Expert eyes turn clutter into cash
Most homes have too much stuff. Those forgotten treasures can be turned into enough cash to cover the cost of moving to a new home with the help of the expertise of estate sale expert John Meskel.
John and members of the ElderMove Alliance specialize in a team approach to helping clients downsize and move to a simpler life. Utilizing the knowledge that John has gained over his years serving the senior community, he can stage an estate sale that can often turn the clutter packed away in hall closets and boxed in the garage into cash.
In just one visit with a new client, John can usually estimate the revenue from selling items that might otherwise be donated or sold at a garage sale for pennies on the dollar.
“Collectors and re-sellers live in a time warp. People always want to buy items they could not afford as kids or relive their past.”-John Meskel, CJ Estate Sales
Items made prior to 1990 sell best, according to John.
“Toys, games, electronics and décor items sell quickly. Even clothing from the 60s, 70s and 80s.”
He said the best estate sales offer items that cover the spectrum from high-end and collectibles to medium priced items to common garage sale merchandise that would normally be donated to a charity.
Meskel begins his estimation process with a drive through the neighborhood with an objective look at the house that will be put on the market. Experience has taught him that the same item that will sell quickly to buyers in Bellevue for as much as $500 will generate less than half of that amount in areas south of Seattle and the Eastside.
“A quick walk through the house gives me a great idea of what type of items will be available at an estate sale,” he explained. “There are usually many more items in the closets and in the garage that are the same vintage as the items displayed on bookshelves and coffee tables in the house.
“Some of that stuff probably has not been touched for 20 or 30 years. That’s where the real treasures are discovered.”
The owner of C&J Estate Sales said the majority of his business comes through referrals from ElderMove Alliance Realtor Mindy Garner and professional organizer Laurie Lamoureux of Seamless Moves.