Thank you Joan and Ellen for an excellent job on the estate sale in Westwood. Your professionalism, honesty and integrity was outstanding and apparent to all who attended. The home was filled with joy and the sale was a huge success.  Every item of value was sold and the final clean out left no trace.  I can’t thank you enough.  My dear deceased friend would be pleased that the sale was done “just right”. Joan and Ellen’s knowledge and guidance is of the highest caliber.  I strongly recommend them as they truly are the Estate Sale Specialists.

Sincerely,  M.E.  Westwood


Dear Ellen and Joan


From our point of view, we feel like we hit the jackpot.

You are first rate professionals. You delivered what you said you would.

Please use our name, we will recommend you highly

Many Thanks

C & B , Newton



I want to thank you for the outstanding job you did in liquidating the contents of our Concord home. From our very first meeting, my family and I felt comfortable with the discussions and the plans for the sale of everything which occupied our homes for almost sixty years.

The manner in which you accommodated our schedule for getting the house on the market concurrent with organizing and setting up the sale merchandise (and there was a lot of it!!), including potential home buyer visits was professionally executed. We were impressed with the manner in which everything was collected, organized and prepared for sale by your team of professionals.

I appreciated your honest assessments of value, and based upon our prior knowledge of some members of your firm, we accepted your pricing strategies – the success of the sale more than justified our confidence!

Other items of note were the help in moving large items for buyers, and some family members who opted to keep some of the furnishings, the courtesy of the staff before during and after the sale, and last but in no way least the help in cleaning out the residue of the sale.

There were no surprises, the prompt settlement of the proceeds and the clean-up made an onerous job so much more palatable than if we had chosen to try to duplicate your skills ourselves.

It will be our pleasure to recommend your services to anyone needing to downsize or choosing to begin a new life leaving behind the old possessions.

Thanks for a job very well done. F.G. Concord   June 2017




I don’t usually write testimonials, as I’m a tough grader, and it reflects poorly on you if circumstances change.

That said I’m happy to write on behalf of Estate Sale Specialists LLC and their owners Ellen Downer and Joan McKinnon.

I have over a period of many years attended estate sales conducted by Ellen, Joan and their staff. They have always conducted their business in a most professional manner, and always offer the highest degree of integrity, honesty and expertise. I have attended their estate sales during snowstorms, power outages and unforeseen events, and they always bring their best even under duress. Whether it’s $1.00 knickknack or a $2500.00 painting, Ellen and Joan take the rime to make the effort to do the right thing.

Please accept my highest recommendation for Estate Sale Specialists, LLC and a special shout to their owners, Ellen Downer and Joan McKinnon.


Harry Levine, President. Think Inc.


How often are your expectations exceeded? How often do you find complete satisfaction in those with whom you work?

How often do you walk away from a stressful situation, placing full confidence in two individuals you barely know?

I would suggest this rarely happens, but happen it did when working with

Ellen Downer and Joan McKinnon of Estate Sale Specialists, LLC.

From our initial contact with Joan, through numerous meetings with Joan and Ellen, to their cleanup crew, we were amazed and delighted. Complete honesty, thorough knowledge of the value of our household goods, skilled advertising,thoughtful assistants, attention to detail, care ofour home throughout, and a broad base of  dedicated followers all represent the magnificent job they did in enabling us to walk away feeling nothing but positive thoughts. 

Thank you Joan and Ellen! You get an A+ from my husband and me.

Mary Ann Kauffman    March, 2017


 I used Joan and Ellen’s company to help my aunt deal with all of her household possessions before she moved into assisted living. I can’t state strongly enough how professional, assuring, and honest these two women were. Under a very compressed deadline, they handled everything soup to nuts with grace, confidence, and competence. I particularly appreciated how solicitous and kind they were to my aunt. It can be a very overwhelming experience for an elderly person to face the reality of parting with most of their possessions, and Joan did an amazing job assuring her it would all go smoothly, and then making that happen! D.H.


Hi Ellen,

I wanted to share with you the happy ending for the Lexington owners collection of plants.

Called ahead to meet the students and teachers at the backdoor at Medford High on Friday.

