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.


Elder Law's The Ins and Outs of Estate Sales

Great article on estate sales for those who need more information on how to find someone and what to know about the process. Excerpt:

There is no regulatory body that oversees the estimated 14,000 estate sale companies, so before hiring one of them you should do some research. You can search the website of The American Society of Estate Liquidators, a trade association that requires its members to meet certain education requirements and abide by an ethics code. Be sure to check your local Better Business Bureau and Yelp for complaints about companies you are considering. You can also ask for references or attend a sale run by the company. In addition, make sure your liquidator carries insurance in case there are any accidents while buyers are at the estate sale. Finally, you should make sure the company offers a written contract.

Encino Estate Sale is Ready for Our Guests, Opening at 8am!

One of my favorite things about my work is setting up a great estate, part of setting up is going through everything carefully. We uncover amazing finds. We found sterling silver, gold cuff links and a lot of beautiful things in this estate. While we were in the process of setting up, yesterday (two days before the sale) someone knocked on the door asking if it would be OK to come in and shop then and there.

I can't blame them for asking and I know some folks welcome any sale, but that's just not my style. First of all, as soon as I have a sale, I tell all of my customers, who I love, to save the date and I share with them what we have found so far.

To me, a great estate is like a marvelous dinner party - I send out an invitation saying when my guests can arrive, and then I plan my menu and get to work making something fantastic.

Would you dream of showing days or hours before your host invited you to dinner and thinking it might be OK if you just came in and started helping yourself right now? No! You wouldn't, that would be crazy. If I stopped pricing, and staging and opening little boxes in junk drawers to find out what is there (just magnets or sterling spoons?), in the middle of my set up, how could I possible get my event ready for the guests? Our video is ready and we look forward to seeing everyone this weekend! Thanks for waiting patiently for the big event.

The Estate Mama and her Expert Estate Ladies have done it again. Another great sale is ready for some savvy vintage shoppers to come over and clear us out! 17983 Medley Dr., Come see us 8am-2pm Friday, 9am-3pm Sat, and 10am-3pm Sun

Eleven 26 Talent

Check out my profile on Eleven 26 Talent here


Lisa Kroese is a successful 42 year old business owner, wife, and mother of two girls (both under 5) with another baby girl on the way.

She has a degree in Fine Art from the Maryland Institute, College of Art and she previously worked for US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand eventually serving as the Congressional District Director for NY’s 20th Congressional District. 

Lisa now liquidates estates and consults for estate sale ups and those expanding their estate and antique businesses. She is becoming known nationwide as “The Estate Mama.” ...

Pack Rat, Hoarder, Shop a Holic? What to do when you need it sold.

Hoarding affects between 700,000 and 1.4 million people in the country according to this Psychcentral Article.  Families who have to move someone out of a home packed full of belongings can be facing a task that is stressful, overwhelming and time consuming. The need to remove the contents of a pack rat home often comes up due to a difficult time in their lives - after losing a loved one or moving them into an assisted living facility.

A lot of estate liquidators will walk away from the task of sorting and liquidating a pack rat or hoarder home. These circumstances require more work, planning and attention than the average estate, often tremendously more. The labor involved is costly. The physical risks and potential hazards are also of concern to companies considering a job like this one.

At Expert Estates we recognize that these families are often the ones who need us the most. A family might look at years or decades of this accumulation and consider it all junk, often a dumpster is set up or truckloads are filled for charities. It can take a family weeks or even months trying to sort out the property inside the home. Many families don't have the time or resources to invest in getting the home cleared out. But it must be done somehow.

A team of professionals can turn things around. Depending on how much trash has to be hauled away and the condition of the remaining items, the sale of items in the home can entirely, or almost entirely cover the expense of cleaning out the home. The primary goal is to efficiently get the home ready to rent, or sell for most families. If relatives have other jobs, the work involved can be impossible given other obligations.

Our last estate sale in Santa Clarita was a perfect example. The before and after pictures are astounding. Given the labor and time involved many liquidators just advertise the estate as a picker's sale, open up a home as this and invite dealers and brave members of the public to come pull out what they want. When faced with a job like this one, at Expert Estates, we do the work of uncovering the treasures, removing the trash and putting everything back together for a true estate sale. That way the family can be proud of what is there when we open the doors and we can ask for the best possible price at the event. Most importantly, we minimize the loss of the best assets due to outright theft that occurs in a picker's sale.

The before pictures are exactly how the home looked at our initial walk through. We planned a clean out phase first for the family, during this phase, we try to save as much as we can. We do not throw away any property that could potentially be sold. This makes for a packed sale but it also brings in the best result. After all, you can donate or trash leftovers as needed at the end, why throw away anything someone might buy?

