I often get asked. ‘When you carry out a clearance, where do you start’?
First, I visit the client or the premises to be cleared. This visit is Free, well not totally Free that would be silly. I like to have a cup of tea whilst I am there.
Secondly, I ask the client to show me all of the property they are looking to clear. I get shown around the down stairs living area and the bedrooms. They often gloss over the bathroom and kitchen area. When I ask them if they have looked in the loft and is that part of the clearance I often get a blank stare, then panic appears in the eyes of the client. Yes they had forgotten about the loft. Not a nice place to go. Full of memories and spiders. I then ask if there are garden sheds or outhouses, oh and what about the garage? Again they have a blank expression on their faces. It appears all of the valuable items are only kept in the house. Why would I want to look in the kitchen, bathroom, shed or garage?
Once I have taken a look at the complete layout of the property and ALL of the contents, yes even the loft with the spiders and memories, I give the client a comprehensive plan to clear the property and value and evaluate the contents.
Do you know what? In the kitchen of virtually every home in the land there is a rubbish drawer, in that drawer we often find precious metals or collectable items.
I recently viewed a property with a client. It was her Father property and he had recently passed away. In the back bedroom was a dressing table with costume jewellery on a display stand. The room had not been used for many years, since the death of the clients Mother in fact. After discussing the clearance options the client took the decision to clear the contents from the property herself. A couple of weeks later the client asked me to visit her at her home address to view items from her late Fathers house. The client had put the contents of the house into boxes and disposed of the furniture to the tip. The furniture would have realised between £500 and £1000 at auction!! But the client knew best.
After agreeing a price for the boxes I asked the all important question. “Is there anything else”? The reply “No”
I then enquired about the large amount of costume jewellery lying on the kitchen table. “It is going into the rubbish bin”. was the reply. “So if I offered you £5 could I have it”? A bit of a cheek I suppose but if you don’t ask you don’t get do you? “If you want. What would you do with it”? asked the client.
“Well firstly I would cash in the full sovereign. I would then sell the remainder at auction. I would expect to get about £300 back”. Came my reply. It took the client at least a couple of minutes to comprehend what I had said and about 30 seconds to realise what a big mistake she was about to make.
Needless to say we agreed a fair price for the costume jewellery and the sovereign. I now have a client who will refer me with confidence to her friends and clients.
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