Managing Expectations

I'm recently seeing a trend as an organizer, and it is that more and more clients would like help liquidating their belongings.

This is something I've always included in my services, but it is becoming more and more of the main reason people contact me.

I've been doing a lot of research, and given what I'm seeing, one of the most important things I'm having to do is manage the expectations of my clients.

In the LaCrosse area, there are few (if any, that I've been able to locate anyway), appraisers. There are experts in certain fields, like jewelry, for example, but finding a one-size-fits-all appraiser is no easy task. Getting the appraiser to then "certify" the value of any given object costs money. The next task, and hurdle, is finding someone to pay that price.

If a client is not able, or willing, to go through any or all of that process, then it becomes the job of a "broker." A "broker," in this example, could be an estate sale owner, an auctioneer, a family member, or a business owner, like me.

Each one has its pros and cons, and each one will cost something. My fees and schedules are clearly laid out in my current contract, and they are fair given the market and the services I provide. HERE is a copy of my current client agreement form.

One visual aid I like to use to help my clients understand the process of sorting and liquidating is this liquidation flow chart. It spells out most all the choices a client can make about their belongings, and how NEST Home, LLC can assist.

Once a client has determined that certain items will be sold, I then share this selling page. It is a helpful tool to illustrate what the potential selling price of items will be, in general, and the statistics always surprise.

I go even further by using this fact sheet to explain the jewelry market, and a fact sheet developed by explaining the current eBay market. Fees and shipping have increased, as has the time it takes to set a reasonable selling price, weigh, measure, and document provenance, and in any case where a mistake is made, eBay more often than not sides with the buyer, which is a risk a seller takes.

In a previous piece ,I shared my philosophy of selling. It is helpful to explain this when I sit down with a client, who often comes to an initial consultation with selling prices already tagged on their items. This makes for an especially careful discussion. Many of our parents and grandparents started their adult lives with few belongings, and wedding registries and inherited items became treasured. Many of these items have sat in curio cabinets, sideboards, and glass display cases for many years, unused. When they hear that some of these items are not even being accepted at donation sites, let alone being purchased for pennies on the dollar, I see a sad resignation sweep over their faces. It is hard, and I understand their feelings. One part of what I do is work through this process with them.

Today, it is a buyer's market, and I want to be very transparent and clear about reasonable expectations. When the end goal is clear, and the journey to get there is realistic, the process is so much easier.

Maybe you've found some of what I've shared to be helpful to you? If so, please let me know.