Once the items that are strictly trash are removed, our team tackles these jobs one category at a time and room by room. We knew this sale had tons of clothes (many of them were bagged and boxed up during our consult making an assessment of their condition difficult at the time), so we unpacked and hung them. They were mostly never worn and new with tags, and they were not out dated. Next, we sorted and displayed the shoes, crafting and sewing notions, office supplies, collectibles and kitchenware. The end result was an estate sale that was a hit with our customers. People shopped and then sent their friends over, and we had 56% repeat customers on the final day of our sale. Our facebook photo album had almost 1500 views. Plus we had 1,656 online views from our ad on a popular estate sale listing website.

Expert Estates Santa Clarita Estate Views

The end results were a successful sale, happy shoppers leaving us positive feedback about what great deals they were getting and how much they bought, and most importantly, a client who said our team did an "incredible job." The photos below are the after set of the very same home. It is almost unbelievable when you know what the starting point was.

If you are dealing with a similar situation, don't hesitate to call an expert for help. Finding the right company for a sale like this can be a challenge but when the result is worthwhile. If you need guidance with any estate liquidation circumstance no matter how difficult, call us at 661-823-1635. We would love to help.


Antiques and Estates - What’s Hot and What’s Not!

Tehachapi, CA - 18 years of appraisal experience does reinforce the old saying, “What goes up must come down.”  Luckily, what was down comes up too. The past decade has been full of changes and new trends for liquidators and personal property appraisers. The antique market has been flooded by retiring baby boomers who are downsizing, and by folks who are forced to move and sell due to economic or health issues. A lot of buyers are finding out that there is more for sale than there used to be. And internet searches make things a lot less rare - something you would have to visit twenty shops for can be pulled up on eBay, Etsy and Amazon in a matter of seconds these days. Buyers are spoiled.

In spite of this, at Expert Estates, we know trends, we know quality and we can research and liquidate things for fair and even shocking prices. Over the last two years, we have secured sales that might seem shocking:

  • a custom dining table sold for $1400,
  • a set of ten teacups sold for over $5,000,
  • a set of Venetian glasses sold for over $2,000,
  • a 19th century painting auctioned for $4,250
  • and a recent eBay sale for a painting by a living artist that sold for over $4,900.

We always want to get the most we can for our clients. And I want you to know what’s going on right now in the ever changing antique and resale world.

Your family might own items on the hot list that you think of as ordinary and other treasured items might not sell for much at all in this tough market. Finding a liquidator who can price your estate items right will be the key to a successful estate sale. Even in a down market, the right price will overcome all obstacles, and in the end your goal is a fair price and an empty home ready for sale or rental!

Hot items right now in Southern California and our area include:

  • Newer furniture from brand name stores: Pottery Barn, Thomasville
  • Antique Chinese Art and Pottery
  • Danish modern, and good mid century designer furniture
  • Hand carved, custom and solid wood rustic furniture
  • Western goods
  • Industrial design
  • Mantiques
  • Original art by listed artists
  • Tractors and Trailers
  • Cars, RVs, Boats
  • Period and new quality jewelry
  • Good vintage costume jewelry
  • Precious metals
  • Vintage toys
  • Classic rock albums: classic rock, jazz, blues.     
  • Vintage electronics, guitars and stereos
  • Useful things like kitchenware and good tools
  • Vintage iron, rattan garden and patio items
  • Guns
  • Good vintage dresses and suites from the 1940s-60s - condition counts!
  • Signed first edition books by classic authors

What’s NOT selling well?

  • Everyday used wood furniture
  • 1980s laminate and upholstered furniture
  • Heavy and ornate antique furniture
  • Collector plates and limited editions
  • Vintage and antique rugs
  • Upholstered furniture, unless it is neutral and like new
  • China sets
  • Crystal, cut and pressed glass
  • Common antiques
  • Armoires
  • Media Centers
  • Numbered prints, mass-produced art items
  • Vintage linens
  • Furs
  • Ivory and other banned goods can't be sold

Trends change all the time. When it is time to sell, someone with their finger on the pulse of the market right now - not someone who is stuck on the market that was hot 20 years ago, is what you will need to ensure a good sale! Relying on information or news clippings about trends that a loved one stuffed into your heirlooms can lead to disastrous results for a family. A nightmare sale is a liquidation where the hottest items in today’s market are sold for too little and items that were thought to be worth the most are left over because hardly anyone has a use for it these days and it was over valued. We only get one chance to put a price on an item for our buyers, so we want to make sure it is the right one for a fast but fair sale.

