Frequently Asked Questions

What services does Sterling Estate Services provide?

We are a full-service downsizing and liquidation company that seeks to customize our services based on your unique situation. Specifically we organize these services into three areas: estate assessment, downsizing & liquidation, and real estate services.

What does estate assessment entail?

Estate assessment involves evaluating your belongings to determine values and the best direction for selling them, if that is your goal. Our ISA Personal Property Appraiser is trained to not only give you expert market valuations, but also to guide you to the best sales directions for the valuables that you own. In today’s complex resale markets, opportunities for resale abound. But not every item is going to be successful in every resale venue. Many downsizing & liquidation companies will emphasize their specific niche and selling everything within that niche, because that’s the area they deal in. At Sterling Estate Services we are unique as we are not advocating any single way of selling your belongings. Instead we strive to match each item with its best sales venue and go further by providing assistance with all facets of each and every sale.

What it covered in the area of downsizing & liquidation?

Once we have assessed your possessions and your unique situation through closely monitoring your ultimate goals, our ISA Appraiser will devise a plan of action that may entail a number of different venues. Generally speaking, our Appraiser will evaluate high to mid-range items for potential sale on a wide range of platforms including local, national and international auctions, private buyers and galleries and/or local consignment. For general household items, a traditional estate sale or an “in-house” auction sale may be the best direction. Each situation is unique, and again, we will create a plan that addresses your specific goals, including time-frames, privacy issues, and your ultimate priorities.

In addition to determining and instigating the sale of the items you wish to sell, we can also assist in virtually all areas of downsizing, liquidation and move management. Do you need help sorting the items you wish to sell or keep? Do you need assistance in packing? Are you moving items to family member’s homes and/or to your new home? Do you need clean-out and/or cleaning services? Whatever the case may be, we can either directly assist you or refer and oversee those referral activities.

You list real estate as one of your downsizing/liquidation services. What qualifies you to successfully sell my home?

There are many real estate brokers out there, but few have the experience and sensitivity to successfully navigate and close a downsizing or liquidation real estate transaction. A traditional real estate transaction includes many parts; evaluating and prepping the property, correctly pricing the property, covering all of the bases with marketing, and finally negotiating the sale. We excel at all of these aspects and more, because selling a home in a downsizing situation requires more. Downsizing or liquidation sales transactions are often complex, longer term projects involving not only the sale, but also a whole host of additional support activities. It can take a great deal of diligence and perseverance to navigate all of the special circumstances that surround a downsizing or liquidation situation. In a downsizing situation, how will the person who is downsizing decide what items to take with them? What will they do with the rest of their stuff? Are there valuable items in the estate and what is the best way to sell those items? What options are available for liquidating the remaining items? Where is the person who is downsizing moving to, and how will they get there? In a liquidation situation, who are the key figures involved in assisting the with the estate? Are there special legal circumstances involved? Will family members be keeping items? How will they get them? What will happen with all of the remaining items? Again, are there valuable items, what is the best way to sell them, and what are the options for the remaining items? In both situations, will some items stay for staging purposes? Will the home be sold “as-is” or fixed up? If it is to be fixed up, how will it get fixed up? Will it be staged and how will that happen? And finally, how will the timing work with all of these moving parts and often, with so many parties involved? At Sterling Estate Services we are unique in that we have the background and experience to sensitively guide you, your loved ones, and/or your clients through all the many aspects of a downsizing real estate transaction.

What are the advantages of hiring Sterling Estate Services as opposed to doing everything myself?

A downsizing move or estate liquidation is a huge project requiring knowledge, skill and expertise in many areas to be successful. If you are considering taking on any part of the project, or perhaps even the entire project, there are a number of questions you need to reflect on first. In the areas of estate assessment and downsizing/liquidation personal belongings, ask yourself if you know the resale market and how to assess the current values of what you, your loved ones, or your clients own?  Are you aware of the multitude of sales options (including online options) available today and which items are best suited for each type of venue? Are you, your loved ones, or clients, confident in sorting and deciding which items to keep, sell or donate? Do you feel capable of packing, moving and cleaning out the entire house yourself?

In the area of real estate, most people understand that a real estate transaction is a complex legal transaction and that it’s vital to engage the services of a professional. This is especially true in a downsizing real estate transaction. If, however, you are even remotely considering trying to sell your home on your own, while also handling all of the many facets of the downsizing process, it’s imperative to start by asking yourself the following questions: Do you understand the (rapidly changing) market conditions in our area? Do you know how to get your home ready for the market, including identifying key fixes and improvements? Are you skilled at staging and creating that all important first impression? Do you know how to evaluate the multitude of data available in order to set the right asking price for your home? Do you understand the importance of, and have access to, professional photography and online marketing tools? How will you allow access for viewing while keeping your home secure? Do you understand the complex legal documents involved in a real estate transaction and how vital all of the contingencies are, including their accompanying time frames? Do you feel comfortable evaluating competing offers and negotiating all of the details? Do you understand the many steps involved towards getting a deal to close once an offer has been accepted? And finally, do you feel confident in handling the multitude of additional support activities that are integral to a downsizing real estate transaction?

The fact is that a downsizing move or estate liquidation is complex and it can be a very overwhelming experience for all of those involved. Again, it is a project that requires expertise in many areas to be successful. At Sterling Estate Services we have the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in all aspects of the process. We aim to save you time and money while bringing the best prices possible for you or your loved ones or your clients belongings and home, and in so doing, make the transition as low-stress and rewarding as possible.  |  206.799.3270  |