We make a complimentary visit with the family at the estate home to answer any questions and to determine the amount of work involved in conducting that particular sale. We work on a commission basis, so after the visit, we inform the family of the percentage amount we would charge to conduct their sale.
We receive a commission based on the amount for the items that are sold during a sale. Any items remaining after the sale is finished belong to the homeowner. Some estate sale companies say they will "help" the homeowner by hauling away any leftover items, but since that could call into question their incentive to sell the items for a percentage during the sale when they can haul away the items for themselves after the sale is finished, we suggest a contract that clearly shows the remaining items belong to the homeowner. However, we do help the homeowner make arrangements to donate the remaining items to a charity of their choice or put them in touch with someone who will purchase the last of the items. We are fortunate, that with our large customer base, we have very little left after a sale is finished. What little remains is neatly boxed and left for the homeowner.
This would, of course, depend on the size of the home and the work involved in preparing that particular home for a sale. Homes with a large amount of small items, especially those that need research for pricing, will take much longer than a sale with rooms of large items. To help a family in a crisis, we have completed the work on a home in very long work days of only one week, but we have also worked in a large home for several weeks in our sale preparation. The amount of time needed will be determined during the initial complimentary visit with the homeowner.
Since our work in a home involves emptying every closet, cupboard, drawer and cabinet, setting up our tables/displays throughout the home and turning the entire home into a showroom, it is impossible for someone to live in the home while we work.
People are sometimes surprised at the amount of items on display in an estate home. However, remember that in our own homes, many items are hidden away in the closets, drawers, cupboards, cabinets, attics, etc. When all of those items are emptied onto tables and placed on display in the home, there can appear to be too much for one home to hold. Occasionally, if a homeowner doesn't have enough for a sale on their own, we will combine two estates in one home. That is necessary for homes in gated communities like White Bluff in Whitney, Texas, because they are not allowed to have a sale conducted on the property. Their items can be moved and included in the home of another owner that doesn't have enough for a sale of their own. When we conduct a combination sale, that is always explained in the advertising.
Yes, we have a younger sister, but she does not work in the estate sale business. For years, the three of us were very active in sweepstakes and contests, becoming some of the biggest sweepstakes winners in the country. In the sweepstaking community at that time, we were known as Those Three Sisters. Too, we all homeschooled our children and had other similar interests, so people would always say, "You know......it's those three sisters." The name worked and we think it still does.