Estate Sale: How Do Estate Sales Work?

If there are specific commission rates for different groups of items, the contract should explain that structure. Ensure that the terms of the sale, including extra fees, are clearly outlined. Before signing the estate sale contract, ask for references from three former clients. Look specifically for hidden fees and other costs that previous clients were not expecting. Learn whether the estate sale company will bring items from other estates to your estate sale. This is a common practice, as more items may drum up additional interest. However, you may find the practice annoying, as the company is recycling previous items for its own benefit.

Another could be a homeowner who wishes to quickly downsize upon the death of a spouse or financial burdens. When readers purchase services discussed on our site, we often earn affiliate commissions that support our work. The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes. Was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field.

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The appraiser would be used only if you were not going to use a professional auctioneer that provides estate sale liquidation services. An Auctioneer will usually take a percentage of the total earnings of the estate sale as payment, typically between 25 and 35 percent. An auctioneer will put a significant amount of effort into making the estate sale go smoothly.

Prepare Your Estate Sale Inventory

Estate sales are often overflowing with furniture, home furnishings, and assorted household items. Antique dealers and private collectors flock to estate sales in search of antiques and collectibles from varied eras. Power and hand tools, automotive items, and specialty items are also popular. The date you choose for your estate sale will depend on how much time you need to get all of your items organized and priced appropriately. If you prefer to price items yourself, Google and eBay will be your best friend. You can find your item, or similar items, for sale and find out what they are selling for in the resale space.

What Is An Estate Sale (And How Do They Work?)

You’ll also find information and educational opportunities through the American Society of Estate Liquidators, an industry association. In addition to trying to draw customers directly through your website and social media, pick up the phone and introduce yourself to probate attorneys and real estate agents who handle estates. Create a professional service agreement for your estate sale business when you sign up for their premium membership. For $39.95 per month, members receive access to hundreds of legal agreements and on call attorneys to get complimentary legal advice. You are likely to see estate sale companies nearby your location. Just make sure you do a bit of due diligence before selecting an estate seller to work with. Like anything else, it is important to check online reviews, and the Better Business Bureau when researching estate sale companies.

If you would like to be present and participatory throughout the process, you can conduct the sale yourself or work with a professional that allows family member access. Our blog for shoppers covers antiques, collectibles, vintage finds, and all things estate sales. Facebook Group is a great place to start (plus, you don’t have to leave the couch) and it’s exclusive to estate sale professionals. How the ruling plays out remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the verdict — and the size of the damages — point to a shift in the way agent commissions are now paid.

This expertise helps ensure that items are priced competitively while maximizing their potential for sale. Think of a professional estate sale organizer as the conductor of a symphony. They bring together various components, harmonize them, and ensure a smooth and successful event. For purposes of this article, I will be talking about an estate sale as liquidating assets or household possessions owned by the heirs of the property. Verify that the written contract includes all the estate sale fees, including extra charges. You want to avoid surprises that could hurt your bottom line. Ensure that the written contract spells out the estate sale commission structure.

“After a few months, you’ll start to see who is organizing the best estate sales in your area,” she says. Most items on the inventory are priced according to their current market value or less. However, many estates feature exclusive items that are not priced according to the market, including family heirlooms, art, jewelry and antiques.