Frequently Asked Questions
What is your commission and what does it include?
Our commission depends on size, quality and condition of the estate. We pay all sale-related expenses and provide the marketing ability, trained staff, problem solving experience, and knowledge of fair market value to complete a successful sale.
Why can't I have my own sale?
You can, but we have experience with advertising, crowd control, and fair market value. When an individual conducts a sale, less desirable items are priced too high to sell and the valuable items sell too cheaply. It is often too late when one realizes what a difficult process it can be.
What should I throw away and what should I keep?
Please don't throw anything away without talking to us first. There is a buyer for almost everything.
What are some examples of items you sell?
We have researched, valued, and sold everything from estate jewelry to antique farm machinery, regional fine art to automobiles, cowboy spurs to 17th century books, Victorian furniture to mid-century modern decor, Texas pottery to Lalique glass, and usable household items to the contents of storage units. We know our merchandise and our market.
What if I only have a few things I want to sell?
We can offer several options. For example, combining several small estates into one, brokering individual valuable pieces to collectors, or auction houses and internet sales websites such as eBay.
How do you know the value of items?
Our professional staff consists of qualified individuals with years of experience in all areas. They look at the markets and understand the marketability of the items to be sold. Additionally, Peggy Calhoun, Co-Owner, is an International Society of Appraisers (ISA) member.
Can you help me with my antiques?
Yes of course we can. An antique is something over a 100 years old and is in pristine or original condition. An important part of valuing items is having a qualified appraiser who can accurately price the item. As previously mentioned, Peggy Calhoun is a certified ISA member—the only appraisal organization recognized by the IRS.
How and when will payment be made?
You will receive a detailed accounting and a business check for your portion within fourteen days of the sale.
How do I know I can place my trust in you?
We are a service oriented business. We rely on referrals from satisfied clients and will be happy to provide you with references.
What do I need to do to help?
We do all the work. Please decide what you wish to keep before we sign the agreement.
Do you allow individuals to come in early to buy?
It is our policy not to sell before the public sale. It is important that all our customers have equal purchasing opportunity. However, we may have a private sale at the request of the client, or when items are too delicate or valuable for a public sale.
How will you organize, display and protect my property?
We work with our experienced, talented staff to display your merchandise to best advantage, creating an attractive 'buying atmosphere'. Several staff members patrol the residence the days of the sale. Security is provided for small valuables such as quality jewelry and firearms.
How do you promote the sale?
We advertise in several area newspapers, email and post flyers with color photos, descriptions and maps to our extensive database of repeat customers, and make personal calls.
What do you do with the things that do not sell?
Prior to the sale, we consult with the family regarding their wishes for donating any unsold items. A tax deductible receipt will be provided for the remaining items that are donated.
What about clean up after the estate sale?
Our goal is to "sell it to the walls", leaving the premises swept clean. If there is excessive trash we can arrange to have it removed at a very reasonable cost to you. We do not dispose of hazardous materials, non-working appliances or non-running automobiles.
How do you know so much about the estate sale business?
Our staff has over 75 years combined experience in retail sales, the antique business, estate sales and personal property liquidation in the San Antonio and Texas Hill Country area. Estate sales are a full time business for us. We know our merchandise and our market through experience and research. Should we need assistance in appraising an item, we call on our associates who are experts in their fields.