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Why Have an Estate Sale?

Posted on September 30, 2017 at 11:20 AM

Cheryl Cockrell Estate Sale Crew of Lafayette LA are waiting to

What do you do with your family’s things after they have passed away and you want to sell the family homestead? You know what I’m talking about –the mountains of stuff that took a life time and sometimes even two lifetimes to collect—the kerosene lamp collection, the horse collar from Grandpa’s mule “Babe,” the 1953 baseball trophy that cousin Scooter won in 8th grade, the pictures (oh Lord the pictures), the bedroom set, the pots and pans,the pump organ that was willed to Momma from Grandma on to infinity. With Baby Boomers’busy lifestyles and cluttered houses of our own, we are being deluged with atsunami of inherited movables as our Depression era parents are passing away. Mix in the volatile combinations of guilt, nostalgia, and sadness over disposing of our folks belongings, plus the fact that our kids often don’t want this stuff, and you will find people that are drowning infurniture they didn’t choose, pictures of folks they’ve never met, andcollectibles they don’t even like or have space for. What do you do? Well, you can call an estate sale coordinatorand have an estate sale!

I am a retired 12 grade Comeaux High English teacher who for 35 years my seasons were marked by what I wasteaching. Fall meant Beowulf, winter was Macbeth, and spring was the dreaded Senior Research paper. I rambled, pranced, and cajoled my way acrossthe classroom stage and I sincerely loved every minute, but about 12 years agoI knew that I had another career in me besides the one that I started at 21years old. My friend Al Cain, a realestate appraiser, asked me in 2001 if I would hold a “living estate” sale for his client who was selling her home. This sweet elderly lady was selling her spacious home and moving into a small “Assisted Living” apartment and she needed help! Over a weekend with the help of my daddy and husband, I sold everything that she left behind and this sweet lady was so thankful and relieved that she had freed her family from the burden of dealing with her life’s acquisitions. The sale was fun, and I wasdealing with people who were excited to be there—a reaction that teachers don’t often experience ! From the moment of that 2001 sale, I’ve come a long way and although my daddy J.P. Jones and husband Brent Cockrell are still working with me, I have added associates Patricia Foster, Katrinka Mothersbaugh, Nancy Cech, and Angelle Marsh . An estate sale coordinator, like a teacher, must inform, entertain, and “boss,” but we also bring relief to these folks who have inherited all of these THINGS .

The estate sale team sells all moveable property both inside and outside of a house over a two to three day period. We organize, research, price, and advertise whatever is left in a houseafter the family has chosen what they want to keep. Next, I send out 2350 emails to folks who’ve asked to be on “the list,” an email invitation to come into the house a day before it’s advertised to the public. And boy do the shoppers come and buy; we can sell the contents of an average home sometimes within a few hours.

The “Weekend Hunt” or garage and estate sale shopping is a big hobby in the Acadiana area. With $20 in your pocket and change for a doughnut and coffee, you can go “saleing” on a Saturday morning and maybe find a sterling silver brooch, some mixing bowls like the ones that your grandma gave to your sorry cousin, a one armed mannequin (I’ve sold one—I still promise to look for theother arm), an outfit to wear to church,or your momma’s next birthday present. I have sold the unique: a Tiffany sterlingtoothpaste key, and the ordinary --George Foreman Grills by the dozen.

“Junking” is the great equalizer because everyone likes adventure and bargains. I have new immigrants furnishing those first apartments, young “hipsters” who fashion themselves afterthe “Mad Men” series, blue haired matrons who are hunting for those collectibles, antique dealers who are shopping for their stores or booths, and then just average people looking for, well, a slightly used George Foreman Grill. I recently went to the National Estate Sale Convention in St. Louis Missouri and heard many horror stories about unruly and dishonest shoppers across the land but I can proudly say that the estate salehunters in Acadiana are the nicest and most trustworthy people that I have everhad the privilege to know. They’ve helped me make correct change, found personal items that the estate family would want to keep, asked about my Momma,brought me fresh caught shrimp and Heaven help anyone who tries to cut line orbe rude to me—well, in other words they’re family.

To be a successful shopper, you just have to get up and go to these sales and make friends with the estate coordinator. As your mom always said,“Being nice does matter” because we react better to polite shoppers . Also let us know if you are looking for something in particular because if we have it, we’ll call you. I have one client who wants original tasteful “nude” oil paintings and since she gladly pays the prices, she’s always told ahead of time if we have a “naked” painting.

Also sign up for email notifications through this website at "contact us for upcoming sales" and when you get that email about a sale, call your friend, get your 20 dollars, and come--We'll be looking for you!

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