How do I know if I need to have an Estate Sale?

This can be a difficult question to answer, but generally, if you have a substantial quantity of quality items to sell, then an Estate Sale is your best choice.  Perhaps you have lost a family member or moved them to a care facility, maybe you are downsizing a residence or experiencing a divorce….a professionally planned Estate Sale will generate more profit for you than selling all of the contents to one buyer and certainly without the work and effort of a "Do It Yourself” sale"


We generally hold a 2 to 3 day sale, depending on the amount of items and size of the estate.  The last day of the sale is our “crazy” half price day and then we will take sealed bids on all of the remaining contents, or call in a liquidator for an estimate, so there will be no items left.  We also offer to coordinate the pick-up of unsold items by local charities for our clients, if there are no bidders on the remaining contents. Of course, this is in agreement with our client prior to the sale.  We can leave your property “broom-clean” or leave it in the post-sale condition, if the owner prefers to deal with the remaining contents themselves. We DO NOT offer clean out services for homes which are not candidates for our estate sale services

Do I need to clean up before you come to evaluate the Estate?

PLEASE do us both a favor & "leave it alone". Be sure NOT to clean, throw out, sort, or rid the house of ANYTHING prior to calling an estate sale professional to empty the house. Too many times your idea of "cleaning" is an estate liquidator's idea of stripping and possibly of ruining the chance of a virgin estate to the public. You never know what someone might buy….even the smallest things can be exactly what someone was looking for!  We are experienced set-up professionals; we'll decide what needs to be thrown away.  We will sort, clean, organize, design placement and stage your sale for maximum profits. There is no need to burden yourself with cleaning up & organizing before we come. We've seen it all and it's OK.  However, the items you choose to keep or pass onto the family should be removed prior to your evaluation, not after.

Do I have to have antiques to have an Estate Sale?

There are MANY estate sales or tag sales where there are few, if any, collectibles or antiques and they still do well with the end net worth. The fact is, if an item is needed for day to day living, it can be sold at a profit above donating, giving or throwing into a landfill. There is no reason to ignore items of worth simply because they are not new or what you might consider everyday items.  You never know what will interest someone!

What if there are items I would like to have from the Estate?

We encourage families to take those items that have sentimental value to them before we assess the home. Once we have contracted with you for an Estate Sale, we ask that nothing be removed since the contract is based on the ENTIRE contents of the estate when our assessment is made.  If it is helpful and there is room, many times we can use an extra bedroom as an “off limits” storage area for the owners if all items are not vacated beforehand.

How far in advance do I need to schedule my sale?

Generally, when the sale is contracted with Fresh Start Estate liquidators the sale can occur within a few weeks depending on the number of other sales which may already be scheduled.  We will work with you to fit into both our schedules.

How long does the preparation and the sale actually take?

This really depends on the contents of the home. If you have a FULL house, garage and garden, inside & out-it could take a while.  If your Estate is on the small side we need at least seven days to set up, advertise and conduct the sale. We understand that there are times that the sale needs to happen more quickly and we do our best to accommodate such instances.

What if I change my mind and decide not to follow through with the sale?

This rarely happens because by the time the family has contacted us, they have spent a great deal of time contemplating their options. However, if the sale must be cancelled, we charge for the time and expenses incurred by Fresh Start Estatae Liquidators up to the cancellation of the sale, PLUS a penalty fee.

In what areas does your company conduct sales?

Fresh Start Estate Liquidators operates in all areas of the Tampa Bay area, including but not limited to; Tampa, Brandon, Plant City, Riverview, Valrico, Seffner, Lithia, Bradenton, Sarasota, Temple Terrace, Venice, North Port, Gibsonton, Apollo Beach, Lakeland, Sun City. If you do not see your city listed, please call (813) 785-7750 or email and we can let you know if we are able to travel to your location.

Does your company provide internet advertising?

Our clients & customers are able to look at “before” preview pictures on our website prior to the sale.  This way they have a good idea of what’s there before they arrive.  We also additionally list your sale with more pictures on prior to your sale date.  This is a site that all avid estate sale shoppers, dealers and collectors check every week in their local area.  We also list on Craigslist, advertise in the local Flyer and if desired, the local Tampa Bay newspapers as well as sending out a huge “email blast” to our subscribers.

How is Fresh Start Estate Liquidators compensated?

We are paid on a sliding scale based on the amount of money realized through giving your estate sale.  We pay the “up front” costs for the sale and will then be reimbursed from the sale proceeds. Our commission and charges vary from sale to sale and house to house depending on:


  • Challenge of project
  • Preparation time required
  • Hours needed to research values
  • Supplies needed to prepare & run the sale and the amount of labor required.
  • Other factors may come into play that would affect the pricing structure so it is best to speak with us in advance to get a good grasp of what sort of cost or fees we are talking about.
  • On the average, expect to pay 40% of gross sales realized.

