Q & A


Planning and managing an estate sale can be overwhelming and time-consuming. We do the work for you and promise to give you the best service possible. For your convenience, we have listed some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our customers. For any additional information, please contact us at (217) 649-6288 and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to working with you!

Where do we begin?

The first step in the process is to contact an estate sale company, share your situation and schedule an appointment. Allowing us a chance to view the home and hear about your unique situation will help us to better serve you. We will work with you to find out the best plan of action whether that be an estate sale, a liquidation, clean-out, buyout or even a referral. 


How far in advance should I call you?

We would like you to call as soon as you believe you might need our services. We usually ask for a two-week notice but also understand that situations arise suddenly and abruptly. We often have sales lined up for several weeks in advance but by calling as soon as you are aware of your needs we may be able to fit you in at the last-minute.


What is your fee for coming to the house and assessing it for an estate sale?

Our consultation and meeting with you is free of charge.


What happens at the first meeting?

Once on site, we can assess and determine the feasibility of a sale. We will work with you to find out the best course of action whether that be an estate sale, a clean-out, buyout or a referral to will lead you in the best direction, based on what we see at the home. It is during this time that we will review the contract with you, discuss availability and answer all questions you may have.


What will it cost me for Champaign Estate Sales to execute my estate sale?

There is no up-front or out-of-pocket expense to you. We charge a percentage of total sales for our commission, and simply deduct that from the proceeds at the end of the sale. 


Should we get rid of things that we know are of no value, such as old paper, magazines, newspapers or cleaning supplies?

Do not discard anything! Old magazines and newspapers are highly sellable items and should not be discarded. Even items as simple as cleaning supplies usually sell well, you would be surprised at what people are interested in buying. Let us use our expertise in determining the value and if it is worth selling. We are a "green" company and do the best we can to recycle and discard properly what is unsellable before the sale begins!


Should we donate all the old clothes, towels, linens and sheets?

While that is charitable, these items are completely sellable at an estate sale and bring in additional profits to benefit the estate. Please refrain from discarding or donating any items within the home as these donations can be determined after the estate sale. If you feel that you must discard or donate any items please contact us to receive a professional opinion to make sure the item is not of high value. We would be happy to help!


How long does it take you to “setup” an estate sale?

Simply put, every house and situation is unique. Within the last 12 years we have encountered setups that range anywhere between 3 days to 2 weeks depending on the size and contents within. This timeframe is established on the first appointment and is based on the situation.

Is there anything I need to do before the assessment?

First, we ask that all family members have decided and taken the items they are wanting to keep. This way, we can properly assess if there is enough for a sale and that the items that are being kept are in safe keeping. 


What is the “setup” process like? 

First, we set up our display tables throughout the home and re-arrange furniture to maximize retail space. We then unearth any drawers, boxes and cabinets throughout the home and clean items as necessary. From there we separate sellable from non-sellable, research antique and high valued goods and finally, affix prices to all the displayed items. Throughout the process we often find personal effects such as social security cards, bank or tax documents and other sensitive material which we set aside to be gone through by the owner of the estate.



Do you offer discounts during your sales?

Every situation is different. The short answer is yes! We view this as an exciting and interactive selling point of "estate sale-ing". This adds to the fun and exciting process of the estate sale. Popular television shows such as American Pickers, Pawn Stars, etc. have encouraged people to buy in the secondary market and have made it quite trendy. We tend to offer slight discounts on the second day of a sale (upwards of 50%). Our pricing begins slightly under retail value and as we discount, the prices become more enticing to secondary market customers. Any discounting after the initial price drop is done to ensure a liquidation of the contents of the home while keeping fixed prices on items of high value. Discounts are all based on the situation and are established with the owner prior to holding the sale.


If the executor lives out-of-state, can we still have an estate sale?

Yes! We handle everything through email, faxing and registered mail so living outside of Illinois during the process is no problem. This process is simple and we have been handling out-of-state residents for many years. If you’re working with a local realtor or with a lawyer, we can go through them as well.


What payment methods do you accept during the sale?

We accept all major credit cards, checks and cash.