They all pitched in to help unload my car and carry them upstairs.
The Special Needs classroom now looks homey and they will be learning how to take care of a living plant.
It was very nice to meet you.
Thank you,  K. L.


Thank you for a worry free experience.

From our first meeting I was pleased with your understanding of the enormous task of decision making at a difficult time.

Your helpful hints, calm attention and complete follow through made the whole experience one I would recommend to anyone facing the daunting task of downsizing.

Thank you Ellen and Joan

 M. S.  Wellesley


It was a delight to work with Ellen and Joan. Their team was extremely helpful and knowledgeable . They were fabulous to work with.  They helped us with all aspects – from the set up to disposing  of the left over items and cleanup after the sale.
I highly recommend Estate Sales Specialists.
SK. Wayland


It was a total pleasure to work with Estate Sale Specialists. Ellen, Joan and everyone on the team were courteous and professional. Their expertise, that comes only from years of experience, was evident from set-up, to pricing, to the actual sale. There is absolutely no way that we ever could have sold as many of our belongings as we did without them. The whole process from start to finish totally exceeded our expectations!   JD, Wellesley


After my father passed away I was left not knowing what to do with a lifetime of belongings still remaining in my family home.  One of my father’s best friends who had in recent years lost his wife and moved from his family home to a condominium recommended Ellen of Estate Specialists.  Ellen met with me to look over my father’s home and scheduled an estate sale.  She and Joan spent a couple of days setting up for a sale, taking care of everything in my dad’s home and pricing appropriately.  They even took into account my family wishes of certain items my siblings did not want to be sold under a given price.  After the sale she arranged for furniture to be picked up by a wonderful charity.  Anything that was left after that she recommended a clean out crew to clean out the rest of the house and left it broom swept for sale.  Times like this can be an emotional time of one’s life and because of how Ellen & Joan handled all of my cares and concerns,  I would highly recommend Estate Sale Specialists.

SMH, Wayland


Thank you for your recent Estate Sale and clearing of my mother’s home on Howland Road, West Newton.  Your proficient professional manner was greatly appreciated.  You covered every element to help us prepare the home for transfer to the new owner.  Looking back at the energy needed to complete such a project I realize that I could not have achieved it without your assistance and capability.
Obviously you have a terrific network for drawing both dealers and other interested people, considering how much was initially available and how little was left over.  The transition from your selling activity to the charity picking up reusable pieces to the clean out crew that left the entire residence broom clean was smooth and transparent.
I was also impressed with how quickly you sent us proceeds of the sale and the detail of each and every transaction.
Thank you again for a terrific job, Mardi and I really enjoyed working with you.



It was a pleasure to work with Estate Sale Specialists. The team was professional, collaborative, creative and implemented the sale with great skill. Thank you. S.B.


If you plan to have an estate sale, use Ellen Downer.  She will treat you and your belongings with dignity and respect, and you will be so happy with her results. 

My husband and I have just used Ellen Downer and her associates to handle our estate sale.  We moved across the country prior to that sale, so we entrusted them with everything, including our home, hoping that all the care they promised to take of our precious items would be the case.  It turned out to be MORE than the case.  From the very start, when we had already moved , they kept in touch with us about everything they were doing, from emptying the attic, to organizing the items, to setting up tasteful and inviting displays, to making sure our home was protected during the sale itself, to keeping meticulous records, and to emptying and cleaning the house completely of all debris for when the buyers of our home moved in.  The buyers, as well as our realtor, were very impressed with the job she did to make the house move-in ready.

We cannot praise Ellen enough for her attention to detail, her knowledge about what we had to sell, her genuine warmth, and her understanding of how difficult it was for us to leave our cherished home.  She is a caring and generous person who delivers what she promises.  Her advertising, her orderly way of conducting the sale, and her friendly chats with our neighbors and friends all made our experience with her so much better than we could ever have hoped for.  Our neighbors kept us informed all along the way, too, and had only the most sterling things to say about her and her team’s work ethic, their efficiency, and their friendliness.

Ellen Downer will not only meet your expectations, she will exceed them. Look no further.

