Category Archives: Estate Sale Contracts
We are pleased to announce the addition of a new advertiser, the NAOEL.com (The National Association of Estate Liquidators) with Donna Davis, Founder and Director. They offer estate Sale and estate Sale Liquidation, education, training and membership.
EstateSalesNews.com is also happy to announce that we are now mobile friendly. Our information and resources now more easily available on your smartphone or on your computer.
Our other exciting news is we are approaching 1,000 subscribers. Join us and get estate sales news and information directly in your inbox.
It could be “brown furniture”, dishes, linens, toys, or other items, but knowing what to do before the sale starts is beneficial.
When you are choosing your estate sale company ask if they offer a clean out service. They may. If so ascertain what the cost is and have it in the estate sale contract. If a company chooses not to offer this service, that isn’t unusual so ask if they know of a service that does clean outs, you can also consider donating to a charitable organization. There are companies that advertise on the internet and in newspapers also.
If your estate sale company does clean outs costs may be based on labor, hours, weight of goods etc.
What’s important to you as a seller is to decide when hiring your estate liquidator what you want done with any items that are left after the estate sale is finished, whether it’s a box full or more.
Today we feature the response from the estate sale listing website, EstateSales.org.
We typically require an initial report with a link or attachment from the courts, showing that there has been a ruling against the company for breach of contract, fraud, or similar misconduct related to their estate sale business.
We also file all complaints against companies listed with us in a database, including the complaint, what company it was against, the date of the complaint and the contact info of the person reporting. If we notice a pattern of misconduct, we may remove the company without a legal judgement, however, this would only be in extreme circumstances. I will also say that there have been cases of “he said she said” which is what we do not want to get into as we are a software company first and foremost. We do not want to become a policing agency of estate sale companies, but we realize the need to balance this with consumer protection.
To contact us 800-314-9708
Today we are publishing the response which we received from EstateSales.Net.
Thanks for reaching out to us. We put a process in place a few years back to help deal with this as it is an occasional problem. Whenever we are contacted by someone that has not been paid by a company, we point them to a page on our site:
*Estate Sales News has the instructions from the website provided for you to read directly from the EstateSales.Net website. You can also go directly to their site at http://www.estatesales.net/help/nonPayment.aspx
I’ve Not Been Paid. What Happens Now?
If you hired a company to conduct a liquidation sale for you and you have not been paid, please read through this page. It will answer questions on how we (EstateSales.NET) deal with people and companies in this situation.
Report the Situation
If you are in this situation, please send an e-mail to support@EstateSales.NET explaining your situation and include the following information:
The date(s) of your sale
The address of your sale
The company name and the contact person for the company
The date you were supposed to be paid (from the contract or verbally stated by the company)
Whether or not you have a contract
The amount you were supposed to be paid
You can certainly call us as well (888-653-8468), but we will definitely need an e-mail with the above information to get started. We may follow up with additional questions before contacting the company, but the above information is usually what we need to get started.
What We Do…
We do not want companies on our site that do not pay their clients. We will remove companies that do this. We do have to follow certain procedures when in this situation though. We reserve the right to alter the timelines detailed below, but these are the general guidelines that we follow.
A company will have 60 days after the sale to make things right with their client before we issue a “Notice of Pending Removal from EstateSales.NET.” That does not mean we won’t be involved prior to that 60 days. We will do our best to get communication going between the company and the client.
Once we determine that a company has not paid a client and the sale is 60 or more days in the past, they will have 10 days to correct the situation. If they do not resolve the situation within 10 days, they will be removed from the site along with ALL sales currently scheduled. A company can resolve the situation by sending us a cancelled check or some other proof of payment.
The one exception to the 60 day “rule” is a judgement. If a client has received a judgement against a company, we will issue a “Notice of Pending Removal from EstateSales.NET” and the company will have 10 days from that notice to either pay their client or come to an agreement with the client (payment plan, etc).
It is not in our best interest to have companies on our site that don’t pay their clients. There are thousands of sales listed on our site each month. This is definitely not a common occurrence, but it is one that has to be addressed from time-to-time. Our goal is to make sure the companies listed on our site are doing their job and paying their clients.
If you feel that we can do a better job in some way, PLEASE let us know. Our community of companies, shoppers, and clients are top-notch. Please help us keep it that way!
