Sponsor Spotlight: A day in the life of an estate sale specialist

Merrian Roberts

Estate sales are still somewhat of a mystery in the Puget Sound area. They frequently confused with garage sales and are less common in Washington state than other states such as Texas, Florida, Michigan and Illinois. I sat down with Meriann Roberts, Owner of Ginny’s Girls Estate Services, to shine a light on this misunderstood industry and see how estate sales are indeed different from garage sales. With a steady and compassionate personality, it is easy to see why Meriann’s clients and team trust and appreciate her.

Meriann starts her day at the early hour of 4 a.m. with a strong cup of coffee. She reviews all her current clients, next steps needed for each, and her schedule for the day. She completes all her daily basic updates for a small business running out of her home office in Edmonds. As she heads out for the day, she grabs her notebooks and a quick lunch.

Typically, her first stop is a site being prepped for a sale. She oversees a team of five stagers, ensuring all pieces are moving together. The team sorts through an entire home of belongings. In addition to common areas, they clean out cabinets, attics and crawl spaces. The team comes across hazards along the way – from firearms to dynamite, and everything in between. These discoveries often require special safety protocol. As the team discovers personal family items (letters, photos and keepsakes), they set them aside and notify the client.

Today Meriann is working on downsizing a 2,500-square-foot home in Downtown Edmonds, a beautiful water view property. They are working in the main living space, staging the rooms so every piece can be seen, and anything broken is removed from the sale. Each room is given a theme and set up “boutique style” to create an enticing shopping experience. As the day progresses, Meriann answers endless phone calls, leaves to meet with new clients, attend marketing meetings or check up on a team setting up on another site. Currently, she also has a team prepping an online auction in North Edmonds. She may need to run to the storage units to gather up equipment needed for the day. A myriad of details require attention, from fine art appraisers, coin and jewelry experts, disposal, customer requests and client relations.

Estate sale, Edmonds

Meriann also gives sharp attention to the marketing of each event. Hundreds of quality photos are taken at each location to post to a variety of marketing venues. Customer emails, website updates and specialty buyer lists are reviewed. Additionally, the team in Edmonds is putting together details of the actual sale. Signage, crowd management, sales process, COVID safety preparation, money collection and record keeping. These details are a priority to a successful event.

Meriann is going to start pricing tomorrow where all items are to be tagged. Pricing requires extensive research from looking up china & silver patterns, researching artists, and general knowledge from experience pricing antiques and treasures. It is a time-consuming process and at Ginny’s Girls they take pride in offering fair prices for both clients and customers.

Fast forward four days, it is now Monday morning after three whirlwind days of the estate sale in Edmonds. Meriann heads back to the site to complete the property clean out. This client chose the clean out option, alleviating them of handling the unsold items in the home. Meriann and her team will completely empty the property utilizing numerous donation sites, client requests, recycle, disposal and hazmat options. Once the property is emptied, it is off to relax and celebrate a successful sale.

With the property is cleaned out, the client can quickly list the home for sale or prepare for renters. They did not have to deal with any of the overwhelming burdens of emptying the home and will look forward to their sale disbursement check from Ginny’s Girls. Meanwhile, Meriann is already at the next site with her team, starting the process over.

As you can see, Estate Sales are so much more than garage sales, offering the client assurance that their needs will be managed with professional care and compassion. The dedication of Ginny’s Girls shines in their work.

Do you need assistance with downsizing your estate? Give Ginny’s Girls Estate Services a call!


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