How To Choose An Estate Sale Company – Part 1

questions and answersThere are 1000’s of estate sale companies across the United States and every day more liquidation companies open for business.

Starting today, Monday, Oct 27th we will go through the steps we think will lead you to your best choice for an estate liquidator.

  1. Where to look for an estate sale company?
  2. What should I be looking for in an estate sale liquidator?
  3. How many estate sale companies should I consider?

1) There are many sources to find estate sale companies and all deserve your consideration. There are estate sale company listing websites (thousands of companies are listed over several listing websites).  There are organizations that estate sale liquidators can belong to such as ISA (International Society of Appraisers, and we do not want to imply that your estate sale liquidator should be a certified appraiser) the ASEL (American Society of Estate Liquidators run by Julie Hall, Director, Owner and CAGA member and estate liquidator), CAGA (Certified Appraisers Guild of America), ASA (American Society of Appraisers). ESA (Estate Sale Association, Mark Blondy Founder and CEO and estate sale liquidator). Many of these companies have their own code of ethics that an estate sale company must sign and agree to abide by in order to join. They also require paid membership.

You should also consult your attorney or local estate or probate attorneys and also local Realtors. Asking family members and friends is another good source.

When looking for an estate sale company consider all of these sources and utilize all the above mentioned resources. There is no one source that can guarantee you success or the right choice, however, using the multiple resources listed is a good choice.

2. When looking for an estate sale liquidator there are several things to consider including reviews. Reviews on a variety of websites (don’t just look at one because disgruntled individuals may be biased), you want the ability to speak directly with some of their former clients to discuss how they felt about their estate sale, how long have they been in business, how did they learn the estate liquidation business, what is their experience, and a major concern what kind of knowledge do they have about the estate sale process and contents that they will be selling in an estate sale. Also read through their websites. Think about the information provided. If you notice the website seems to be outdated (information wise) this may be a sign that there is a lack of attention to detail and a red flag. No one is going to know about everything (and sellers should not expect that), however, they should have a general knowledge, some background in vintage and antiques and it is very important to ask them how do they do their research (what do they do when they have something in a estate sale they have no knowledge of).

Education is important in the estate sale business, however, so is experience and their is no substitute for that.

3. There is no set number of estate sale companies to choose from, but we recommend you consider at least three. When you have finished step 1. and step 2. review your information and decide who you want to call for a brief telephone interview. This is a good time to take notes. Did speak to a live person or go to voice mail and if so how long did it take to phone you back. You may want to have an extra estate sale company on the list in case  you do not receive a call back, or the call back is over 24 hours.

As perspective sellers (whether you are the seller, family member, Realtor, attorney, or heir) the estate sale process of picking a liquidator can be challenging, but in the end the choice is yours and the results you obtain will reflect on your decision. Keeping in mind that the responsibility of selling of personal property contents is not only emotional, but financial so utilize all the resources before making your decision.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss the next steps in choosing an estate sale company.

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