Today we will discuss The Sell (step 3), which is the beginning of the liquidation process that occurs after The Move (step 1) and The Family (step 2). Remember, during The Move, all the household items were sorted for treasures and necessities. They have been relocated to the new home and unpacked according to the design. Items left at the home have also been sorted by The Family and removed. Now, we shift our attention to the elimination of the remaining items.
The Sell can be approached in several ways. First, the owner must fully recognize that the items for sale have a market value much less than their original assessment. Generally, the market pays 10 cents on the dollar. Now, there are clearly exceptions like art, antiques, jewelry and coins. However, the owner must proceed with a mind-set of “getting rid; not rich”. Based on this proper expectation, the homeowner will conclude The Sell with peace of mine, inventory sold and a nice monetary dividend based on the market value of the items.
Like everything, the market to sell/buy items has changed significantly. Generally, estate sales target very large homes and use the house as the stage for display and merchandising. It also means possibly hundreds of people through the home. This option excludes many sellers. Garage sales are a tremendous amount of work for very little return. Craig’s List, eBay and classified ads are generally ineffective. Again, all of these methods require the buyers to come into the home.
Smooth Transitions of St. Louis utilizes three methods that can be exclusive or combined. First, the homeowner can take the task on themselves and approach dealers directly. Clearly, the challenge within the dealer network is finding those that are buying. If the dealer is in the market, remember, some buy art, others buy coins and still others buy antiques or jewelry.
The second method is the on-line auction which is growing in popularity. Items are grouped together in lots, photographed, categorized and placed on-line for buyers to make their bids. The auction is usually open 10-14 days. The bids are slow at first, but rally near the end of the session. Market value will determine the price of an item. Upon completion of the on-line auction, the buyers pick-up their purchases at the home. The items have been paid for through the auction company and the homeowner will receive one lump sum (auction house takes about 25% of total sales) for all goods sold. Again, the question referencing this opportunity is whether the homeowner has enough value (quality & quantity) to justify the work associated with the preparation of the auction.
Third, some auction houses will buy the entire contents of the home at a wholesale price and then resell the items at their auction house. This option generates the least amount of cash, but does result in a quick liquidation. Auction houses will also take select items on consignment and generally retain 25% of the sale price; it is usually the responsibility of the homeowner to deliver the items to the site.
The Sale is a very challenging process and professional assistance is recommended. Once complete, the home will be noticeably empty. Remaining items await The Donation (step 4) and The Disposal (step 5).