FAQ’s & Other Info

Some important things to know when deciding on an estate sale company.

  • You should NEVER have to pay an upfront fee to hire a company – they should charge a commission or fee AFTER the sale.
  • Cottagelady Estate & Moving Sales is not affiliated with any non-profit. We can provide a list of non-profit organizations to you for you to choose from or we can donate what is left over from the sale and provide you with a tax receipt, taking care of this for you.
  • We encourage you to interview other companies — you need to feel comfortable with who you work with.  Trust is key.  Referrals can only be EARNED.

What to do before your estate liquidator begins their work?
Here is a list of important things to remember:

      Always make sure family has removed everything they would like to keep from the estate.

Remove all personal docs such as tax returns, medica/health records, financial statements, personal bills, etc.

Remove all photos, personal letters, diplomas, journals, and other personal papers you want to keep.

Give one set of keys to the home to the liquidator.

Dissolve or properly dispose of prescription meds. Some cities have a prescription drop-off at local police stations (I believe Cookeville does).

Working together amicably with the estate sale professional will ensure a mutual beneficial relationship based on trust. When it starts off well, it will end well too.

Do I have enough items to hold an estate sale?  

If you are looking to liquidate an entire household you will most likely have enough items. I will be happy to come to your home and talk with you about what you have there should be a mix of everyday household items, furniture, tools or yard items, decorator items table and bed linens, kitchenware, collector items or antiques.   We sell everything from Aluminum foil to toilet paper!

All sales are different we will be happy to talk with you about your individual sale and works best for you.

Each estate is different – Cottagelady Estate & Moving Sales markets each sale as the market bears for your home.

Sterling — What do we do with it? 

If you have Sterling Silver pieces —  we suggest selling them at the sale —  pass on your goodies to someone who will love them. Passing pieces on to others who will cherish them again.  What’s old is new again. We do work  with silver/gold collectors and they will give us top dollar for your pieces.

Why should we hire an estate sale company versus doing it ourselves?

Running a successful estate sale can quickly turn into a full-time job. For most families it is hard to juggle and find the necessary time to devote to the project.  Pricing, organizing, research, set-up, marketing the event, working the event(and finding enough volunteers to help), bartering with buyers, and final clean up is not only time consuming but can also be mentally exhausting for family members trying to stage their own sale.  How do you know which items are worth what? How will you guarantee a good turn out to your sale? What happens when your 2-3 week project has suddenly turned into months?

By hiring  Cottagelady Estate &  Moving Sale it’s as easy as handing over the key and letting us do the work. We have this business down to a science. We know how to price accordingly and research items quickly. We have an extensive list of buyers and dealers and our extensive advertising and marketing a good crowd.  We take the stress off you.  Factor in how much your time (and sanity) is worth to you and we think you’ll find that our commission rate is well worth the service!

Should we clean up the house or dispose of items prior to bringing in an estate sale company?

We ask that any medications (including vitamins) be disposed of properly (i.e. taking to a pharmacy).  Discard any papers, trash, etc.  Personal papers and information must be gone.    We will stage the house and after the sale leave the house in “Broom Clean” condition.

We’ve sold, hauled off or cleared the home of all the “small” stuff, would you still be interested in selling the furniture only?

Yes still call Cottagelady Estate & Moving Sales.  Depending on what is left, we can help market it for at least a one day sell.

What items sell well at an Estate sale? Do we need to have lots of antiques?

Antiques & Collections are fabulous!  They always help a sale, however they are not required to have a successful sale.  Some of our most successful sales have been in homes where there was not a single antique or collectible. In these cases having good clean furniture, lots of small items, decor pieces etc helped the sale tremendously.  In todays economy most buyers attending estate sales are looking for good bargains on every day use items.

Are there any items that traditionally don’t do well at a sale?

         Right now there are a few items that see at almost every other sale that typically are still remaining after the sale:

  • Pianos & Organs – unless it is a Steinway or baby grand , pianos and organs can be very hard to find a new home for.  Sometimes they sell , sometimes they don’t.
  • Older Furniture- if furniture is outdated (and not considered antique or vintage) it can sometimes be hard to sell. If it is stained, ripped or has pet or smoke odors it can also be hard to sell.
  • Older electronics – cabinet TV’s and stereos, some are considered collectible and vintage, others are just considered outdated.
  • Encyclopedia sets
  • Wall unit style desk – we price them to sell.

Regardless, if you have any of these items in your estate we ask that you leave them in place until we have had the opportunity to assess them.

What if you find personal items (money, paperwork, photographs etc) while preparing the house for the sale?

Actually this is quite common. Even in cases where the family has thoroughly gone through the house, by the time we clean out every drawer, closet cabinet etc it is inevitable that we will find something. No worries though, we box all of these items up for you and either make arrangements for you to pick them up or ship them to you if you are out of area.

How long does the estate sale last?

The average estate sale is a 2 to 3 day event.  Usually a  Friday / Saturday/Sunday sale.   Prior to the sale we need on average  1 to 2 weeks to prepare the house, price all the items, market the sale etc.

How much does the average estate sale make?

Because each house is different this is a hard question to answer.  Upon our initial consultation we will try and provide you with a baseline ball park figure. Please keep in mind though this could change if we discover new items while preparing the sale or if items are removed from the sale.

How successful is the average estate sale?

99% of the time we are able to sell 90% of the items in the sale. The remaining items are items that usually should go to donation or possible trash.  If anything of value is left after the sale we can send to auction.

People sometimes misunderstand how an estate sale works.  An estate sale is a liquidation — it’s not a storefront. Our job is to liquidate and make you as much money as possible – we have the same objective   Prices are adjusted daily so that you are not left with half or more of what you started with.    Things are only worth what someone else is willing to pay for them.

Do you clean the house after the sale?

We leave the home broom clean.

When is the best time to hold an estate sale?

Estate sales are YEAR ROUND. Time or weather is NOT a factor (Unless it’s snowing — and well — we are in the SOUTH remember — we don’t do snow).

How is  Cottagelady Estate & Moving Company paid/ what is your fee?

We are paid on commission only. It is in our best interest to insure you have a successful sale!   At the end of the sale our commission is deducted from the proceeds of the sale. No upfront fee’s, no minimum guarantees.   We work hard and know that referrals can only be earned.