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TPL Recommends: Hunt Estate Sales

Moving almost always involves leaving behind furniture items that do not work well in your next dwelling. This brings the dilemma of what to do with those furnishings. Sorting items for donation vs. items that could be sold, and then figuring out how to execute on those two tasks, can be a logistical nightmare. Except, that is, if you decide to work with Maggie Hunt and her team from Hunt Estate Sales.

Maggie and her husband founded Hunt Estate Sales eight years ago, and they have perfected the art of making life easy for people in the midst of a move. We have been fortunate to work with Maggie on several projects, and continue to recommend her to clients who don’t know what to do with furniture and other items (clothing, kitchenware, decorative items). Maggie’s motto: she takes it all from your hands, sorts what she labels for sale, sets up the estate sale for the homeowner, and at the end of the process even assists with taking any leftover items to donation. Her model, in our view, is far superior to consignment sores, which charge the client for shipping furniture to their store and take a significant commission on the sale of the item.

It’s no wonder Maggie and her team have built a large following and maintained a strong reputation among clients throughout Boston and New England. We spoke with her to get some more insight into the work they do.

TPL: How have you pivoted during COVID? For example, if a client wants to do an estate sale through you, what does that look like now?

Maggie: Through technology and innovation The Hunt continues 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  Our website hosts New England’s only virtual application of the traditional estate sale model. Hunt Estate Sales’ digital optimization modernizes our connection with the consumer, engages with new and broader audiences, and provides a user friendly shopping and payment experience. 

Our clients receive the same 360 degree service – from consult to broom clean – but it’s now less invasive, less stressful, with added security, and, most importantly, we’re maintaining the health and safety of our clients, staff and patrons. 

Our virtual platform eliminates the two biggest fears of our clients, potential damage to the home and theft, while increased sale prices and sell through rates prove shoppers are confident and comfortable with this transition. 

TPL: What do you love most about your job?

Maggie: It’s extremely rewarding assisting our clients through significant transitions all while touting the importance of the second-hand industry. In relationship to our clients – we’re the impetus for a fresh start in a short amount of time. For our followers we’re a source for a modern day treasure hunt. For us, we’re honored to be the host to a constantly evolving episode of Matchmakers. We get to learn about it, love it, tell the world about it and then: let it go. 

TPL: Give us a few examples of the most interesting/amazing items you’ve had the opportunity to sell.

Maggie sitting on a zero gravity chair from one of her recent estate sales.

Maggie: There are too many! Every home presents something interesting and amazing. I think where this job has taken us would be more impressive. 

When we ran Steinert and Son’s business liquidation sale on Boston’s historic “Piano Row” we had the opportunity to see, and haul things out of, the subterranean concert hall, Steinert Hall, that’s been shuttered since the Cocoanut Grove fire in the 1940’s. 

Earlier this year we ran an event at the exclusive Ritz Carlton residences. The logistics were extremely challenging but the view, both inside and out, was breathtaking. 

Currently in the shop we’re hosting a virtual art exhibition and sale. Each piece is amazing! The collection, assembled by benefactors who engaged in a lifetime of supporting the arts, features world renowned painters, sculptures, photographers and anthropological artifacts. 

Maggie loves a challenge. “A mirrored chest! There’s no hiding your odd position or concentration face,” she says.

TPL: What sets your company apart from other estate sale companies?

Maggie: Our use of technology, paired with our well-crafted, share-worthy, marketing message. Others have tried to imitate our photography style, none have followed us into the 21st century.

Interested in learning more about estate sales vs. consignment shops and how each works differently? We’ve done both, and would be happy to help orient you towards the best option for your home. Send us a quick note and we’d be happy to help!

Megan Bosse

Megan writes about real estate trends for The Private List.