828 Update

  • Yard Sale Or Estate Sale? March 21, 2018 by REALTY 828

    You probably know what a yard sale (or garage sale) is. Maybe you see them all the time, either advertised in the paper or while driving by. The desired result is to purge your household of clutter and pick up a few dollars in the process.

    Holding a yard sale is different than planning an estate sale. A yard sale involves gathering all those possessions you feel like you can live without — clothes, kitchen utensils, toys, tools, books, movies, etc. — and putting them up for sale in front of your house, apartment or church. An estate sale is much more involved and targets a slightly different customer.

    The Estate Sale Process
    An estate sale isn’t selling off those things you don’t need; it’s an exclusive and specific type of sale, often to sell an entire life’s worth of possessions. The possessions may be yours, a parent’s or another relative’s. There are two main steps for planning an estate sale:

    1. Finding a professional to help you organize and run the sale

    2. Choosing which items to keep and which to sell

    Neither step is easy because you don’t have a reason for planning an estate sale unless something significant happens, such as a:

    – Loss of a loved one

    – Foreclosure

    – Significant downsizing

    Since these can all be difficult, emotional times even without planning an estate sale, you need the help of a professional like us here at the Art of Downsizing in Western North Carolina. Finding yourself responsible for taking care of a loved one’s possessions can be overwhelming. Knowing that experienced professionals are respectfully handling the estate can be a source of comfort and solace.

    Maintain Your Peace of Mind
    Planning an estate sale is always a delicate enterprise. Selecting the items to sell is a process wrought with emotion. We understand how family treasures often have higher emotional value than monetary value, no matter how expensive they are. We assist you, providing clear choices when it seems overwhelming and reminding you what’s feasible to keep and what isn’t.

    Due to the usually high quality and unique nature of the items available at an estate sale and organization, expect prices to run higher than your average yard sale. Estate sales are filled with the types of things collected over the course of a lifetime. And it’s not unusual for antiques, fine china, and one-of-a-kind collectables to be presented in an estate sale.

    Art of the Sale
    An estate sale usually runs for two to three days, often over a weekend. And since estate sales are generally more formal events, whether held in person or online, buyers come already knowing what to expect. When you let an experienced professional take responsibility for planning an estate sale, we do all the work to organize and advertise the sale, while you reap all the benefits. And because we can help you sort through the items, you feel supported during the entire process.

    Dealing with seasoned professionals can make your estate sale much less stressful than attempting to confront the haggling public at a yard sale. Think of this way: the difference between a yard sale and an estate sale is the difference between selling off some extra things and having your family’s belongings carefully inventoried, researched and staged to bring in quality buyers that are willing to pay higher prices.


    Article by Michelle Munson.

    For more information on downsizing contact Michelle at The Art of Downsizing 828-772-5959.




  • New Trends From NAHB and KBIS Show February 12, 2018 by REALTY 828

    SMEG Stoves from Italy

    REALTY 828 attended the National Association of Home Builders show (NAHB) and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show(KBIS) in Orlando, Florida on January 9-11. This show had over 1500 exhibitors in the home building and design industry and over 600 in the kitchen and bath industry.

    There was many great products from all over the world. The colors that are trending are exciting and fresh.  Kitchens are getting more efficient with storage and colors of appliances are bold and dramatic. One of our favorites was SMEG, technology with style. Yes, of course they are Italian. If you want to make a stove look sexy, get the Italians to design it. 

    WETWALL from Scotland

    Bathrooms are shifting from the last decade of tile and granite and moving toward products that are easy to clean. No tile grout that gets mildew. Another one we love is WETWALL  from Scotland. Distribution is coming to America soon, Their digital print acrylic panels are out of this world. A refreshing simplistic design for showers. Print designs on the shower walls. How cool is that? The traditional styles feel dated and old. The modern styles are all the rage and can fit well in remodels. The products are about how we live and have a great balance of style but always function over form.  Here is a video to give you a small glimpse into the show. Check back with us as we will be featuring more great products from the show. 



  • Why Putting Your Parents’ Things Into A Storage Unit Is A Bad Idea February 11, 2018 by REALTY 828

    It’s human nature to want to take the easiest way out. And who would blame you? Easy is just so much more convenient! In many cases, the easy way is also the most efficient. Unfortunately, with an estate clean-out, the only way to avoid making more work for yourself in the long run is to be extremely thorough in the beginning. Give up any ideas of a quick and easy way through the process and accept the idea that you need to deal with it now.

    When your parents pass, you may be put into the unenviable situation of grieving while trying to put their affairs (and belongings) in order. Sticking your parents’ possessions into a storage unit might seem like a simple and effective form of estate clean-out. But it only delays the inevitable while costing you more money.
    Remember that you’re not alone in this process! Call on your surviving family, your friends and Art of Downsizing. We can help by providing extra sets of hands and a calm, sensible head for handling the estate clean-out details and drudge work.

    More Stuff Equals More Problems

    During an estate clean-out, it may be rather tempting to throw stuff into a storage unit and forget about it, especially if you are in a hurry to put the home on the market. But storage units often lack proper weather-resistance, which can put your parents’ items in danger. Storage units, no matter how well sealed, can’t protect the value of your parents’ items when the once pristine vintage sofa succumbs to temperature changes, insects or just neglect.

