Park Cities People, Home Section May 13, 2004  pp.1D,9D

 

Queen

OF THE Estate Sales


Items at Help Me Ronda Estate Sales range from expensive cars to small jewelry.

 

 

How Ronda Ross Hooks
built a million-dollar business
out of turning trash to treasure

 

 



 

 

 

she keeps her eye out for home decor pieces. For hard core junkers like the Hooks, the hunt is half the fun.

 

 

Question: How did you get started?


Answer: Ten years ago, I took a 16- week appraisal course from my mentor, Marian Tanner Westbrook, an expert with 50 years of experience in the antiques field and decided then and there to do it. I have it in my blood. My mom start-  ed the first antique mall in Dallas in the 80's, which is now called McKinney Avenue Antiques. There was no other store like it in Dallas. My favorite thing is antiques and flea markets. I went to lectures in Paris and New York to learn more.

 

 

Question: What is the most common reason people have estate sales?

 

Answer: A family death. I can't tell you how many estate sales I have done for family members. I have built long-term relationships, and they know I can always help them in the future. I truly care about my clients.

 

 

Question: What are some of the items you have sold?

 

Answer: Diamond rings, Rolex watches,


By Heather Campbell
Staff Writer
 

Ronda Ross Hooks gives off tons of energy. She's the owner of Help Me Ronda Estate Sales, the Park Cities' most recognizable name on Fridays and Saturdays - if, that is, you're driving around and looking at yard signs.

Besides making her living from rooting around in other people's attics and garages, Ronda raises five-year-old twin girls with her husband of eight years, Brian Hooks.

When she's not working her own sales, Ronda and Brian go to flea markets together, in search of more treasures - he looks for old architectural finds, while she keeps her eye out for home decor pieces. For hard core junkers like the Hooks, the hunt is half the fun.

 

 

Jaguars, Mercedes, Cadillac's, boats. We sold an entire estate to one person for $637,000. That was definitely our biggest sale. 

 

 

Question: Why do most of the people come to the sales?

 

Answer: To find unusual pieces they can't get in stores.

 

 

Question: How does the process work?

 

Answer: They call me, we look at the pieces, sign a contract and organize and price every single thing in the house. I have a minimum of $25,000 but we have associates that can do it if it's less. We can also sell on Ebay if needed. Sometimes there is a lot going on with the family emotionally, and I deal with that. We have a two-day sale from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday where we try to sell everything. We take credit cards, checks, and cash.

 

 

Question: What do you do when the sale is over? What about the items that are not sold?

 

Answer: We donate it to charity and then leave the house in broom clean condition. If the owners don't want to come back, we can literally turn the house key over to the Realtor.

 

 

Question: How does pricing work?

 

Answer: On Saturday, it goes down to 25 percent off at 10am, one-third off at noon, and 50 percent off at 3 p.m.

Question: What do you enjoy the most about the sales?

 

Answer: I enjoy helping people. The best moments are when people call and say "you made a bad experience a lot better for me." For some, it's a really hard time, dealing with moving and death.  I also enjoy finding hidden things the family has been missing for years. We have found jewels, gold coins, and money. Recently, we discovered a wed-  ding ring that had been missing for seven years. The owner was ecstatic.

 

 


 

PAINTING : This art by the renowned Italian artist Trentini is one of the more valued possessions at the estate sale.

 


 

 

Question: So, when's the next sale?

 

Answer: May 14 and 15, 3845 West Bay Circle. Go to www.helpmeronda.net for pictures of upcoming sales.