a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Saturday, September 22, 2012

what is it worth.....

Remember when I went on strike a few months ago? How I was not going to work more than the mandatory overtime, how I was not going to clean the house, how I was not going to deal with getting rid of my in-laws' estate?  Well, we all know mandatory overtime is over (though I fear it might come back sometime soon, but we won't worry about it until it rears its ugly head) and I still haven't cleaned any part of the house in months, but I'm willing to settle the part of the strike of trying to clear out the clutter we've been dealing with for the past almost 2 years, if you can imagine it has been almost that long.

Realistically, its time to let the stuff go. It was time to let it go way before this but for reasons I'm not sure, we still have lots of stuff no one seems to want. So I had to take the bull by the horn so to speak and step in and get involved again and approach the idea of "lets get rid of what we don't want and if you want something, fine, but lets get rid of what you don't want". Hubby is receptive, so we set a date for another estate sale (next Saturday) and start thinking what will go, what will stay, etc.

And then we come to the road block, dead end that we have come to at several other times along this path we have taken.

What is the worth of some of the items here that his parents had accumulated. China, crystal, glassware, Native American art amongst other things. Lenox china, Wedgeford crystal, Hummel figurines from the 1950s, art from artists I can find little to nothing about while searching through Google.  The intent is to charge fair market (if anyone even wants some of this stuff) and be good stewards with what has been left to dispose of.

So I get this brilliant idea a few weeks ago. Get an appraiser in here to give us an appraisal of this and that. Sounds good, right? Their services would be deducted before any profits would be split between hubby and his brother. Until......

We start looking into appraisal services and the cost of them.

I tell you; I'm in the wrong business. I should have been a vet or perhaps an appraiser.

(that's a joke about being a vet with how much we've put out on Koda's care, but he's worth every penny)

Anyway, I digress as usual.

On the website of one appraiser they listed their prices. $200 an hour, 2-hour minimum.  That is to come to your house and you basically show them what you want appraised. I think they take notes, pictures. Then their website said $125 per hour for research time to figure out what the items were worth and each hour of time at your home would usually generate 2-3 hours of research time. Do the math. Before you know it, you are way over $1000 and if you can't recoup that with what you are trying to sell things for and get someone to buy it, it doesn't seem like a win-win situation.

Another appraiser charged $250 an hour. Not sure what all that includes.

I was hoping it would be simple. Yes, this is worth so much money. This is worth this much money, etc. I've tried to research and sometimes come up empty handed because the prices are all over the place on eBAY and on some things I'm not 100% sure what exactly they are. I wish I had listened to my MIL when she would tell about this or that when she was describing what they had purchased. It sort of went in one ear and out the other. If I knew I would be dealing with it years later, I would have listened more and took notes.

But I'm not disheartened. We need to move forward. It is already close to two years. If we don't move forward we'll never get this done. We might make a few mistakes and charge less than something is worth, but it will be gone. And that's where it comes down to it.

Hubby's parents enjoyed what they had and chose to get what they had for whatever reasons they did. Anything else we get for the stuff is just gravy in my books.

I have to say though that perhaps the strike did produce something. This present sale son will get a cut for helping with the sale. Hubby and brother will share equally in the remaining proceedings. However, this time hubby did say before they share equally in the remaining proceedings, we are taking a cut for the work and effort in putting on the sale and getting things ready. That is definitely a new thing that didn't happen at the last sale back in February.

As in any money we earn or get, we tithe on it, which we will do in this case too. However, in addition, that percentage we get for putting on the sale, I asked hubby if we could give it to our church's fund drive for the building they want to plant the church in. I know God has the right piece of property for it. I can't wait to see where it is at in his perfect timing. We are honored to be part of that work for his kingdom to be furthered in our neck of the woods.

I'll let you know how the sale goes next week. If I'm not around much this next week, you'll know why. I'll be preparing for the sale and trying to clear out as much clutter as I can.

But I promise you, I won't sell Koda. (though sometimes I'm tempted to........)


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I wish you lots of luck with the sale. I know there are lots of collectors out there that love to pick up some bargains at sales like that so I hope some find their way to your house. Here we have some people that will go in and manage such a sale and then they take care of pricing and everything and get a cut of the profits. I've been to some of those and although I don't know how the sale actually went, it seems there we a lot of people buying things. Hope your Saturday is a super one!

Betty WSch. said...

Oh wow. That sounds like a lOT of work you are getting yourself into. But I guess you have to get it over with some time. I wish you lots of luck and great weather for your sale.
Funny your comment about being a vet. lOL

Bobbi said...

I missed your strike post, but this reminds me of about 20 years ago when I was married to my first husband (my 3 kids were much younger, of course). Feeling unappreciated I went on strike for 2 full days. The dishes piled up in the sink and so on... you can imagine! 2 days of doing nothing but watching TV gave my then husband and children a much better appreciation of what mom does. Clean-up after 2 days took quite a while and I swore I'd never strike again. LOL.
You have quite a dilemma here. When we were faced with a similar one (GAry's dad passing and leaving collectibles) We placed each item on Ebays Auction and hoped for the best... letting ppl bid. It got rid of a lot and brought in some good money but it was a real pain! Good luck with all this! I feel for you, really I do. And to Koda: HIDE!! (Under the bed, says Gracie)

Melanie said...

