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Estate Appraisals    Auctions    Moving Sales    Estate Closeout Services
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Our Process: Organized, Efficient, Timely


Following initial client consultation, or at any time during estate evaluation, should it be determined that a written appraisal is in the best interest of the client, Mr. Martin will schedule a time to visit the location/s where the property in question is located and begin a three-step process leading to delivery of a professional written appraisal document.


An Estate Sale is a type of sale or auction to dispose of the majority of the materials owned by a person (personal property), often accumulated over a lifetime, who is deceased or planning a move. While one or more individual items may have significant monetary value in the eyes of interested collectors/investors, the rest typically falls within a continuum of sliding value based upon market demand for similar items. The objective of a true estate sale is the orderly liquidation (sale) of personal property in return for the highest cash proceeds. The concept of estate liquidation is relatively straightforward, yet it is typically infused with significant emotional distress, daunting logistical challenges (everything must be sold), and pressing deadlines.

At Futures Past, we are experts in managing estate liquidations. We offer efficient, professional turnkey services tempered by a full appreciation of the practical and emotional needs of our clients.
In contrast, a garage sale is typically an attempt to wring some cash value from unwanted household items prior to their disposal through donation or relegation to the refuse pile. The only stress involved is brought about by the need to clear a spot in the garage, decide how to display items, and fabrication of a few signs sturdy enough to survive the elements long enough to point the curious towards the sale location, and haggling with prospective buyers.

Over the years, Futures Past has developed a successful methodology for managing estate liquidations. This methodology is comprised of a 6-step process that enables us to confidently manage the complexity inherent in such an undertaking, keeps everyone informed and on track throughout the process, and reduces needless stress and worry. Our clients consistently tell us how much they appreciate our professionalism, thoroughness and sensitivity while serving their needs.

  • Our Estate Appraisal Process

    STEP 1: On-Site Examination

    All property to be included in an Appraisal Report is personally examined by the appraiser. Each item’s visual and material characteristics are noted, including condition and accurate measurements. Documentary photographs are taken to verify each item’s existence and to aid in further research. Time spent in Step 1 is typically referred to as “On-Site” time.

    STEP 2: Research

    Value conclusions for appraisals are based upon comparative sales analysis for each item. Research time is the time taken to identify marks and labels, verify dates, locate comparable items, investigate retail markets, and consult experts, if necessary. This approach produces an accurate report that fully protects you and your property. The time spent in Step 2 is noted as “Research Time.

    STEP 3: Report Writing

    A complete professional appraisal report consists of a cover letter detailing the process taken and definition of values used; the total value of the property; an itemized list of the property appraised; a set of photographs of the items; a listing of the appraiser’s qualifications and their signature. Each client is supplied with two identical copies of the Appraisal Report. Time logged writing, printing, collating and binding the final written appraisal report is referred to as “Report Writing” time.

  • Our Estate Liquidation Process

    STEP 1: Evaluation

    An on-site assessment of the estate property is performed, followed by presentation of a contractual agreement describing the nature and scope of services to be performed and terms governing payment of fees/expenses and distribution of post-sale proceeds.

    STEP 2: Cleaning and Staging

    VThe Futures Past estate liquidation team will schedule a time to begin cleaning the home and staging contents for optimum presentation and visual appeal.

    STEP 3: Pricing

    During and immediately following step 2, all household contents of any value are identified and, informed by a thorough knowledge of local/regional markets, items are then priced to maximize potential cash returns at sale..

    STEP 4: Marketing

    A sale date is selected and a marketing plan implemented. Onsite promotional photography is combined with descriptions of featured items for use in online marketing. Futures Past distributes notifications of sale to a database of over 12,000 potential buyers, plus we make use of targeted local newspapers and directional signage as allowed by neighborhood guidelines.

    STEP 5: Sale

    During the sale, a staff of sufficient size is present at all times in order to efficiently manage the sale process, document items sold, collect payment, and maintain necessary security. Futures Past accepts cash, VISA, MasterCard and Discover credit/debit cards.

    STEP 6: Wrap-Up

    Following completion of the sale we provide an itemized list of property sold, individual sales price, and a combined total for all sales. Sale proceeds distributed to specified parties in accordance with the agreed terms.