As you celebrate Labor Day Weekend remember the American worker and celebrate. This includes the 14,000 plus estate sale companies and their staff. See on Tuesday, September 8th. Please use our archives for information and resources anytime.
Today so many families are downsizing their older parents or in need of liquidating the personal property because of loved ones passing it often involves more than one person or seller. There may be siblings, cousins, or children of the individual/s.
It is not unusual for those in charge of liquidating the contents to have different or opposing opinions on the disposition of the estate.
If it involves people other than a married couple it is usually a wise idea to consult with an attorney to settle any differences and determine who will be responsible for hiring an estate sale company. Having everything decided and signed off legally makes moving forward in the estate sale process easier for all those involved.
Deciding if there are any personal belongings you want to keep should also be done before calling an estate liquidator. This enables the estate sale company to determine whether or not they feel they can achieve your goals. Seeing what’s for sale, the amount to be sold, the condition of the items, etc. is very important to the company.
It is also very important for the success of the sale in general to know which party the estate liquidator will be dealing with. Conducting an estate sale is a big job and if the company only has to correspond with one individual or couple it enables the process to run at a smoother pace.
Once the estate liquidation process begins keeping other sellers involved in the loop should be the responsibility of the primary seller. It should be stressed that once an estate sale company starts advertising and setting up the sale no items that were to be included should be removed or sold by any of the sellers party.
It is advisable that if the property is to be sold any Realtors involved be informed that if they show the property their clients will have to purchase items through the estate sale company at the time of the sale. Most estate sale contracts will include such a clause if the property is going to be for sale.
When the decision has been made to liquidate personal contents whether downsizing or to settle an estate keeping it as uncomplicated as possible is always the wise choice to follow.
As the estate liquidation business has grown, so have some issues with sellers and estate sale contracts. Many sellers believe that they can micro-manage an estate sale even though they have hired and signed a contract with a professional estate sale company.
Let’s review for clarity and understanding.
When you review the contract with the estate sale company, this is the time to ask any questions. It is important as a seller that you understand the terms of the contract and what is expected of you and what you should or should not expect from the estate sale company.
The contract should clearly state the name of the company, the name of the sellers (or responsible party or parties) hiring the seller. If the sellers are a group of family members make sure “all” parties are present for the contract presentation and questions. All sellers should sign the contract and initial paragraphs of importance such as:
- Who is responsible for access to the property.
- Electric, water, and heat will be provided by the selling party.
- Any items that are not being included in the sale have already been removed or written into an addendum and this should be initialed by sellers and the estate sale company.
- If the estate sale company (and almost all do) have a cancellation clause for the contract. Sellers should initial this and remember that unless stated in the clause could be legally held responsible for cancelling the sale – no you don’t have an opportunity to keep interviewing other companies for a lower commission. You have made your choice. Again initials by all parties should be expected.
- Estate sale companies may have a right to cancel clause for themselves if a seller/s becomes difficult to work with (micro-managing, removing items, failure to give access to the property, not providing utilities etc.)
- Many estate sale companies have a clause that permits them to charge you the seller/s the commission on the sale value of any item removed from the sale once the contract is signed and/or the sale is staged. They usually deduct it from a seller’s net proceeds.
- As a seller don’t expect to renegotiate a commission or fee during or after the sale. Estate sale companies have costs (staff, advertising, etc.) and their commission is based on that.
- Remember why you hired an estate sale company – because they are professional, familiar with area prices, and their marketing expertise. Things you can’t learn in a video or book. It takes hands on and time to gain this type of knowledge and experience.
If you aren’t ready to sign a contract – don’t. An estate sale contract is a legal document and should be respected and taken seriously. Be confident, comfortable, and secure with your choice of an estate sale company. Before you sign on the bottom line and initial, also make sure you have done your due diligence. Personal referrals are always the best source for finding an estate sale company, but if you use a service, remember that the majority of these services charge a fee for the estate liquidator to be part of them even if they meet their standards.
Keep in mind that an estate sale company cannot control weather, the economy (such as the stock market having a rough two weeks or so lately), and the number of other estate liquidations competing with yours.
An estate sale is a professional service to liquidate personal property contents for seller/s and hopefully provide a good financial outcome for all parties involved.