FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


How long has CalEstates been helping families?

We are a family business. I started helping families with their estate matters when my first daughter was born - 1986. My second daughter Alexa is now my business partner. Since that time, we have helped families all over the SF Bay Area by selling their personal property assets, expertly  marketing and selling their real estate and handling all of the details. 

When should a prospective client reach out to us?

It's a great question! At the very beginning! We cannot tell you how many times we've heard our clients say, "I wish I'd called you sooner! I've been sorting through all of this myself, getting quotes from other companies that just want to help with a part of it, I've even tried selling some myself - I could have saved myself so much trouble"! We offer a complimentary in home consultation - we'll go over all of your goals, timing & objectives and create a game plan that works for you.

Should we clean up and toss junk first?

This is a question we get often - and the answer is 'maybe'. If it's truly trash, old food, chemicals, old mattresses - yes, get it out to create more room. For everything else, let us see it first! We have met so many folks over the years that tell us when we walk in the door 'we just gave away all the books from that shelf, and all of that old costume jewelry and the neighbors came over and took what they wanted' - Dang! We can't tell you how many times we have found treasures in the stack of items that were headed to the dumpster, wait for us!

How does your concierge service work?

When we work with our concierge clients, we literally handle everything for you! The estate sale organization, consignments & management of the entire process to include clear out. We work with cleaners, inspectors, photographers, contractors (getting you 3 bids for each item), design consultations & professional staging, and of course, the sale of the real estate with  brokerage, Golden Gate Sotheby's anywhere in the SF Bay Area. Our clients have found that at the end of the transaction, they not only realized more money, they didn't have the stress. 

FAQ - Frequently asked questions


Can we hire CalEstates for just one or two services?

While a prospective client would get the best possible value (and schedule availability) by using our full concierge service package, it's not a requirement to hire us for all of our services. We also consider requests for individual services on a case-by-case basis. For example, you may just need an appraisal for items you are keeping, you aren't moving or selling. Or, you may just want to sell the house because you are moving and taking all your furniture - w can just stage the home and sell the house!

Selling with CalEstates v. Selling Yourself

First has to be stress! You won't have any if you hire us! Second is the marketing and expertise that over 30 years in the business provides us, and ultimately you! We don't let things slip through the cracks, we reach out to a global audience of collectors when we see something that warrants attention. As a GPPA appraiser, research and determination of value is baked in to the cake. We are not 'authenticators' but we can certainly spy those treasures for you! Lastly, many of our clients have told us of the emotional toll that personally selling estate items that either belonged to them or a close family member is tough. It's already emotionally draining, it's much easier to hand over the task to us.

Are you Bonded & Insured?

Absolutely. We are also proud of our record. In general, most of our clients are happily shocked at the values we have been able to obtain for them! Some had no clue the items in their parents/aunts/grandma's house were worth so much. We also keep you posted all along the way so you feel comfortable and know what is happening. Our business is a trust business - and we know that - we have earned a fantastic reputation over many years and cherish the faith families have placed in us over time.

What will Sotheby's Offer Us?

Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty is a premier brokerage house in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a licensed real estate agent (Lisa Taylor Lic#02017954) with them, I have access to a global audience, top marketing, unbelievable online content and reach, unmatched resources and a team that is simply remarkable. We have offices all over the region, therefore we are able to list and sell your property anywhere in Northern California. When I am working with a new client, I give that client 100% of me. My goal isn't a dozen listings, it's yours.

Do we have to stage to sell the house?

Staging is a choice. It can mean the difference between an offer at or below asking, or 10 offers far above asking. When we meet with you at our first appointment, we can assess the home, what will represent the home best when it goes on the market, and make interior recommendations. It could be a situation where it is a 'fixer' and placing staging items in the home wouldn't really bring much return on investment - OR - it could be that professional staging would make the house totally POP! 

More Questions?

Just Ask! We are more than happy to answer any of your questions! You can email: Info@CalEstates.com or Call: 510.610.4461

Contact Us

Drop us a line!


1569 Solano Avenue, Berkeley, California 94707, United States

Call/Text: 510.610.4461 Info@CalEstates.com