We carefully go over the contract with you to ensure there is no confusion concerning our services or payment. Fresh Start Estate Liquidators believe that having a qualified Estate Sale representative is the best way to have a profitable sale.  We know the fair market pricing of the items we sell and this ensures you have a great sale!

What service does an estate liquidator provide?

Estate liquidators provide an invaluable service by setting up, merchandising, pricing and selling household items right out of a house. Having an Estate Sale is the very best way to get the most amount of money for your things. Remember that all you have to do is sort through the personal items and let the professionals do the rest.

OK, I have an estate that needs to be liquidated. Where would I start to locate an estate liquidator?

There are many avenues that you can cover. First there’s word of mouth - ask around to see if anyone you know has used this service before and if they were satisfied with the results. Visit an ongoing Estate Sale and see how they operate (check for attitude, salesmanship, number of staff, etc.). You may also want to interview more than one estate liquidator and pick whomever you are comfortable with. There should be no charge for a consultation and also be aware if someone wants to buy something at the consultation-chances are its more valuable than you realize.

How is an estate liquidator usually compensated for their work?

Most estate liquidators work on a percentage basis.

What percentage commission does an estate liquidator charge?

There is no industry standard and the commission charged varies from one company to another. Some do a flat percentage 35, 40 or 45% and others use a sliding scale depending on location of sale and the amount and quality of the items to be sold. We at Fresh Start Estate liquidators charge a flat rate of 40% which includes all the advertising and cleanup of the home afterwards.

What other questions should I ask?

Randomly you should ask - do you have liability insurance and how much coverage, can you provide references, how many staff members would be working at your sale, what about security, what is done with things not sold, how are the prices determined, what type of experience do you have, how will the estate sale be promoted (advertising, signs, etc.), how am I paid after the estate sale is completed. After the estate liquidator has seen what will be for sale the most common question asked of them is how much do you think its all worth - it is impossible to generalize a dollar amount on a house full of things and be very cautious of anyone who tells you what you want to hear - you will probably be disappointed!

How are the prices determined?

You must feel confident that whom you have chosen does indeed know how to price your items. Many times I have found hidden treasures that the owners are unaware of and if there is ever a question on price we research it. For the most part we find that owners and/or heirs have an inflated idea of the worth of their possessions and it is up to the estate liquidator to gingerly guide them into reality. The difference from primary market prices (new) and secondary market prices (used) can be vast one must listen to the professional.

How do customers find out about estate sales?

First there is advertising. Be sure to ask in what newspapers your ad will be placed and in what sections. In order to get people to attend your sale it must be advertised well and you should be prepared to shoulder some of that cost. Strategically placed signs can be equally as effective not only guide those who have read the ad but to also alert those who are just driving by. Many times someone who came because of a sign can spend a lot of money. Lastly, be aware of any liquidator who does not charge you something for advertising (you’ll probably get an obscure little three line ad) and only takes a small percentage- cheapest is usually not the best!

What fees do you collect prior to an estate sale?

We never collect a fee before starting an estate sale. Our fee is based on a percent of the final sales receipts which is always discussed prior to beginning service, and is noted in a written contract between client and estate sales agent.

Do you sell everything on-site?

Often there are items in an estate sale that would realize higher prices if sold in another geographic marketplace. That is part of our service, identifying the best place to sell your property. We often have utilized an on-line auction service to offer items nationwide and internationally. There are times when we have had to remove an item from the sale and take it to a buyer who specializes in that specific item and will pay accordingly but cannot attend the estate sale.

What happens to items that do not sell during the sale?

We have a variety of options to offer you should there be items remaining after the sale. You can choose any of our options, or many clients have preferred to dispose of the remaining items on their own at a later date. Of course our goal is to liquidate as much of your personal property as possible during the course of the estate sale.




*Most sales take place over a TWO AND THREE DAY period.
*Included is all organizing, cleaning and displaying of household contents for sale.
*Researching, inspecting, evaluating and pricing each item.
*Our excellent reputation brings many hundreds of qualified buyers to your sale.
*Our friendly staff members help sell your Estate Items by "working" the floor and encouraging sales.
*We do not do pre-sales, which assures dealers and collectors they are getting a true “first look.”
*We work with an “early bird” sign-in sheet, allowing for a first come, first served basis for those waiting in line at the door.
*We provide display set-up tables & locking cases for valuables.
*Advertising and promotion of the sale including website postings with photos, the Flyer, Craigslist, newspaper ads, weekly email's to 100’s of subscribers, personal alerts and outdoor signage the day of the sale.


Fresh Start Estate Liquidators

Please call anytime for a FREE evaluation and consultation.

~ Tampa Bay, Florida ~

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