and charge nothing yet pay nothing either... a win-win.   Or you may also wish for us to walk away, we will remove our tables and displays leaving all unsold items on the cabinets and floors for you to dispose of in any manner that you wish.  

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How does the consignment process work?

A separate aggreement will be signed for consigned items with a complete list of all the items that are being consigned along with a new predetermined commission.  Consignment items are posted to our eBay, Etsy and or other online storefront that we are using at the time or in our antique mall booth for an agreed upon time frame.  Once that time frame has expired, any unsold items are reduced in price by 50%.  If the items are still not purchased after a specified time you will be notified to pick up within 30 days or  they can be donated without any further notification.   If you have items that are unique/rare and require a longer amounts of time to find the right buyer, we  will work as your agent to find the proper venue for these items as stated in the agreement.  Please note that “The Good  The Old  The Ugly”  Estate Sales must take possession of the items in order to sell them

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May I attend the sale?

First let me say... this is your home and your belongins and I am the last person to tell you that you can not come in during set up or the sale event.... However ...there are many things to consider.   We do not recommend that the client or family be present during a sale.  The estate sale process can be very emotional  and seeing buyers rummaging through belongings can be quite unsettling.   Buyers do not have the same emotional attachment to articles in the home and feel more comfortable negotiating prices when the client is not on-site and/or participating in the sale.  As well as after the house has been turned over to us for set up or during the sale the client or any family member removes items from the home, GOU will deduct their commission of fair market value from the proceeds.   Absolutely nothing can be removed from the home 7 days prior to the first day of the sale.  I will have posted hundreds of photos and the buyer rely that everything in those photos are truly on sight at opening time of the first day...   “The Good  The Old  The Ugly”   Estate Sales is happy to keep you updated with the daily progress of the sale by telephone/text and/or e-mail, if desired.  We handle the complete process so that you can relax

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How and when is payment made?

After the sale, we provide you with a final accounting, and a check for the proceeds minus our commission, we pay any required Florida sales tax  based on the individual county and any additional services that were requested based on the contract.  We mail the check/accounting to the provided mailing address by priority mail with a tracking number by the 5th day of the conclusion of the sale, clean out and any other services that were required  as per the contract, ensuring that the estate sale was conducted in an ethical manner.

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Where are my keys?   Exclusive with our company!

EXCLUSIVE OFFER only with “The Good  The Old  The Ugly”  a rekey service.  When we take possession of your home you have the option of allowing us to rekey the exterior door locks… no more questions of what service people, neighbors or mystery quest that may have a set of keys..  We will give you a set along with your realtor or attorney as noted in contract.    This is a minimal value of $125 for only an additional $65… how can we do this?… part of our trio is my husband Ken, his primary business is   "The KeyMan"   is a licensed, insured & bonded locksmith.  This fee can be deducted at the end of the sale during the accounting prior to the issued proceeds check. 

Do you have security?

We determine the number of staff members required for each home .  We have multiple people keeping a watchful eye at all times.  We also "fence off" outside areas as needed to guide the flow as we determine best for safety and security.   We WILL call police for theft or disruptive behavior.  For high-end sales if additional security staff/ on sight police presence is required this is an additional fee and can be discussed during assessment.

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I do not see my question?

No doubt this information may have only brought on more questions.   Please send me any questions you may have.  Visit our contact page for multi avenues to reach out to us.  

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