I hope your sale will go great, Betty. Wow, those are some pretty steep appraiser charges!
I'm glad Koda is doing OK now...so sorry he had a rough summer.
I'm glad your husband is OK too. I'm sure that was scary!
Enjoy your weekend! :)

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Good luck with your sale. It's a lot of work ... glad that you will get something extra for your work in getting things ready.

Jeanie said...

What a lot of work for you, Betty. I'm afraid I would be tempted to pay what it costs to turn it all over to a company that does estate sales after I decided what I wanted to keep. I hope it all goes really well for you.

Marianne said...

Googling "appraiser apprenticeships" right now! Yeah gads.

Deanna said...

Betty, I so feel for you! We went through that twice. Fortunately between my family and Jim's family, we found homes for much of it. Then we had an estate rummage sale. It killed me to let some of those memories go for almost nothing, but it was better than throwing it away, which was the only other option. Stay strong.

Being part of the building a church is an awesome experience. You are blessed to be a part of it.

It'll be interesting to see how many offers you get for Koda on sale day!

Shelly said...

Yegads! I never knew appraisers made that much. I hope the sale goes well and Koda stays away from the For Sale signs~

The Brown Recluse said...

I'm so happy for you that OT is over, and that you all are finally getting to move ahead! Pricing stuff is pricey!!! I didn't know the process for that; I thought along the same lines as you. I watch Pawn Stars sometimes, and the experts come in and appraise right then. I thought everybody did it that way! haha

Good luck with the sale!!

Linda B. said...

Sounds like a busy time preparing for upcoming estate sale.

God bless your church's growth.

Boxes here going next week to newlyweds' apartment.

Hope your week goes well!

jack69 said...

You go girl. So many times ONE must take the bull by the horns. And to me, I'd forget the appraiser. Put a price you all can live with and then dicker. You must get rid of STUFF or store it and waste money while it dies a slow death.

Looking forward to seeing how it all goes,.!!!!! GOOD LUCK

Chatty Crone said...

I am trying like heck to talk myself in having a garage sale myself - it is so much work and I am not sure it is worth the money either! lol GOOD LUCK TO YOU!

Rita said...

Wow! I had no idea they made that much money!! And what kind of schooling or training do they have for proof of their abilities and knowledge? Wild! I don't envy you. But it will be nice to clear stuff out, regardless. Good luck!!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

It is so much work. My dad and I worked on my aunt and uncles estate. In today's economy things just are not worth what they were six years ago. It is hard to get rid of other peoples possessions.
I hope that the sales goes well. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

JosephAlsarraf said...

Ya, I would say ebay would be a good place to check out the prices.

Lol! I think you would be a good vet!

That's cool of you to give your money to your church. : )

Seriously Though said...

good luck with the sale! I could write paragraphs about this topic...but I wont. It's hard. if you do get a good "value" from an appraiser, it still comes down to the sale date and "who" comes to the sale and how much they are willing and able to spend on the item. You may get lucky and they will spend more, or the luck may be no one is willing or able to spend what you believe the item can fetch. *sigh* I feel for you. One family I helped in my business had to sell the loved ones items before we could list the house. They didn't price anything. Instead they just told people to give "donations" as there was actually a serious need -- they made more on that sale than if they'd labeled everything.

Martha said...

Hi Betty,
Sorry I haven't been around since you've been back to blogging. Obviously I haven't been doing much myself as far as blogging goes.
This post says it all as far as how similar of a situation we are in. I've even gone as far as checking into opening my own vintage treasures store considering the value of what I have left of my mothers stuff, but no matter how I work the numbers it all turns out to be a money pit where I'd be better off to just put it out at a garage sale for a fraction of the cost and let someone who really loves and appreciates it get the great find.
It is a good idea to check out the value of things before pricing them. I also know how hard it is to determine that with the wide range of prices on the internet. The highest you find is probably the true value but we can't expect to sell even close to the actual value. It's all so frustrating!
We will both get through it and be able to move on sooner or later!

Intense Guy said...

Hmmm... Mark L. Walberg needs to get out to your neck of the foggy woods!

Dunno what it's worth:


Linda :) said...

Hi Koda and Betty!!
I went on a bit of a strike the last few months waiting for son1 to move out... he has been out for three weeks and still has two piles left to pick up... lol... but now hubby has been moving rooms all around and I am ready to start cleaning stuff out... I wonder too how much some of our stuff might be worth but I think it is more the sentimental value then the money value that makes something mean more to us... let the collectors fight over it and just keep what makes you happy... :)

Patrick said...

estate sales are big business and with the greying of America - booming. The one thing I learned from having to settle both my parents homes 15 years ago is that value is whatever anyone is willing to pay for something.

If you shop estate agents right you can get them to somewhat end up bidding against each other for all your stuff.

Those costs you see on line are deterrents to keep people from just calling them out to appraise for prices and then sell themselves.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

Tami said...

Good luck - I know these sales are a lot of work, stress and hassle. Have you looked into consignment sales? Possibly an auction house that brings in collectors and takes a percentage of the sale or antique stores that take items on consignment?

Just a thought.