Articles and Testimonials
Handling Estate Sales is Sheri Halls’s Specialty.
By Valerie Carruthers
It’s said that one of the keys to succeeding in business is to first find a need and then fill it. That couldn’t be more the case for estate sales entrepreneur Sheri Hall who specializes in bringing peace of mind to harried homeowners in the midst of major life transitions.
In the late 1990's, Hall, who is based in Palm Coast, started Comin’ Around Again, a business which conducts on-premise estate sales and moving sales for clients in Flagler, Volusia, St. Johns and Putnam counties. The sales handle anything from entire household contents to a few select items. Off-premise services are provided for residents of gated communities, condos or other locations where sales would be prohibited or impractical.
Hall, who refers to herself as an estate sales consultant, has become known for being able to virtually sell out a home’s entire contents within two days. She bases her success on placing "a realistic fair market value" rather than an appraised value on the items, she says.
Achieving that kind of track record for Comin' Around Again, however, has been the result of more than market acumen. Thorough research, regular networking with real estate sales professionals and attorneys, solid merchandising skills, attention to detail, and a caring attitude have earned Hall high marks among her clients, customers and colleagues.
"Sheri strikes the right balance: being professional yet being personable", says Robert Dumas, a former Palm Coast resident who now lives in Boca Raton.
When Dumas, a former diplomat, decided last year to relocate to south Florida to be near his son after his wife died, he put his Palm Coast house up for sale. Except for some artwork and personal items, there was nothing else he wanted to take with him. Dumas says he "really wanted to start afresh but had no time to get rid of anything."
Enter Hall, who was referred by a friend. After examining and estimating the contents of the home, Hall provided a contract up front. Moreover, she assured Dumas that he did not have to be present at the sale, as she and her assistants would be there to handle the set-up and security. Perhaps most importantly, when Hall told him to put "your mind at ease", he felt comfortable about it.
The sale went beautifully. "There was a full accounting for every piece. The few things not included were put into another sale," Dumas says, "When it was over she sent me a check."
In developing her business, Hall, who originally sold real estate in Palm Coast, has worked hand in hand with Realtors such as Mary Ann O’Dea, her mentor at Realty Executives. Sale locations may soon become listings while listed properties might offer an open house/estate sale.
Such was the case with one of O’Dea’s properties that was listed with contents negotiable. "The owner, who was in a nursing home, agreed to a sale when Sheri offered to run it," the Realtor says. There were some 200 people waiting in line at that first sale, allowed in 30 at a time. "Talk about meeting a need."
Conducting a two-day sale requires seven to eight days of preparation. "The pre-sale work is where my love falls," Hall observes.
"My talent is in merchandising," she notes, having owned two consignment shops for upscale merchandise in upstate New York from 1987 to 1998. "The setup is paramount."
Once the contract is signed, Hall, who works on commission, goes through the house with a fine tooth comb to identify the collectibles, from antiques to World War II memorabilia, and estimate their value. Assisted by several others, the house is readied. Crystal glassware, silverware and other dining room or kitchen items are cleaned tagged and displayed.
Visits are made to neighboring properties to tell them about upcoming sale and possibly plant a few seeds. Advertising is placed in appropriate publications and announced on the companies web site.
Two days in advance, members of the site’s email alert list are notified of the sale location and where to park. Sale contents are posted on the site, both to assure maximum exposure and "to give the public a chance to compare an item to something similar they may have," Hall explains.
Behind all that activity stands Hall’s voluminous research on market value to assure the maximum dollar for her clients and herself. This has resulted in "Sheri’s Guarantee: items we sell on your behalf will bring the highest value the market will bear."
On sale day attendees are greeted by Clarisse, Halls’ chocolate Labrador retriever and company mascot, who’s become a fixture for repeat customers. After the sale, the house is left in immaculate condition.
Remaindered items are either donated to charity or tacked on to another sale.
Hall can be reached at (386) 503-5404, or email her at email@example.com
Reprinted with the Author’s Permission.
(Originally published in Focus on Flagler, Fall 2005)
A Satisfied Customer: ... "I can't thank you enough for your experience and total commitment to handling the estate sales that I've had, not only at 82 Felwood, but also at 42 Westminster and let's not forget the several rooms at 41 Felwood. You were an absolute pleasure to work with, as well as being a true professional. You have my highest recommendation for your company ... thanks for all you have done for us." Pete and Lee Naughnane, Palm Coast