Estate Sale Sellers and Buyers – What you should expect

Carol Madden, Editor, ESNEstate Sales News has been visiting sales across the country and speaking with different liquidators not only at sales we have visited, but conducting interviews by phone. We are constantly gathering information on the estate sales business.  I’m hearing the same refrain over and over concerning estate sale sellers and buyers so let’s do some bullet points to see if we can assist.



  • Decide before you hire an estate liquidator if you consider them to be knowledgeable.
  • Make sure you feel they will do a professional job.
  • Discuss with them the items of value you have and see if you are in agreement and what they feel are fair prices.
  • Once you have done these things and hired a company, remember you have hired professionals let them do their job, to price and sell your items. Liquidators have enough problems with today’s buyers and it is very unhelpful to have sellers wanting to raise prices. Remember you did your research, interviewed them and made a decision – you hired them to sell.


  • When you attend an estate sale, this is “not” an auction. The items are priced just like in a retail store. These items belong to a seller, not the estate sales company.
  • Don’t ask an estate sale company to cut their price as soon as the door opens. This is offensive.
  • If you don’t want to pay a price for an item ask if they will take a bid.
  • Remember estate sales companies have been hired by the sellers, are being paid by the sellers and are not working for you the buyer. Their job is to get the best possible price.
  • Negotiating is part of the process, but done in a courteous and fair manner.
  • Most estate sale companies have some kind of structured discount process based on the number of days the sale will be conducted. Ask if they do and what it is.