Call my store at 661-823-1635 if you want a free and honest consultation about your estate or moving sale. I love helping people through this process. My team is honest and vetted. We don't hire under the table workers or dealers who are just looking to get into your sale ahead of everyone else. You can trust us to do the right thing, keep you informed and to sell your things from one good home to another.



Kid Bike Makeover with Country Chic Paint

We got our 4 year old her bike almost 6 months ago. We found it for maybe $10 and peeled all the super ugly stickers off of it. She was happy with our thrifty find but she had wanted a green bike. So we took her to our store and let her pick out a Country Chic Paint shade of green - she opted for Luscious Lime. We painted her bike and it gets Tough Coat next. I am sure it will get some scrapes with time, but the original factory finish has scrapes too, so what the heck, live a little. Vivian helped with the project so we have some paint on the wheels, seat and driveway but she LOVES her new bike makeover.

Bike, after stickers and before paint

Bike after two coats of Luscious Like Country Chic Paint

Country Chic Chalk and Mineral Paint Workshops

Join us and have fun while learning to use Country Chic Chalk & Mineral paint. We will be painting frames and mason jars (your choice!) using 2 colors and finishing off with wax. You will learn distressing techniques, color dynamics and waxing. After the class you will be ready to revive and chic up your home with Country Chic Paint!

All supplies are included in the class. Classes are $75 and you get to bring home the project you made.

Plus you will receive 10% off on all paint orders on the day of the class! The class fee is due at registration. The class cost is non-refundable, but transferable to a future class if you must cancel. Class size is limited to 6 people and you will get $5 off if you refer a friend!

Our first set of classes are scheduled for:

  • Thurs Sept 18th 3-6pm
  • Sat Oct 11th 1-4pm
  • Tues Oct 21st 11am-2pm
  • Sat Nov 8th 1-4pm

To enroll call us at 661-823-1635, email us at or stop by the store at 151 N Mill Street in Tehachapi!

 Painting workshops at Expert Estates in Tehachapi

Painting workshops at Expert Estates in Tehachapi

Former NFL Player Sedrick Ellis Holds Estate Sale This Weekend

Rancho Cucamonga, Expert Estates is selling contents of the home of Former NFL New Orleans Saints Player Sedrick Ellis! Ellis is a former Defensive Tackle who retired in his late 20s. His home is filled to the brim with top of the line designer furniture, art, electronics and more - most in like new condition. Estate sales are not just for dusty old home, you can find everything from high end property to antiques to everyday kitchenware. Anyone who wants to little piece of history should visit - now is the chance to buy from an NFL player’s personal collection.

    Thomasville + Stanley Furniture and Lamps,
    Home Theater Chairs, Screen + Projector
    Marble and wood dining buffets
    Mirrors, art, prints and paintings
    Foosball & Air Hockey Tables
    Flat Screen TVs
    Solid mahogany office furniture
    Display cases
    Leather Club and Office Chairs
    Marble Coffee Table
    LG Front Loading Washer and Dryer
    Amazing Thomasville Master Bedroom Sets
    Dressers and armoires
    Bistro sets
    Patio set
    Coffee tables
    Electronics, Play Stations,
    Cuff Links,
    Size 3x clothes belonging to Mr. Ellis
    LG Refrigerator and more!

Photos at

Event Hours: 9am-3pm
Dates: Fri-Sun Aug 15-17, 2014
Location: 5483 Stoneview Dr. Rancho Cucamonga
Contact: 661-823-1635

