1000 North Moreland Road
Moro, IL. 62067
Phone: (618) 377-6444
Fax: (618) 377-6445
|March 29, 2000
Mr. Homer Henke
Henke Auction Service
1000 North Moreland Road
Moro, IL 62067
Seeing you at the polling place the other day reminded me again of the estate auction you conducted for our family last October and the excellent job you, your family, and your staff did at that time.
Our parents, Elmer and Eleanor Helmkamp, built their home in Moro the year they were married in 1930 and had lived in it ever since. When they both died in their 90's within ten months of each other, the three children came to that point we had somewhat dreaded - disposing of their home and belongings in the most equitable way. The work of you and your staff eased the pain of doing that job.
Our attorney's first word of advice when the family first started work on the estate was "contact Homer and find out when he has an open date and work backward from there." We did just that.
Shortly thereafter you met with the family and explained the process of having an estate auction. You were very sensitive to the concerns of the family and explained everything very well. You explained how the sale would compare in size to others we might visit in the weeks preceding this sale. You also explained how many people would be involved, what equipment would be used, what special accommodations would have to be made for people, how the financial accounting would be done, what reports would be generated, and how long the sale itself would take.
In retrospect, everything you explained during that meeting happened just as you had said. In the end there were no surprises, no regrets, and everyone involved was pleased with the outcome.
The charging rates you quoted at that time were the same rates I remember from helping with my uncle and aunt's estate sale several years ago. The rates were quite fair and competitive.
Your family and staff made a point of learning the names of everyone involved. You explained what advance work needed to be done to prepare for the sale. You and your staff outlined what work we could best do ourselves and what work your staff could or should do.
Your staff toured the properties and gave us an estimate of what each item might sell for, which things were especially valuable, which things were in demand, and which things could be disposed of ahead of time.
Your advertising was quite extensive and was presented in such a way that people knew ahead of time what they might expect to find when they came.
Since we were selling both our parents' house as well as the U.S. Post Office they owned and leased to the government, your staff spent many hours showing the real estate to potential buyers - often on short notice and at any hour of the day.
Your Internet web site was a big help to potential bidders on the Post Office. Many out-of-state companies make of business of buying and managing Post Office buildings. When we got calls asking for more information on the building, it was easy to direct the callers to your web site where they could see several photographs of the building. Detailed specifications on the building were also presented so they could do their economic analysis.
On the day of the sale your staff arrived before dawn and immediately set to work. It was obvious they had done it many times before. They worked very well together as a team moving things out of the house and loading them onto wagons for display outside during the sale. Household items had been packed in advance of the sale. Items were grouped together based on your guidance ahead of time.
Because of the magnitude of the items for sale, two auctioneers were used. The wagons were spread out far enough that the public address system for one auctioneer didn't interfere with the other. The real estate sold precisely at the time advertised so people who came specifically for that didn't have to wait. For the Post Office sale, you did a good job of accommodating the people who came from out-of-state as well as those people who were bidding via cell phone. You coordinated things well with the attorney so the legal matters associated with the real estate sales were handled expeditiously.
The sale ended almost exactly at the time you had predicted and with all the items sold. Thanks to your computerized accounting and payment system, the family left that day with an itemized list of what was sold, who bought it, what was paid for it, and with a check for the proceeds of the sale of the household goods.
Thanks again to you and your family and staff for making a difficult event as painless as possible. Our family finds comfort in knowing that all the items were sold at a fair price to people who will continue to use them for years to come. In the end both pieces of real estate were sold to local people who take pride in each property's history and are determined to keep them an attractive and useful part of the community.