out Almost every home requiring an estate sale has some china and crystal. Some homes have more than others. Our very first estate sale was in South Orange, NJ in a lovely home once owned by an Italian couple who had lived in the home 60 years.
The couple had taken in china sets from every family member that had passed away, by the time their home was ready for an estate sale the house contained 30 sets of china, hundreds of crystal and an entire garage filled with Christmas decorations. Most folks don't have that much china but many have several sets. So the people who are selling the china have this notion that since their china is old that it must have value. People cannot grasp that their mother's or grandmothers beautiful fancy china does not warrant a hefty price tag, especially since they were told how good china maintains it's value.
Full sets of china can sometimes garner up to $500 but rarely does it ever go past that number and that would have to be for a full set that can serve 12 people in mint condition and one of the better known brands like Rosenthal, Paul McCobb, Grainger, Majolica, Beleek, Herend to name a few. The china also must be in very good to excellent condition. No chips, cracks, washed out colors.
So why doesn't china sell, well mostly the millennials have no interest in hand washing dishes after a holiday dinner. The throw-away dishes are so durable and pretty now that it's so much more convenient to just buy the hard plastic ones that can go right into the garbage when you are done with your meal. This allows the host to not be glued to her kitchen sink and to sit and relax with his/her house guests.
I don't have real china myself, but I do have sterling flatware and honestly it's a pain to handwash the flatware. I find myself rarely pulling my beautiful set out and only doing it for special occasions.
I'm not saying china and crystal never sell, I'm just saying it won't sell for the prices your mom or grandmother told you it would sell for as in their day, most families ate on china not paper plates.
Many times, when my company is called upon to stage a home for sale, I sit down with the client and explain to them I have one goal and one goal only - to get their home to appear twice as large and to have twice as much sunlight. I explain that I'm not an interior designer and that I'll be moving things around so that they should not be offended by my design choices. It's not about family living, it's about square footage!
100% of the homes my company has worked on has had to have furniture moved around, given away, junked, or placed in a garage for the move to the clients next home.
This is totally normal. Some folks resist the changes I make and others let me do my magic. I once worked on a home that had been on the market for a year with no bites. I had been brought in to do the estate sale but during the course of our conservation about the estate sale, my client asked what I thought about the staging as he was dismayed the house had not sold yet. I told him exactly what I would do and how quickly I could do it and the next thing I know, I not only got the staging job I got the estate sale gig as well.
That house took us maybe 3 days to get it all done and the brokers (there were two of them) decided the house looked so different from when they originally took pictures to sell it that they would bring in a photographer again and take new pictures. With the new pictures emphasizing the square footage in the home and the removal of the heavy window dressing showcased the amount of sunlight that the home gets, the house was under contract within a week after we finished staging.
What's my favorite thing about staging --- it's the dressing up part I adore the most. I love dressing a fireplace, a bookcase, a piece of furniture. I love how I can dramatically change how something looks just by changing the items on it.
When my company stages we go thru the cabinets as many folks forget what they have in them and almost always we find the greatest pieces that look wonderful when displayed properly.
Most stagers use their own furniture and home décor. They make their money by bringing items in from their warehouse. They then charge the client for the "rental" of the item per week/month. On average a room that has to be staged for a minimum time of 2-3 months can cost $1,500 or more. If you have to stage a whole house that is a lot of money. It's not unreasonable for a whole house staging for it to cost well past $10,000. We don't bring in anything from the outside. It's all from what the client already has in their home.
If you have a home that need's staging feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Most homes take an average of a week to get staged so it's a fairly quick process.
Stay tuned for our next blog....