Tips for Dealing with Personal Property in an Estate

by Julie Hall, ASEL

1. Prepare ahead of time.  Get to know trusted local resources, ask questions, and have a Plan A and Plan B.  Think about all you will need ahead of time.   Start making a list of all the contact numbers and resources you will need.  Plan ahead, so your loved ones won't have to do this during a time of crisis. Decisions made in the midst of a crisis are often hasty and flawed.
2. Enlist the help of siblings.  Ideally all surviving adult children should participate if they are able and if they are helpful; it saves time and gives everyone a chance to be together and feel a part of the process.
3. Locate Important Documents.  This could be a nightmare if you didn't discuss it with your parents or they didn't discuss it with you.  That is why it is so important to have that conversation before infirmity sets in.  Many older people keep important papers in a strong box or safe deposit box in the bank which you may or may not be able access once they pass.  Make sure you know the location of all keys, passwords, etc.
Look for: Will/Trust, bank account information, insurance policies, retirement and investment accounts and contacts, titles/deeds to cars and the house, location of keys, contact information for all professionals they have worked with (attorney, financial advisor, CPA, Insurance company, etc.).
4. Get professional help.  It's too daunting to go at it alone when there are skilled professionals to guide you through the process.  Pick out good ones and listen to their advice.  Most of the time, they are worth their weight in gold.  Remember that you can enlist the help of a personal property appraiser to determine the worth of your personal property, and a trustworthy estate sale professional to sell the items for you.  This is the time to lighten the burden and ask for help from those who know how to do it.
5. Take inventory, take photos, but don't take the stuff until the process is understood.  Walk around the house with a notebook/computer and list anything that has either financial or sentimental value.  Make copies and send it to your siblings/children/heirs.  If you have an appraisal done, you can share this as well.
6. Secure valuables until it is decided if they will be kept of sold.  It is the executor's responsibility to protect the assets.  Retrieve keys or change the locks.  An empty home is a target.  Never leave valuables such as estate jewelry, sterling flatware, cash, or rare art in an empty estate.  The executor should remove them, keeping them at a safe location until such a time as they are to be divided among family or sold.  Document what has been removed and where it is kept.  This information should be shared with all immediate heirs with the understanding the executor is not keeping them, only keeping them safe for the time being.  The estate process can be lengthy and estate items have a tendency to "walk" away over the course of time.  Remember to choose professionals that will help guide you through.
7. Set a date to thin out the house, or if this is too daunting, enlist the help of an estate sale company to empty it for you by combining an estate sale and total clean out service.   This would ensure it will be done correctly and relieve you of a heavy undertaking.
8. Establish 4 areas in the house.  You may not always know what to keep, what to throw away, what to donate, and what to sell.  This is where an estate consultant can really assist you.
9. Be fair and share.  If there are disputes, turn to The Boomer Burden for solutions and remind those involved politely that it "isn't about you."  It's about doing the right thing and honoring the loved one who is gone. 

10. Start from the top and work down.  When you begin the process of thinning out, always start from the top of the house and work your way down.
11. Be safe.  Always have gloves, dust masks, insect spray, first aid supplies, hand tools, etc.   Bomb attics and garages with insecticide 3 days prior to going in those dark places.
12. Be green.  Recycle as much cardboard, paper, and plastic as you can.  Consult local refuse haulers and environmental agencies for instructions on how to safely dispose of cleaning solvents, paint, etc.
13. Check the hideouts.  If they lived during the Depression, they have things hidden.  Favorite hiding places?  Toilet tanks, ice cube trays, books (look for cash in pages), canister sets, mattresses, floorboards, drapery hems, wrapped in handkerchiefs.
14. When in doubt, don't throw it out.  Make sure you have a professional look at everything first before you throw it out or give it away.  It's natural to be tempted to keep everything, but you can't.  It will drive your spouse crazy, not to mention your kids when it comes their time to clean out your house.

15. For each thing you bring in your home, let go of two things.  Clean out your own closets, attics and garages.  Statistically, we only use the same 20% of what we own anyway.  Dress the less fortunate and help many people with your unwanted items.
©2014 American Society of Estate Liquidators®
- reposted with permission

We got it going on!

Expert Estates is in the current issue of both Tehachapi Lifestyle Magazine and The Tehachapi News! Plus we have a great line up of fun estates for your shopping pleasure from Mother's Day to Father's day, we got you covered!

We have so much going on, we have to stop unpacking treasures for a few minutes to update you!

1. Our store will be closed tomorrow (Thursday) so we can finish unpacking three different estates from Santa Clarita to Stallion Springs. We will reopen Friday with fresh inventory and discounts on our last group of estates.

Shop this weekend Fri-Sat from 10am-6pm; Sun 11am-5pm; and Monday 1oam-6pm

At 151 N Mill Street in Tehachapi

2. Dealers and wholesale buyers are invited to shop a closeout of our Van Nuys estate

Monday, May 12th between 11am and 3pm

On Valerio St in Van Nuys

3. We have another nice full estate in a client's beautiful spacious home and garage in Stallion Springs, Tehachapi

Friday-Sunday May 16-18th, 9am-3pm daily.

We also have a by appointment only sale in LA May 27-29th. There are lots of fabulous custom and high end designer pieces here, so call us at 661-823-1635 to get your appointment scheduled.

5. Save the date for a great mantique estate at the workshop of an inventor. We are doing this sale in Agua Dulce June 12-14th so you can bring dad along for a peak or just in time for a cool father's day gift hunt!