Now Bennett & Roelofs is the Premier Estate Liquidator in Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana
To the untrained eye, vintage treasures may be mistaken for old and useless junk. But estate liquidator and Managing Member of Bennett & Roelofs Estate Service LLC Chris Bennett has built a more than three-decade career determining the true value of his clients’ personal property and antiques. After getting his start as an auction manager in Virginia, Chris has become an expert in his field, operating Bennett & Roelofs Estate Service LLC in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana since 1993.
Bennett & Roelofs provides professional residential and business liquidation as well as appraisal services, with a primary function of business being the management of estate sales. Chris and his team stage, price and sell fine art, antiques, collectibles, books, jewelry, vehicles, furnishings, and household goods. Prices are determined through experience, research, and tracking results from three sources to ensure an appropriate appraisal.
Chris is truly passionate about antiques and collectibles, having taken an interest in them and the stories behind them starting at only 12 years old. In the 1970s in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Chris paid his mother to drive him to flea markets and swap meets, making for a profitable operation. When he began driving at 15, he was able to expand his business by approaching homes and farms to see what hidden valuables they were willing to part with.
When he got his start, Chris relied on books, price guides, and “listening to those wiser,” as he has said. Now, he has the assistance of tools, databases and signature/picture recognition software that keep the research portion of his job exciting.
Estate sales are often incorrectly confused with or used interchangeably with the terms “yard sale” or “garage sale.” The main difference between these types of sales are that yard and garage sales are managed by the person who owns the items; estate sales are managed by a person or company that is hired to complete the task.
Estate sale companies are most frequently utilized when someone has died, after a divorce, before relocating, or as a means to downsize. Chris’s knowledge has only grown through his handling of estate sales of all types and sizes, which has prompted him to write an upcoming book about his most incredible and unusual experiences in the field.
Because of his highly specific expertise in the field of appraisals, Chris is often called upon by a variety of professionals and local institutions who require his services.
“There are three local bank trust departments that utilize my services year-to-year,” Chris says. “I also have formed solid working relationships with estate attorneys and realtors within my region. The court system is also familiar with my services. I’m usually hired to perform appraisals for divorce proceedings and to ensure an equal division of assets. I’m also hired by counsel for testimony as an expert witness in the field of antiques and automobiles.”
Chris has spent his career collaborating with professionals, antique dealers, art collectors, corporations and private clients. He assists in buying and selling through auction houses and estate auctions, as well as facilitating private sales. Above all else, he is professional, timely, and considerate given each client’s unique situation and the emotions that often accompany the major life changes that result in estate sales.
When a client hires a company to handle their estate sale, they are receiving many services at once, from setting up, tagging, pricing, and advertising, to holding the sale. Chris and his team perform appraisals of items and price each one appropriately, and then they also map out and stage the sale in an organized way.
“The first thing I do is get familiar with the house,” Chris says of his systematic approach. “What’s here, what kind of space do I need; are there a lot of jewelry and smalls that need to be guarded? What will be the entry and exit from a loss prevention standpoint, where will I have the check out station, how many employees do I need for the sale weekend? These are all very important details. Is the china cabinet full? Is there more than one china cabinet? China cabinets, breakfronts, secretaries, cabinets, and closets all have to be emptied and re-staged on tables. Having the items at waist level is ideal in the consumer’s eye, making sure items for sale are not out of reach or too low. If a china cabinet is packed, customers will not reach in.”
When it comes to advertising, Bennett & Roelofs has an established contact list, as well as access to 24 websites to post sale information. Chris’s team sends out emails that reach 25,000-30,000 customers for each event as well as providing professional road signs to capture drive-by traffic.
At its best, an estate sale can be profitable and pain-free. At their worst, they are wrought with emotions, arguments, and confusion. Regardless of the situation you find yourself in that requires the assistance of a liquidation firm, working with a team of professionals helps to ease the long and arduous process ahead of you. When it comes to working with Chris Bennett and Bennett & Roelofs Estate Service LLC, there is no one better able to meet your needs in Wisconsin, Michigan, or Indiana.