Before I call- what should I expect?
Making the first call can be nerve-wracking. But we're really nice. Promise. We're very low pressure, so if you're not quite ready for us to come over, that's totally fine! We cater to all of our clients individually and personally. We do our very best to mass market each downsizing sale/tag sale so that we reach the most buyers possible and host the most lucrative sale possible for each client.
Should you decide to pick up the phone, here are our recommendations.
The list of questions you might have to ask is extensive. We know most of our clients haven't ever done this before. Take a peek at our Frequently Asked Questions below!
If you don't see your question asked, jot it down and give us a call!
Where do I begin!?
Our first step is a free consultation, so take some time to consider the space you're moving to. Don't know where you're going? You can still walkthrough and get a good idea of what you'll keep and what you'll sell.
Sometimes the hardest part is wrapping your head around leaving your home and items that you've surrounded yourself with during that time. Once you're through that stage, it becomes easier to say goodbye to those old memories and "let it all go".
If you're sorting through items, we recommend starting in the lesser-used areas of your home and "shuffling" items within their natural environment. Designate all bottom cabinets in the kitchen as "items for sale" and all items in top cabinets as "move to my new house".
Spend tons of time in your kitchen? Don't start there! Start with your guest bedroom, attic or the linen closets.
Ask your family to come over.
Invite your children or grandchildren over and see if there are pieces that they would like for their own homes. They can also help you sort through your items while they're over. Having a helping hand makes it less overwhelming.
Doing this step before we come for our first visit helps us get a clear idea of what will be included in the tag sale.
Should I take some of the "clutter" to donate before you come over?
No! Please don't donate or trash items before we come for a free consultation. If we see obvious trash when we walkthrough, we'll point it out and ask you to dispose of it.
The only items you should throw away before our first visit are things that are obviously broken or stained. People buy some crazy stuff to re-purpose or collect. Let us be the judge of what needs to be removed before the sale.
Can you help me pack? Can you help me decide what I keep and what I sell?
We focus exclusively on setting up and running the downsizing sale.
Deciding what you keep is extremely personal, and we can't make up your mind for you about what you'll want to surround yourself within your new home.
Our narrow focus helps us to make the most lucrative downsizing sale possible by allowing us to spend the maximum amount of time necessary setting up and researching items in your home for the sale.
Should we have the sale before or after the house sells?
Our timing can be very flexible. Your Realtor will be able to better advise you on this than us. If your decor is eclectic, you need work done on the home or your Realtor suggests you have your home staged before it hits the market - we can host the sale before your house is for sale.
We can also host the sale after the home has an offer (or 2... or 3...) on it. We're able to work on tight schedules, and we have run many sales the week before the house is scheduled to close.
We do recommend you call us as soon as you've decided that a downsizing sale might be right for you. Our schedule varies from being booked a month out to sometimes being able to arrange a sale in a week or 2. The more notice we have, the better we will be able to accommodate you with the perfect weekend. It also gives you time to come up with an alternative plan if a downsizing sale isn't the best option for you.
What are the costs associated with all of this?
Our business is commission-based. We discuss the fees at our first visit to your home after taking a tour. Each house is different so the commission can vary slightly from home to home. A scary basement full of boxes or a steamy, packed attic can increase the percentage that we charge, but we discuss this all upfront. There is no charge for our initial consultation.
How much is my stuff worth?
Pricing for tag sales is a delicate balance. You don't want a house full of items after the sale, or we haven't done our job. Mariah stays on top of the resale market trends so that they can establish the "Fair Market Value". Our team regularly visit thrift shops, consignment shops, auctions, and even our competitor's estate sales to see what the prices are like.
Generally speaking, items at a tag sale go for a quarter to half of the retail prices. Sometimes more and sometimes less. Tons of factors play into the price of an item: condition, brand, age, the season of the year, uniqueness and desirability.
Because we're commission-based, we want your sale to be as lucrative as possible!
Are you insured or licensed in this business?
Insured - yes.
Bonded - yes.
Licensed? ... Well, unlike the auction business, the "tag sale" or "downsizing sale" industry is completely unregulated. Which is a bummer because there are some shady companies out there. Tobacco Road Downsizing strives to have the best reputation out there, and we feel like our reviews show that we're pretty awesome to work with and highly regarded.
We have a reviews section on our web page- so check that out. But also make sure to read Google Reviews to see how other clients and shoppers have felt about us and our competitors before opening your door for any first-time meetings.
Can I come to my own sale?
No. We encourage our clients to be out of the home and plan something fun for the weekend. Downsizing sales can be emotional, and clients can ruin their own sales.
Have a ton of other questions? Feel free to give us a call. Even if you're not ready to set up an initial visit, we're happy to answer any other questions you might have!