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Our Services

Our specialty is conducting estate tag sales. These are on-site sales where every item in the household is priced for sale.
Every estate sale is unique and we know how to adapt to any situation which presents itself. Selling an estate can be a difficult and emotional experience for the family -- we try to take away the "difficult" part and provide our best advice to you in whatever situation you may be faced with.
Do we have to represent an estate in order to have a sale?

No. An estate sale is very often conducted for a true "estate" where the original owner is deceased, but it can also be a living estate. Someone downsizing into a much smaller residence would be a common example. We also conduct larger scale moving sales.
How does the sale work?

We organize and prepare the entire house & garage for the sale. We price every item in the house and do whatever cleaning and moving is necessary. Most sales are 2 days long, though large sales can be 3 days. When the sale starts, the first day items are sold at tag price. Bids are taken on items over a certain price, so as to establish a middle ground if those items do not sell at full price. At the end of the first (or second) day, bids are accepted or rejected. The final day of the sale, items are sold at a discount to help clean out the house.
Why should we have an estate sale instead of sending it all to auction?

Antiques & collectibles are eagerly sought at both auctions and estate sales. We set the prices at an estate sale, so there is more of an element of certainty in knowing what might be achieved. But the real difference is in the normal household "stuff". It typically sells for next to nothing at auctions, but can add up to a good deal of money at estate sales.

Also, estate sales are much less affected by weather conditions than on-site auctions, allowing customers to shop in comfort no matter what it is like outside. This gives the potential for an estate sale at any time of year, even the middle of winter when on-site auctions are on hold until spring.

One last bonus, in the case where the estate residence is for sale or will be going on the market: Estate sales are fantastic opportunities for potential home buyers to come through the house. The most common question we hear -- "
Is the house for sale?" It has happened more than once that a sale attendee became the eventual buyer of the property. If the property is for sale, we urge you to have real estate flyers on hand for us to give out.
How much do you charge?

We are paid a percentage of the gross sales. This percentage is determined at the time the contract is signed. It is based on how much of value is remaining in the household, balanced against the time and work involved in setting up the sale. All other things being equal, the more valuable the sale, the lesser the percentage for commission.

We pay for all set up costs, labor, and normal advertising. There are rarely any up-front costs for you. If there are, they are normally things like dumpster service if it is necessary.

As we are paid from the final sale total, it is in our common interest to present the most attractive sale we can and sell as much as we can. In addition to helping our clients deal with cleaning out the estate, we also want to make the sale as financially rewarding as possible for them.
How do I get started?

Call us to set up an initial consultation. This consultation is always free. We will give your our evaluation of the household and the options available for a sale. If an estate sale is not the best option, we will suggest other avenues for the sale of the estate contents.
If an estate sale is possible, what should we do next?

We normally suggest that you remove family photos, documents and anything else the family wants before we meet with you again. We strongly advise against trying to sort or clean out what you might think is trash. Making the decisions about what to trash and what to sell is part of what you will be paying us for, so please don't throw anything out until we can have a better look. You don't want to hear the horror stories about what has been mistakenly thrown out by people before we could intercept it.

When you and the family have made your decisions, we will make another appointment with you to look at the contents of the estate. It is at this time when we will accept or decline a sale, based on what remains of value for the sale. We decide a percentage for commission and usually sign a contract with you at this point to perform the sale.
Have other questions? Please feel free to ask us through the Contact Us page. Thanks!
In addition to conducting Estate Sales, we also can provide the following services:
-Moving Sales
For households that are significantly downsizing, a tag sale can be held on-site / off-site.

-Clean out Sales
In instances where the amount of unsaleable contents are significantly greater than the saleable items, we sometimes offer this flat-fee service. Disposal is handled, then a no-frills sale is conducted with the better items to offset or sometimes completely cover the fee.

-Estate or single item appraisals
We can provide fair-market appraisals for single items, collections or whole estates. Whether you need this for estate valuation, divorce allocation, sharing estate possessions fairly among family members, or if you just want to know what a prized heirloom is worth, we can probably help you out.

-Purchase of antiques and collectibles
We can purchase individual items as well as collections and smaller estates. We will make you a very fair offer, and we buy a wide variety of different antiques & collectibles. This includes, but is not limited to: vintage jewelry and watches, silver, art, pottery, porcelain, lighting, old advertising, fountain pens and cigarette lighters, vintage linens, ladie's accessories, old radios and select furniture.
A quick note about As Time Goes By:
Our company is family owned and operated, based in Mt. Pleasant (Racine), WI. We are fully insured. We have a core staff (with over 75 years combined experience in the antiques, furniture, art & collectibles fields) that makes all the setup and pricing decisions for your items. We will treat you with respect and the estate household and property with great care and discretion.
Below are several common FAQ for those who are interested in having an estate sale. Feel free to contact us with any other questions about having a sale.

For those wishing to know more about attending one of our sales, please visit the "About Our Sales" page.
What about when the house is for sale? Should we wait until we have an offer to proceed?

This is often the biggest judgment call you will need to make when considering an estate sale. There are a lot of opinions out there. Some real estate agents prefer to showcase a clean slate when presenting a home for sale. Others will tell you it is better to have furnishings present and a lived in appearance to help sell the house. You have to find what's best for your situation and you should work with your Realtor to arrive at the best decision for you. Since every situation is different, we are hesistant to offer up too much "wisdom". Having seen a lot of home selling scenarios though, we do know a few truths: 1) When people look at a home, they are visualizing their possessions in the house, not yours. 2) The cluttered look is bad in all cases. 3) If the home has been on the market for a while and not sold, the contents aren't really that much of an asset to the home selling process.

One other point to consider when making an estate sale decision is scheduling. If the house sells, you may suddenly find yourself 30 days out from closing, needing to have an estate sale ASAP. As the best estate sale companies are typically scheduled out several weeks in advance, you may find it difficult to get an estate sale conducted within your timeframe.