Expert Estates LLC

From One Good Home to Another

Hire the original Estate Sale Experts for all of your liquidation and appraisal needs. We offer professional quality with true integrity. Both BBB and ASEL memberships set us apart.

Our California estate sales are the place to find: Modern, Vintage, Art, Furniture, Home and Garden Goods, Tools, Antiques and just about anything else...

Our estates are always fresh, never picked over, and found for you by Southern California's Premier Estate Liquidator and CAGA Certified Appraiser, Lisa Kroese.

 

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5 More Estate Sale Tips: My Estate Liquidation Year in Review

It has been another busy year of estate liquidating for Expert Estates LLC. My team and I are so thankful to all of our shoppers and all of the folks who refer their friends, clients and family to us! 

I expanded our estate sale coverage area and am booking more sales in Santa Clarita, Lake Elizabeth, Lancaster and Palmdale while we are still working great sales in Tehachapi, Bakersfield and Kern County. This weekend we have our first sale in Llano and two weeks ago we had our first sale in San Luis Obispo. We had great feedback from one of our San Luis Obispo estate sale shoppers who told me:

Let me tell you though, your estate sale went down in the history books. So unorthodox and so genius, my circle of resellers and estate sale people all state they’ve never been to one like this before. Pretty darn epic.
— Estate Sale Buyer and Reseller

There is nothing that makes me happier than when we get feedback like that from our sales. It is always nerve-wracking breaking out into new territory, especially for a sale that is out of the ordinary. When things go great, we are always thrilled.

Some of my estate sale tips from this year:

  1. Every sale is different, and every liquidator is different. Get to know us. If there is something you aren't used to as a shopper - just ask us about it. I am always more than happy to explain why I do things the way I do at my sales. I know not everyone does it the same way, but I have my reasons. Of course, I think my reasons set me apart in a good way! 
  2. Negotiate before you pile. Please, don't expect to make a huge pile at my sale and then offer $10 or even $50 for it. I will expect to add up what you have and charge accordingly. Piling the items keeps other shoppers who might have paid full price from putting it into their pile. Please understand that if another shopper is paying $25 or so at my prices for a handful of things, they are going to be resentful if you walk out with a steal and they will probably never return to my sale. If you are a dealer or buying in bulk, do us both a favor and ask us before you stockpile about getting trade pricing on the things you buy.
  3. Be discreet if you are negotiating. It might pay off. Or maybe I will tell you when I can give you a bulk sale price, etc. Communication is key in any negotiation, based on my experience, you and I are both going to be unhappy if your pile has to go back to the shopping area. I want to help you get good deals when I can, but I am obligated to get the most I can for the estate also. I would violate my contract if I didn't do that.
  4. Don't interfere with our sales or hurt our bottom line. I overheard one of my shoppers telling another shopper, "Oh, she wants too much for that." And it was an item that both of the shoppers wanted to buy. If you want something and someone else wants it, don't try to turn the other shopper off, odds are pretty good that I will find out about it. Even if I didn't hear it, the other shopper will tell me later. I am less likely to work with this "sneaky" shopper on special deals, and I might even ban them from my sales if I feel they are hurting my bottom line. I usually give someone a chance to reform before I ban them from a sale, but there are times when I have done it on the spot with no warning.
  5. If you want something big or expensive, let us know asap. I had a large, high priced item recently and at the end of the first day, I sold it to the last customer at the sale. The next morning, someone else came and wanted to buy it. He was upset that someone else bought it. But he never told me he was planning to come back to look at it again, or that he was researching it, or seeing if he could move it. Whatever it was, I didn't know and couldn't factor it in. If he had just told me that he had been thinking of buying it, he probably would have been able to. But when we haven't seen any interest yet at the end of the day, I closed a deal as soon as I could. So if you think you might want something, let us know because someone else - maybe even the person who told you the price was too high - might be negotiating for the same thing. Chances are, I only have one!
  6. Lastly, estate sales are competitive businesses, we appreciate good word of mouth advertising. We always love good reviews online and your referrals. Let us know if you gave us a five star review, or if you told a friend who needs a sale to call us. Share our sale post with a friend. That makes our day and we will remember it! At the same time, if we did something that you didn't like, talk to us about it and give us a chance to make things right. We are all only human, after all, so far I haven't met anyone who is perfect!

My team and I are looking forward to another great year in 2018! We have a sale this weekend in Llano and one next weekend in Santa Clarita. Come see us soon!

Estate Sale Shopping Tips

I was talking with someone recently about estate sales and there are some things I think people don't know about estate sales. We stay so busy with sales, that we don't always get a chance to just chat about what it is like for our shoppers or the clients that hire us to liquidate. 

One of the things this shopper said to me was that she never goes to a sale on the middle day. She thinks that all of the best inventory sells on the first day and all of the good deals are on the last day.

As an estate seller, you should know that we are there to sell every day we are open! If you see something you like and you didn't make it to the sale on the first day, by all means come and look as soon as you can. If you liked it - someone else probably does too!

If you come on the middle day but someone else was planning to wait until the last minute, you could go home with the prize. You can alway ask us as liquidators how flexible we are at that point with our asking price. 

Our contracts with our clients generally require that we get the most we can for our clients, but they also authorize us to negotiate and make deals to ensure a fast sale. 

My tip for shoppers is to be not only discrete but also polite when you are asking for a discount. The more you are buying, and the more you are known as a regular at a sale, the easier it is for us to justify giving you that special deal.

Another thing the shopper thought was that everything good is gone after the first day. That is true of some things, but not everything.

Sometimes, as liquidators, our clients have sentimental attachments to some of the best things in the estate. In order to get a contract, we might have had to agree to try to get more for some of those things than we as liquidators would have wanted to ask for them.

Once our sale is open and we are ringing up sales - it can become a lot easier to get our clients to accept lower offers on some of their very best things. I recently had a sale with a pair of antiques that my client didn't want to sell for less than $900. On the final day of the sale, I spoke with her and she accepted our highest offer on them, which was for $700. 

Don't blame the liquidator if some items that are special seem to be priced above what you might want to pay, we might personally agree with you about it! But we have to balance not just our desire to make a sale, but also attempting to get what our client wants for the item. We are always ready with research and details on sales records, sometimes our clients gladly accept those data points from us. And sometimes they soundly reject them informing us that 20 years ago, a friend offered them $5,000 for the item in question. 

Once our sale is open near the end, we might be more likely get a client to accept the current fair market value - the price we may have recommended all along. We want the item sold, we want everything to find a loving new home, just like all of the puppies at the pound.

So, yes, all of the days of the sale, estate sellers are working to bring our shoppers great deals. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are hired to liquidate a family's heirlooms.

We are obligated in our contract to get the most we can for them and to ensure a fast and fair sale.

When you shop with us, understand that our job is to sell their items in a weekend or two to ensure a fair sale and to get the most we can. We are hard at work trying to balance and juggle all of those needs - get a fair price and sell it all. So don't miss out by skipping a day, or by not talking to us if you see something you love but don't like the price tag. Communication is the key to getting what you want and to understanding a liquidator's job.