~ Appraisal and Pricing ~
Estate Sale Services to Expect

antique appraisal tools

The essential service of appraisal and pricing is to determine the value of each item in the house and then place a price tag on it. Sound simple? Read on. Having a professional to make a proper antique appraisal of the items in your home is vital for a successful sale. Antique appraisers should have a keen knowledge of the "book value" of your property but, more important, the prices those items will bring in the local market.

A good illustration of this happened recently when we uncovered a nice collection of Civil War letters. Civil War memorabilia is always very desirable. But, if the letters are from a Union soldier, it's unlikely that top price will be received in Jackson, Mississippi. Here, Confederate items are in high demand. Faced with this reality, we sold the Union letters on the Internet and brought a very good price for our client.

Going outside the local market does not need to happen often. Most estate items will sell well locally, if they are priced fairly. The job of the estate sale professional is not just the appraising of the home contents. The service must then sell the home contents. The "book value" of antiques and collectibles can be used as a general guide. Most people who have been in the antiques business for many years have built up a nice library of reference books. The internet is another good source for researching rare items. But there is nothing like experience to provide a "real world" knowledge of what will sell, and how much it will bring. Clearly, appraisal and pricing involves more than just making up a price.

Breaking it Down

Essentially, the types of items that must be appraised and priced will fall into one of the categories listed below. Each category has its unique appraisal requirements. Most estate sale services just concentrate on the first two, which can be a source of great revenue. And they must be given serious emphasis in research, advertising and marketing as explained above.

  • Antique furniture
  • Antique silver, china, crystal, collectibles, paintings
  • Used furniture - This runs the gamut from fine contemporary furniture to what we call down here "deer camp furniture". This used furniture category can be tricky to appraise. Fine furniture makers such as Baker, Kittenger, Kindel fall into this group. Often it will involve checking comparable items for sale at upscale furniture stores. We can appraise most used furniture based on our experience with the local market.
  • Housewares - kitchen items, knickknacks, decorative items, lamps, pictures, books, records, tools - You get the picture. The housewares category is often overlook by many. These items lack the allure of antique treasures, but the sheer volume makes them hard to ignore. Carefully priced, the proceeds from the sale of housewares can equal or exceed the furniture revenue!
  • Clothes, shoes, purses, furs - Our service includes people who know quality apparel and will spend the time necessary to sort, appraise, and price it.
  • Cars, boats, trailers - For auto appraisals, we consult the online Blue Book and order a Carfax Report.
  • Jewelry - We have sold estate jewelry for many years and are able to weigh and test gold jewelry in order to make a proper appraisal of the better pieces. For expensive fine jewelry, we will obtain a written appraisal from a local, reputable jewelry store. We stay current on the collectible costume jewelry (which can bring surprisingly high prices.)

estate sale pricing

After all the research, organizing, and consulting, comes the job of pricing. That is, placing a price tag of some kind on each item that is for sale. We try to start with the most expensive items so that if anything gets left out, it will be something minor. Anything without a tag can be priced at checkout. Generally, most items need to have an actual price or be on a posted price list.

Careful pricing avoids confusion, and it goes a long way toward cultivating a base of loyal customers. The customers need to feel that they are being treated fairly--That all customers will be given the same deal. One way to accomplish this is with clearly marked prices. Another way is to make sure that nothing is sold before the actual sale date. (This rule applies to Estate Sale Specialists and its employees.) That way everyone has an equal opportunity to buy.

When a client needs to have an estate sale, the appraisal and pricing talents of the estate sale professional are vital. When circumstances prevent the client from contracting for a full estate sale, we have a separate Appraisal Service that may be used. In either situation, the client's needs will be well served by Estate Sale Specialists.

Appraisal and pricing is but one element of the services offered by Estate Sale Specialists. We will explain also, the many steps involved with showcasing the items for sale. We will detail the ways we advertise our sales. We will try to paint a clear picture of the ins and outs of the actual sale day . And last, we will detail our after-sale chores with an explanation of the cleanup and paperwork. Come along!

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