    If you’re storing items that you don’t care about, then you should just get rid of them now and save yourself the expense. If you’re storing items you do care about, you should know that items put in storage units often depreciate in value. So, it’s far better to bite the bullet and sell it all before time decreases its monetary value.

    An Avoidable Financial Drain

    With an estate clean-out, you’re basically deciding between two things: losing time or losing money. Sure, it’s a large undertaking to go through everything your parents owned, but allotting a few weekends to the large task ensures you’re done in a timely manner and the items are treated with care. And with a few extra, caring hands on board, the task doesn’t have to be so daunting. That’s the value of an estate sales service. We can do this for you and provide you with a complete inventory for probate or taxes. We’ll can also leave the house empty so that it is ready to be shown to potential buyers in it’s best, uncluttered light.

    Storage units drain your funds while the stored objects lose value. Unless you can attend to the unit sooner rather than later, the items inevitably collect dust while money drains out of your wallet. Looking at it big picture, you’re much better off taking a few days out of your schedule for a complete estate clean-out. Don’t take the easy path of storage when dealing with things now makes so much more sense, emotionally and financially.

    A Worthwhile Switch-Off

    Put the cash you were going to send for a storage unit into hiring an estate sales service like Art of Downsizing. We’ll get the job done with the least amount of stress for you and make money for the estate instead of draining your inheritance. We provide a clear voice, giving you options to get the task done while honoring your parents’ memory. We listen, help you plan and handle all the details.

    That nagging feeling that comes with having unfinished business disappears. You can relax knowing that you’ve taken care of things in a respectful, yet practical way. You can continue to grieve if you need to, and you will have some extra cash in your pocket!


    Article by Michelle Munson.


    For more information on downsizing contact Michelle at The Art of Downsizing 828-772-5959.


  • Fall Foliage Prediction Map September 15, 2017 by REALTY 828

    The 2017 Fall Foliage Map is the ultimate visual planning guide to the annual progressive changing of the leaves. While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.

    Click on the map below and you will be redirected to the smokymountains.com interactive fall foliage prediction map.



  • Downsizing and Estate Sales August 24, 2017 by REALTY 828


    Are you or your parents not sure how to handle upcoming changes in your living situations? You aren’t alone. If you’re a baby boomer — an adult born between 1946 and 1964 — you may find yourself caring for aging parents or their estates after they pass. You may even consider reducing your own material footprint. After all, do you want your children to go through what you’re experiencing now?

    Turn to a professional to help deal with all the material possessions. Perhaps holding an estate sale is a viable solution for you. Just be careful; you don’t need the added stress of dealing with disreputable providers for your estate sale. You deserve to work with someone who values and honors your feelings and your emotional ties to the belongings.

    When You Need an Estate Sale

    Holding an estate sale usually entails so much more than just appraising and liquidating material possessions. At the Art of Downsizing, we understand that emotions and memories are intricately linked to your treasures and collections. When you’re going through these stirring emotional times, you need trustworthy liquidators — professionals who operate with the utmost integrity.

    The task of holding an estate sale can be daunting, especially when you’re hit with the process during a crisis:

    • Your mother, who’d been happily living alone, suddenly needs to go into an assisted living facility.
    • Your dad passes after a long illness, and it falls to you to clean out his condo.
    • Your adult children are moving, and you want to follow to remain close to your grandkids.

    In cases like these, your stress levels may be stretched tight. Anyone who comes to your rescue with the promise of helping you downsize and of holding an estate sale to sort out your things may seem like an angel. But don’t believe everything you hear.

    Buyer Beware

    Never is it more prudent to check out the credentials and trustworthiness of a professional as it is when the task ahead is rife with emotional baggage. According to the American Society of Estate Liquidators,® the estate sale industry is attracting more and more disreputable vendors than ever before. And these hustlers don’t care about you, but are “only in it for the income.”

    With so many newcomers in the field, it’s more important than ever to look for reputable professionals when holding an estate sale — people who know the pitfalls associated with estate sales, who care about the outcomes and who’ve built a solid reputation for honesty and integrity. Look for an estate sales company that walks its talk, for whom ethics are not just a list of words on their website.

    Tips for Finding an Ethical Team for Holding an Estate Sale

    Before you fall victim to a quick, fly-by-night estate operation, consider these tips so that you can rest easy and find peace and closure with an ethical, trustworthy estate sale team:

    • Ask for and call referrals from friends, family and church members. Ask trusted professionals such as attorneys, Realtors and financial advisors.
    • Expect prompt responses to your inquiries, meaning timely returned phone calls and emails, as well as quick answers to your questions.
    • Follow your intuition; if something doesn’t sit right with you, listen to your gut and call someone else.
    • Watch how the estate sales professional speaks, dresses and carries herself.
    • Find out if she’s really listening to you by asking for a follow-up report on your first meeting.
    • Check out the estate sale company’s ability to price your items appropriately by asking for some on-the-spot estimates.
    • Search online for reviews.
    • Look for association memberships, which often require a commitment to high standards and industry-recognized ethics.

    Michelle Munson
    The Art of Downsizing