Estate Sale Contracts – Important Topics has written about estate sale contracts in the past, but there are topics that deserve review.

One of them is the final payout to sellers of the net proceeds. Every estate sale contract should have a paragraph that addresses the specifics of how and when you, as a seller, will receive your net proceeds. It should lay out either the number of days (and this should be business days – excluding weekends and holidays preferably) or weeks, but certainly within 30 days of the conclusion of the sale.

Each estate sale company has a process they go through, however, 30 days should be the maximum and if you have a contract that is not specific, do not sign it. You will not have any guarantee of when or even if you will be paid. Estate sale companies that have good business ethics (99.9%) want you to know when you will be paid. They also want you to know how your will receive your proceeds, either by check, cashiers check, or in cash. When you review the contract with your prospective estate sale company look for the payout clause and ask questions if you have any. Estate sale companies want to have a good working relationship with you as a client. It benefits both of you.

Ask them about insurance. Estate sale associations, societies, and boards all look to their members to provide liability insurance and it is protection for both parties. As a seller you should have a homeowners policy on the property as well. Protection for all.

Look for a paragraph about security. Do they use locking showcases, have cameras, provide security personnel etc.  It depends on the sale, location, and company, but security should be mentioned in the estate sale contract.

One other item for review is providing unfettered access to the estate liquidator to the property to allow them to sort, (clean if necessary and depending on the amount of cleaning an additional fee may be charged by some companies) stage, and price. Many companies depending on their schedule and yours will want to prepare a few weeks ahead. They need to be able to take photos to post and advertise your sale. The dates of the sale, time, and also the dates and time for access should be in the contract for a clear understanding between the client and the estate sale company.

An estate sale contract should clearly layout what is required of both parties and provided for good communication. We will address other contract paragraphs this week too. Such as advertising and removal of items included in the sale.