Estate Sale contracts – For sellers and estate sales companies

sample contractEstate Sales News is receiving a lot of feed back on estate sales contracts from sellers and estate sales companies so we would like to address the most important issues pertaining to both the perspective seller and the estate sale company.




Let’s start with the perspective seller:

  • Once you have chosen an estate liquidator make sure you have a written contract.
  • It should be specific about the commission or fees.
  • Date of the sale and how and when you will be paid.
  • It should spell out exactly when you will owe a commission. Do not expect an estate sale company to agree to conduct a sale after they have photographed and  started their work without charging you a commission if you pre-sell or withdraw items after the contract is signed and before the sale. Like any other business they have started to work for you and advertise. It is your obligation as a seller to either sell or withdraw items from the sale prior to the signing of a contract. Then the estate sale company has an opportunity to decide whether the contents left will warrant their accepting the sale and they can advertise accordingly. Most estate sale companies will include a clause that says once you sign if anything is removed or sold by you then you will owe a commission on those items.
  • If you are truly not sure about a few (“key word being few”) items then include them on an addendum.
  • An estate sale contract is like any other contract. It is an agreement to perform for both parties.
  • If you are selling a property and the new purchasers are interested, you should inform the estate sale company prior to signing a contract and decide who would best serve your interest. Emotions can sometimes be costly so it may be financially better to let an estate liquidator negotiate for you.

The estate sale company:

  • Your contract with sellers should include several things, including the commission or fees to be charged, dates of sale, what happens when items or sold or removed after the signing of the contract, a cancellation clause, how you will pay the seller and account for items sold, if you charge the seller for advertising or if the seller is paying for the advertising.
  • You should also set out your ground rules. Will you conduct the sale if the seller is present, what about the cleanout, any additional expenses, and very important if the seller sells or withdraws items after the signing of the contract will they be charged and how much.
  • Again your contract is an agreement for performance and it should state what you will do should the seller not abide by the signed contract, but also what you are obligated to do for the seller.

If you click on the contract image you will see a partial contract example. It is simplistic and may not be copied for use. It is strictly for information purposes.

Estate Sales News welcomes your questions and you can write to

One caveat, I am not an attorney so the only advice I will give pertains to ethics and expectations not the legalities.