Burgess Estate Sales
Alexandria, Arlington
and Fairfax County, Virginia

Phone: (703) 751-7879
Fax: (703) 751-6591

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Estate Sales, Moving Tag Sales, Appraisal Services

When an estate sale is a Burgess Estate Sale, many Alexandria and surrounding residents know the sale is being managed by a company with a good reputation. Susan Burgess has been in the antiques business for thirty years, and is well known in the area for putting on sales that have fairly priced treasures. She is a member of the New England Appraisers Association (NEAA). Her clients include Burke & Herbert Bank, Suntrust Bank, Wachovia Bank, and many local attorneys. She has conducted over 750 estate sales over the last fifteen years.

Susan Burgess’ reputation for fairness and good organization brings out the crowds. Sometimes there are over one hundred people waiting outside to get into one of her sales.

Susan started helping at her family’s antique shop when she was 10 years old. One of her jobs there was to cane chairs.

It can pay off to be one of the first to get into a sale, but to get an early number you may have to show up as early as the night before to get your ‘unofficial’ line number.

The official numbers are normally exchanged or doled out at nine on the morning of the sale. It can also pay off to show up on the last day of the sale, because frequently there will be a substantial price cut on remaining items.

When Sunday evening rolls around, Susan’s job is to end up with an empty house!

Having an Estate Sale
By Susan Burgess

Once you’ve made that decision to simplify your life and move to a retirement community, what will you do with all your stuff? Your children have their own stuff, and your new home won’t hold all your stuff. You’re not sure, but you may have some valuable stuff, and you don’t have the time or energy to get rid of it.

Relax! There are people out there who will sell your stuff for you, and better yet, there are lots of people who are willing to stand in line to buy your stuff!

A good way to get the most money for your stuff is to have an estate sale. Here are some tips on how to have a successful sale.

Select a reputable agent.

Check with a friend, your attorney or your retirement home for recommendations. Find out if the agent is affiliated with an appraiser’s association and ask for references. The collectibles market is constantly changing and many things once considered to be junk are now sought after, so it’s important to make sure the agent is “in the know.”

Decide what to keep

A made-to-scale floor plan of your new place will be helpful in deciding how much space you’ll have and, therefore, what you can keep.

Timing your move is critical

The key is to move first, and then sell what is left behind. Your sale will be more successful if everything left in the house is for sale. This way, people won’t want what they can’t have, and there will be no chance of the items you are keeping getting damaged or lost.

Don’t donate or weed out items before the sale

The most successful sales contain a mix of furniture and bric-a-brac as well as lower- and higher- priced items. Things such as kitchenware, linens, tools and the like are hot sellers. Items that don’t sell can be donated after the sale. Most agents will handle this for you and give you an itemized receipt for the Internal Revenue Service.

An agent that goes the extra mile

Be sure your agent will ensure a successful sale by providing an eye-pleasing clean presentation of your belongings. This should include polished silver, sparkling crystal, individual pricing of the items for the sale, etc.

The agent’s fee

The normal fee most agents charge is 25 to 30 percent of the total amount sold. The agent should pay for all expenses, including advertising. In most cases, the agent’s fee will be recovered because you’ll most likely receive a higher price for the items sold then you would in a non-professionally run sale.

On-site estate sales are attracting large crowds every weekend and happy buyers are purchasing everything from the ridiculous to the sublime. Regardless of whether you are a discerning collector, a pack-rat or a little bit of both, an estate sale could be a profitable way for you to downsize.

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