Estate Sale Contracts – Important Basics
For the benefit of sellers and estate sale companies we present some of the topics of concern to both. Clarity in an estate liquidation contract can prevent misunderstandings and reduce stress. Estate Sales News is not an attorney and we do not give legal advice. The information presented is based on 25 plus years of estate liquidation experience. Please consult an attorney for legal advice or contract legalities.
Next to some areas you will see the word “initial”. This is to insure that all parties have read and agreed to the content of the paragraph. That way all parties are working on the same “page” so to speak.
- The contract should be dated and contain the dates and times of the estate sale or event.
- It should also contain the complete address of the sale.
- The contract should clearly state who the seller or responsible party is (whether it is an attorney acting for the estate, heir, family member, or even a Realtor).
- The contract should specify that the property has electric and water and working plumbing that is available before, during and until the estate sale is over and the estate sale company has vacated the property entirely. This is for safety of all and sanitation. “initial”
- Following this section would also be the place to include snow or ice removal and who is responsible if that is an issue in your area. “initial”
- The next section should be specific about the commission or fee that is to be paid from the gross proceeds ( percentage or amount) at the end of the sale. If the liquidator works on a minimum fee this should be in this section as well. “initial”
- The next section would deal with cancellation of the sale. This depends on the estate sale company, however, many contracts include a cancellation clause with a specific fee. If work has been done by the estate liquidator and staff and advertisements have been made they should be compensated for their time and expenses. Each company operates differently. If the contract has this clause “initial”.
- Next would come advertising and who is responsible for payment of the ads.
At this point in the contract it is advisable to let the seller(s) know that the company will make all possible attempts to achieve the best possible financial results, however, they cannot make any guarantees of the prices or of the gross sale total. An estate liquidation company cannot control weather, attendance, market conditions or other competition in the area. All they can do is make their best effort and that is why sellers, it is up to you to make your estate liquidator choice having done your do diligence to find the estate sale company you feel will be the most successful and professional. As a seller you have a responsibility to so make sure you take time to research, become informed, and make the best choice possible.
Please note that every estate liquidator chooses a contract that works for them. There is more for our discussion on Thursday, however, many contracts from estate sale companies will contain more and many may contain less.
Estate Sales News is here as a resource. Some may agree others may not, but getting out matters of public concern and interest as well presenting the views and concerns of estate liquidators and sellers is what this news magazine is here for.
It is important that all parties understand their responsibilities and obligations.
Preventing stress and tension between sellers and estate liquidators during this process is important.
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