Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do first?
Timing can be very flexible with an estate sale or downsizing sale. We'd recommend you call us when you have a rough idea of what you're keeping and what you'd like to sell. Our schedule is ever changing so availability is on a first come, first serve basis. It's better to contact us too early rather than when you're house closes in 2 weeks (but we've pulled off some amazing sales on very short notice...).
Given that each home needing a sale is unique with its own treasures, every client has different needs. Give us a call and we can walk you through what will likely work best for your individual needs!
What services does Tobacco Road offer?
We're a full-service estate sale and downsizing company. This means we walk in when you walk out and can handle the rest!
We'll handle the staging, unpacking of closets and boxes long forgotten, pricing, advertising and sale of any items you're ready to part with.
Following the sale, clients are welcome to keep the remaining items or we can handle the donation and cleanout of the items that people have opted not to add to their own collections (this will potentially have a fee involved, but we will discuss this during our consultation and prior to any paperwork being signed so that expectations are clear on our end and yours!).
What can't be sold?
Basically all general household items can be included. We do not however sell anything illegal, personal information, items that are broken beyond repair, liquor, and a small menagerie or other items... But we'll let you know when we walk through if it needs to be disposed of before we start our work!
How do I know what will be sold?
It's hard to predict what will and won't sell, but we try our hardest to conclude the sale with as close to an empty house as we possibly can!
People buy everything from unused office supplies and kitchen utensils to the Waterford crystal and car in the driveway.
That said, there are always some leftover items. They tend to be basic kitchen items, books, office supplies and older and more out of style furniture- so we price those accordingly.
We've done this so many times, we have a good idea of what needs to be bundled together to just get it out the door and what items are stand apart and will draw the most attention and sell at a premium price.
What are the fees for this service?
We are entirely commission-based and our fees fall into the industry standard for this area, generally varying from 35-45% with no built-in minimums. We're working hard so that we both profit!
We will discuss what the commission will be once we've had the opportunity to walk through the home with you and establish how much labor will be involved to prepare the sale.
Our commission will be clearly outlined in the contract we'll sign with you.
Additional fees do occasionally occur if you opt for a donation or complete cleanout service following the sale, but we'll discuss this with you before we sign any paperwork.
What sells best?
While you're not going to run out to the store to buy all the best things to just throw in your sale (that would be silly!), there are some items that attract buyers more than others. Buyers flock to higher-end jewelry, stylish furniture (think Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Henkel Harris etc.), unique vintage or antique items, rare books, beautiful art and coin collections... Consider adding some of these so that your sale stands apart from other local ongoing sales.
These will be the premium items that we'll advertise first!
Are you insured and bonded?
Yes and yes.
Can I live in the home while you're running a sale?
This is very situation dependant.
The most efficient way to run a sale is to have the homeowners or clients completely out of the home before we begin working.
After running hundreds of sales, we've found that clients have a much better return on their sale proceeds if they remove the items they wish to keep from the home and we're given unrestricted access to the home until the sale has been completed.
In some situations, this is possible, but this process can be emotionally, physically, and mentally taxing, so most of the time we recommend that we come in when you're no longer occupying the home.
How do you advertise?
In the Triangle area, most buyers find which estate sales they want to attend by going to estatesales.net.
Some companies only advertise their items on this platform, but we like to go a step further. So in addition to advertising there, we also create individual listings on other heavily trafficked online marketplaces that offer local listings for items. This extra step allows for local buyers to find us when they aren't regular estate sale shoppers, which accounts for a huge number of sales!
We also have an email list that is sent out to our regular customers so that they're notified about our sales and they're able to purchase those larger, higher ticket items right away.
Why should I select you?
We have over 8 years of experience helping local families in the Chapel Hill and Durham area liquidate their homes, estates, or businesses.
We prioritize our clients and customers and help both with the highest level of customer service, integrity, and a passion for connecting these two.
We don't just do this as a job... We do it because we love it and it shows. Our clients leave feeling like their possessions were handed with care and our customers leave with their hands full of items they get to enjoy for years to come.
From the time we meet to the time you've got a check in your hand, our goal is to provide you with the highest level of service.