Frequently asked questions

What is an estate sale or what does an estate sale entail?

An Estate Sale, also called a Tag Sale in some parts of the country, is a way of liquidating the belongings of a family or estate. These are usually much larger and more involved than garage or yard sales. People often hold estate sales after the death of a loved one as a way to liquidate their personal assets. However, people also use estate sales as a way to downsize, declutter before a move or help elderly parents relocate or move into assisted living or nursing homes.

How much does hiring MBA Estate Sales cost?

Like most estate sale companies, MBA Estate Sales charges a percentage of the sale’s gross profits; The percentage charged depends upon many factors such as size of sale and amount of preparation and staff that will be required. Generally we charge a flat percentage of the sales. We also have options to provide additional services such as trash removal, after-sale clean-up, and more. Call today and we can provide you with a general estimate once we have a grasp of the size and needs of your sale. Later we will provide an in-person exact quote once we have had a chance to walk through the estate with you and discuss all options.

Should I have a yard sale first?

No! Sometimes families will donate items and even hold a yard sale or garage sale before calling in professionals for an estate sale, only to find they have too few items left to support a viable sale. Families also frequently save the largest pieces of furniture for an estate sale while donating or throwing away all of the smaller items, not realizing that these smaller items are generally the bread and butter of estate sales. Large items such as bookshelves, entertainment centers and dining buffets often do not hold as much value as the smaller collectibles, clothing and jewelry.

For these reasons and more, it is best if the customer calls an Estate Sale professional before making any decisions. A reputable Estate Sale company will honestly tell you if you would be better off holding a private yard or garage sale instead of hiring them.

Do I have enough items to have an estate sale?

Its difficult to quantify these things, but if you or your loved one have enough items to fill a 2-3 bedroom home or at least $3,000 - $5,000 (at resale price) worth of items, then you have enough. Even if you think you may not have enough, it never hurts to talk to an Estate Sale professional. They will tell you upfront if they do not think you have enough to merit an Estate Sale.

How far in advance should I book my sale?

The farther in advance, the better. A lot of work goes into the preparation and advertising of an estate sale and the more time an Estate Sale company has to plan, the better the sale will go. Also, particularly in the summer time, Estate Sale companies are frequently booked up for each weekend, leaving only those companies that are brand new or who don't have a very good reputation with time available to book your sale. A good rule of thumb is to give your Estate Sale company at least 3-4 weeks notice where possible.

What do I need to do to prepare for the sale?

We can't say this strongly enough - DO NOT THROW ANYTHING OUT before the sale. (Obviously this does not refer to used take-out dinner boxes and regular debris that you put in your kitchen trash can as usual). DO go through and remove anything you want to keep for yourself (do this prior to signing a contract with an Estate Sale company so they know which items remain). Also removing any items with personal or financial information on them, family photographs and the like is a good idea. A clean house will generally have a more successful sale than a dirty house, but again - do not throw out any actual household items.

Do I need to be at the sale?

No. In fact, we prefer you are not at the sale. Many people become highly emotional or uncomfortable seeing strangers walk through your home touching things. As your personal representative, MBA Estate Sales will take good care of your home and items during the sale. If you would like to phone us to check in at some point during the sale, you are welcome to do so. As a general rule, it is easier on everyone if you wait until the sale is over before returning to the home.

How long does a sale take?

Each sale is different but most sales are 1-3 days in length (depending upon the volume of items for sale) and it generally takes 3-5 days of preparation prior in order to stage the home and price all of the items for sale. If circumstances require a faster sale, let us know and we may be able to expedite the process and lower prices in order to guarantee a faster wrap up. These are excellent topics to discuss during your initial consultation.

Who pays the sales tax on items?

In the state of Florida, taxes must be collected on all items that are sold during an Estate Sale. Typically the easiest way to do this is to pay the 6% sales tax out of the proceeds of the sale. At MBA Estate Sales, we will withold 6% of the total sales made from each sale and report and pay this to the state as required. This will be done prior to taking our commission percentage or paying the remainder of the proceeds to you so that you do not have to cope with this complication.

Should I clean my house first?

A reasonably clean house is always a good idea, however, excessive cleaning is not necessary. Aside from obvious rubbish like food wrappers, please - DO NOT THROW ANYTHING AWAY! Your Estate Sale team will be staging your home prior to the sale so there is no need to worry about extreme tidiness.

How do I know how much you sold my items for?

MBA Estate Sales will provide you with an itemized breakdown of your major sold items along with your proceeds no later than 5 days after the end of the sale.

Do I need to own antiques or collectibles to have a sale?

Not at all. Many of the biggest selling items at Estate Sales are the things we use everyday such as housewares, clothing, tools, electronics, furniture, books, decor, and more.

What if you find photos or financial papers?

Not to worry! Any time we find things that appear personal (such as photos or letters) or have sensitive or financial information on them, we tuck them away to return to you later.

What happens to items that don't sell?

Traditionally, we box up any unsold items and donate to the charitable organization of your choice. You will be provided with a donation receipt for your tax records. If you would prefer an alternate arrangement, please let us know during your consultation.

When do I get the money for my sold items?

All earned proceeds from your sale, minus our agreed-upon fee and taxes, will be transferred to your bank within 5 business days of the end of the sale.