Esta Markin and David DeRosier



Ellen Downer was a calm presence at a hectic time when we were moving from our home of 54 years.  We wanted to dispose of 5 decades worth of a wide variety of items.  She and her efficient staff conducted a very successful two day estate sale.  A month before the sale, we met with Ellen and she explained how she would conduct the sale and what we could expect.  Her approach to the project was well organized and business-like.  Ellen and her staff handled setting up, staffing the rooms that had the sale items, and even the parking.  An added bonus was her ability to display items in a pleasing way.  We appreciated her accessibility during and after the sale.  She fulfilled her responsibilities as well as providing us with copies of the sales slips.  W.S., Milton

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I am a lawyer who does much probate work that deals with all the various matters

that need to be resolved to administer an estate. One of the biggest issues is often

selling the artwork, antiques and other personal effects of our clients.

When we hire outside people to do work for estates we are obligated to make sure

the work is done in the most professional manner. Weʼve hired Joan McKinnon of

Estate Sale Specialists LLC for several matters and her work has always been

exemplary. One of our most memorable estates was when we hired Joan and Ellen to

conduct a sale of the personal property of one of our wealthiest clients. The very large

house was listed on the Federal Registry of Historic Houses and had been in the same

family for generations. The process required careful scrutiny and pricing of many family

heirlooms and just everyday household items. Joan, Ellen and their team spent many

hours scouring the property from attic to basement, researching, cleaning and arranging

hundreds of items for sale. The three day estate sale was widely advertised, resulting in

hundreds of attendees. Every aspect of the mammoth sale was run smoothly and


Joan, Ellen and their team have handled other small and mid-sized estates and

related matters for us as well. The vendors we choose for ancillary estate matters are

vital, in a very tangible and obvious way, to how our clients rate our own legal work.

Knowing that Joan and Ellen and their team are “on the job” sets us at ease, knowing

their work will always satisfy the most difficult client.

I have referred Joan and Ellen to other clients since and would not hesitate to hire

them again.


Carl E. DʼAngio Jr. Esq.

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When we knew we were selling our house in Newton there were concerns what do we do with over 30 years of accumulations. The condo that was purchased was large but much smaller than the house. There was substantial art work, antiques, collectables, furniture, jewelry, clothes etc. that needed to find a new home and for us to receive reasonable payment for their value.  There were also concerns what do we do with the items not sold and how do we cleanup the house for the new owners after we have an estate sale. If we hire a company to quarterback the sale how do I know if they will do a quality job?  I called an acquaintance from many years earlier Bill Cedrone that was in the business.  He introduced us to Ellen Downer who came to the house with Bill and discussed the process.   We agreed to work with them and the entire process and results have been exemplary. The valuations on the items, advertising, signage, number of customers, were beyond expectations.   For the relatively small number of items at the end – Ellen brought in a wholesaler that purchased most and then got a company to clean up and then either dump or give to charity anything remaining. We thank you Ellen for making what could of been a traumatic experience a positive experience.

R.G. Newton

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When it was time to downsize from my 5 bedroom home in Needham where we lived for over 20 years I knew that I needed professional help to organize and manage an estate sale. Ellen Downer was recommended by a friend.  We met, walked through the house and she provided estimates as well as many suggestions for selling my home.  The home sold quickly setting up the need for an estate sale.  Ellen and Joan with their team reorganized every room to stage our furniture, china, and pictures in a way that was very appealing for buyers.  At the conclusion, Ellen and Joan provided me with detailed sales receipts for every purchase. 


The entire process was run professionally.  After the sale they  presented me with a check and the accounting for the items sold.  She organized a final clean up of the house to remove any remaining items and actually exceeded her original estimate by 20-30%.  Ellen Downer and Joan McKinnon are true professionals.  They know estate sales, markets them well to targeted buyers, and I would strongly recommend them to any homeowner who is looking to downsize and sell off their belongings.   Chris P., Needham


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Vacating a residence for whatever reason, without question can bring on an emotional and stressful angst, but I found that working with Ellen Downer and her associates to be a very positive as well as a successful experience.

To execute a total household liquidation, they were very professional in all elements right from set up to completion. They know their business: Values, Pricing and how to attract buyers.

Ellen and Joan, indeed exceeded my expectations. What a relief!!

D. P., Needham