Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

How far in advance should I call you?
ASAP. It’s best to call as soon as you know you need an estate sale. We do our best to accommodate your schedule. If we are already booked with another estate sale, we can add your estate sale and run two simultaneously over one weekend. Call Cherie Efken @ (847) 903-3074 to set up your free on-site consultation.
What exactly IS an estate sale, anyway?
Initially, an estate sale was a sale or auction held to liquidate possessions left behind by someone recently deceased. To be clear, we do not hold auctions. Rather, we focus on estate sales conducted in the home or business. Most estate sales are held as a result of any number of life’s transitions such as downsizing, divorce, death, foreclosure or simply relocation or move.
Why should I hire C. Estate Sales?
Great question! The answer is because we are the most experienced, sought-after estate sale company in our area. Between our professional staging, competitive pricing, extensive advertising and email campaign as well as our large following of customers, C. Estate Sales provides all the components necessary for a successful, stress-free estate sale.
We are fully insured. We reduce the chance of theft and breakage by limiting the number of buyers in the house at any one time. We provide you with sales prices on your largest ticket items and a check for the proceeds of your sale the following week.
What’s my cost when I hire C. Estate Sales?
There are no out-of-pocket expenses to you. We negotiate a percentage of total sales for our commission and deduct it from the proceeds of your sale. We spell out these details in the contract signed by both parties.
How long does it take you to set up an estate sale?
Set up depends on the size of your estate and workload required. For the “average-sized” home, we typically need two or three days.
How long is the estate sale?
We host 2-day sales on Fridays and Saturdays usually from 9 AM – 4 PM.
Where do you advertise your estate sales and liquidations?
We advertise on the estate sale industry’s premier website, www.estatesales.net reaching approximately 30,000 Chicagoans. We advertise on our website as well as preparing a customized email campaign to more than 3,000 loyal buyers. We also run a newspaper ad in the local newspaper and lastly, we strategically place many directional Estate Sale signs capturing drive-by traffic.
How do I arrange for C. Estate Sales to look at the estate?
Just call C. Estate Sales Owner Cherie Efken @ (847) 903-3074 to set up free on-site consultation.
I have a small estate. Will you still help me?
Yes, however we do need a certain quantity of sellable items in order for us to hold a successful liquidation sale for you. Even smaller sales with many in-demand items such as tools, jewelry, and collectibles can be quite successful and profitable. It’s best to call and schedule your free on-site consultation to discuss your individual estate and estate sale needs in person.
Do you "pad" your estate sales with items from other sales or from your own home?
No. Some estate sale companies make this a standard practice. We do not feel that’s a fair policy for you, our Client. On very rare occasions, we have needed to ‘supplement or fill in’ items to make the staged home look its optimal best.
What happens to unsold items?
We strive to sell every item in the house for the highest price through staging, bundling and a variety of selling strategies; however, it’s unusual to sell every single last item. We typically schedule a charity to pick up remaining furniture and household items. We box up your items after the sale, write a list of items you donated to charity and provide you with a tax deductible letter. If needed, we also schedule garbage pick-up. We also provide basic clean-up work so that we leave your home empty and broom-swept clean. These details are discussed and negotiated in your contract.
Should I sort items, throw away old stuff or clean the house before you arrive?
NO! Please don’t throw anything out, even if you feel certain it’s of no value. And sorting and arranging is our job - you don't need to do it.
What do you do to "set up" an estate liquidation sale?
First, we set up our display tables in your home and re-arrange furniture as necessary. Then we empty drawers, cabinets and boxes, clean as necessary and arrange your items on our tables. Finally we affix prices to displayed items, take digital photographs and write a comprehensive list for marketing and advertising purposes.
Can I assign minimum prices to my possessions?
Depending on the nature of your estate, we occasionally allow Clients to set minimum prices on a limited number of items and will work with Clients to meet their needs. With our extensive knowledge of the Chicago Northwest Suburban area marketplace, we’re confident we know what the market will bear in most cases. We conduct EBAY and other internet research to back up our pricing strategy. We are happy to discuss assigning minimum prices on an individual basis to determine the best possible prices for your belongings.
Do I have to attend my estate sale?
No. It’s best for everyone involved if you (homeowner or executor/family member) stay away from your sale for a number of reasons. Our estate sales attract hundreds of shoppers to your home which can be stressful for you. Our customers expect a pleasant shopping experience and when Clients are on the property, customers are less comfortable shopping and less likely to purchase your treasures. Shoppers are uncertain ‘who is in charge and has the final say’ about products and prices. These factors detract from the success of your estate sale. We encourage your involvement and communication before sale days, yet we highly recommend that you allow the C. Estate Sales team to handle sale days and you take the day off.
How soon will I be paid?
We deliver your proceeds in check form the week following your estate sale.
How do I know what sold?
We contact you after the sale and provide you with a written letter totaling your sale proceeds. We provide you with sales prices on the largest items such as furniture, artwork, or high-end electronics.
What if my estate contains fine art or very rare collectibles?
An antique or collectible has to be very rare indeed for us not to have prior sales experience or knowledge of it. For fine art and ancient artifacts, we conduct research and if necessary, we have sources of appraisers and dealers to assist us. If we can't price something confidently, we will let you know before the sale.
Should I wait until the house is sold to hold my estate sale?
Not necessarily. Hosting an estate sale while your home is on the market can be your best AND biggest Open House. Often times, shoppers are interested in the home or property so an estate sale BEFORE the house is sold has its advantages. Not all real estate brokers may agree with us. Once the house is sold, there’s a small window of time to prepare and hold the estate sale. Sometimes, it is to your advantage to have the estate sale right away, then clean and repair the house as necessary once everything has been removed.
Do you sell items on EBAY, through other online auctions or via consignment?
No. We do not offer online auctions. If you have belongings you wish to sell on consignment, please contact Cherie Efken @ (847) 903-3074.
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