Estate Sale Cost

esate sale moneyEstate sales today aren’t just about commissions or flat fees anymore.

Many of the baby boomer generation have accumulated large amounts of items in their homes, unlike their parents who were raised during the great depression of the 1930s. This has resulted in additional costs being added by many estate sale companies to deal with the volume of merchandise to be sold.

Commissions vary from city to city and state to state. In some areas they are having commission wars to attract business from competitors. Remember the commission should be your last concern when hiring an estate sale company – not your first.

Having a good solid contract written by an attorney is an expense, but important for both sellers and estate sale companies.

It is not unusual to find an estate liquidator charging for extra labor time with larger estate contents for sorting, staging, and cleaning which require extra staff. If the property belonged to a compulsive disorder individual (a hoarder) it may well necessitate weeks of sorting, a dumpster, and much more work. Most companies will charge for this. It is time they cannot devote to other sales.

Researching takes time. Today, companies bring iPads and tablets on site to research, however, there isn’t always enough time with all the other work to be done and they continue when they get home well into the night. It isn’t just an 8 hour day anymore.

License costs (in many areas, not all) along with permits either for holding the sale or putting out signs or both are costly and many towns that didn’t use to charge for them, however, many cities and towns have changed their policies.

Liability insurance is a big cost for estate sale companies and a liquidator that doesn’t have liability insurance is a risk, you as a seller may not want to take.

Estate sale companies are also providing workers comp insurance to their staff. Some companies even provide unemployment insurance and many companies have to pay their staff even if they don’t have a sale.

The costs have also risen as many estate sale listing websites increase the cost of listing sales. Pricing for specialties like local, regional, or national featuring on some listing sites can go as high as $500. This has also helped raised the price of conducting estate sales.

Credit card fees, professional group fees, providing security, and also security cameras all add to the costs factored into the commission for the estate sale.

Supplies (tables, lighting, table covers, tags, showcases, shelving, etc.) are an additional cost and many estate sale companies require a storage unit or warehouse to keep their supplies in when not in use. Some companies have 50 or more tables and this isn’t an “in your home” storage item.

Designing a website and maintaining it and keeping it fresh and up to date is costly. Having an email or newsletter service is another additional expense, but helps bring in those buyers.

Most companies that provide a clean out service will have a separate charge for that.

Understanding why estate sale companies charge the commissions they do is beneficial to a good working relationship and understanding between sellers and estate liquidators.