Category Archives: Estate Sale Contracts

Estate Sales Friday – Learn About Estate Sales And Estate Sale Contracts

With 1000’s of estate sales taking place today a quick reminder that here on Estate Sales News you can learn about estate sales and estate sale contracts. We have hundreds of articles on different subjects that you can search and video as well.

Have a great weekend estate saling. EstateSalesNews.com is your #1 source for estates information and news.

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Helping A Loved One With Memory Disorders To Downsize Using An Estate Sale

Baby Boomers continue to age and retire, and unfortunately there are some with debilitating diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and memory loss.

As family and loved ones work to assist them it often becomes necessary to hire an estate sale company or liquidator to help them downsize to enter a care facility or even move into a relatives home.

It is common for the family or a relative to sit down with their loved one to discuss what must be done to make their life simpler and easier for them. The family may have an estate liquidator sit in on the first discussion allowing the liquidator to meet and interact with the prospective owner and family. However, because of the nature of the health issues they are facing, the person may not recall these conversations and the various discussions of what they will need to sell or who will take charge of the final distribution and including the clean out of the property when the sale is concluded.

Important for all parties, especially the family or relatives and the estate sale company is to have a contract that covers all aspects of the sale including final disposition of any remaining articles and the pay out of the net proceeds and who will receive these funds. The contract should be signed and initialed by all parties involved. If there aren’t any younger family members involved you may want to have an attorney present or signing off for the protection of the family member and the estate sale company. If so this should help avoid future issues of the selling of personal property contents. The need for an attorney is not always necessary, but this is another benefit of meeting with the future prospective client. *Please note Estate Sales News and the editor is not an attorney and we do not provide legal advice. Please seek out an attorney for legal counsel. The information presented here are recommendations only.

A brief check list.

Be sure to have at least one or more family members or friends present at each discussion and contract signing. They should be the responsible party for their relative and their signature and initials should be present on each page of any documents signed.

Copies of contracts should be kept be each party involved.

Any items that are not to be included in the sale should be clearly written on an addendum, that is initialed and signed by all parties.

The family or responsible party for the ill individual should be the contact person and  this should permit the estate liquidator to conduct the estate sale agreed to by the parties in the contract.

Caring and providing emotional security is in the hands of family and friends, however, estate liquidators are compassionate and do their very best to work with responsible parties within the confines of the signed contract.

What Does It Take To Become An Estate Liquidator – A Basic Overview

businessconceptsDeciding whether to become a professional estate sale liquidator is a major decision and requires you to decide about the many factors involved in estate liquidation. It isn’t an as easy as it looks and requires dedication and usually much more than a 40 hour week.

You will require some working capital to get started and to sustain you until you develop a clientele.

It is helpful to have attended estate sales to see how different estate liquidators work. Each estate sale company works a little differently, however, most follow some basics such as sorting, cleaning, staging (or setting up) and pricing. In order to become a successful estate liquidator it is beneficial to apprentice or work for an estate sale company. Become familiar with the process. You will also need a true working knowledge of what you are selling (what the item is, age, and what its’ value is).

Most of the very successful estate sale companies have experience and knowledge either as antique dealers, consignment shop owners, collectors or from working for other estate sale companies. They may also have taken courses to assist them in knowing how the entire process works from the initial contact with a client to the clean out of the premises after the sale.

Speaking with estate liquidators is very beneficial as well. There is so much to consider.

Some of the basics needed will be a license (if required), tables and supplies for set-up, liability insurance, a staff that is knowledgeable and reliable, an estate sale contract and thorough understanding of what should be included, a working knowledge of national, state, and local laws, ordinances etc., (from inability to sell prohibited items to permits for the sale and signs) and more. You will need to decided what types of payment you will accept, the payout to the client and if you will offer additional services such as clean out.

To become an estate liquidator you will also need to know about marketing, (how to advertise and where your target audience is), what items may bring the most interest of buyers to your sale. Whether you will want a website and if you do what will work best for you. You should also know about the the benefits of social media marketing and how to use it to your advantage.

There is much more than the discussion above to becoming a successful professional estate liquidator, but understanding the basics is a start and can help with your decision.

Estate Sales Are Creating New Businesses – ThrowBack Thursday To 2000

It seems that every week we receive press releases or Google Alerts about new businesses being formed around “estate sales”.

From franchises for liquidators, to new estate sale listing websites, to associations and societies for estate  liquidators, and other businesses such as clean out companies, relocation services, there is an endless generation of businesses, not to mention the daily growth of more and more estate sale companies. These services and many others are being created for the growing number of baby boomers retiring and the desire to become an entrepreneur.

What started in the early 2000’s with one estate sale listing company and one small association created by a veteran liquidator that had written a code of ethics and online courses for becoming an estate liquidator, we now have explosive growth in the estate sale company business.

So many websites offer you the opportunity to locate an estate sale company through their website having researched these liquidators and signed a code of ethics or agreed to a list of good business practices.

All of this brings to the forefront the absolute need for you – the perspective seller, to do your due diligence. We are unaware of any company or group that has any authority other than to chastise and remove a company from their website and list. We encourage sellers to read and research through these various companies for estate liquidators, but the final choice and what you need should be based on conversations with prior clients of the individual estate sale company.

What Is and Isn’t Important When Deciding On An Estate Sale Company

Even with thousands of estate sale companies, there are so many baby boomers on the move, many companies are already booked until August. Let’s do a brief review of what is truly important.

Be sure to ask about their experience. There is nothing wrong with new estate sale companies as long as they have previous experience working side by side with another experienced estate liquidator. An apprenticeship if you will. During the time that they work with someone with knowledge and experience they should learn about staging (or set-up) of the sale, recognizing what is being sold and pricing (general household) usually is priced by what prices are being reallized at other sales in your area, and of course knowing where to research unique, rare, unusual, or antique items. It is also important to have a certified appraiser that an estate sale company can use as well.

Ask about their education in the estate sale business, but it takes more than just reading and answering tests. Experience gained with a working estate liquidator is important.

It is beneficial to be able to speak with past clients. Written testimonials are helpful, but speaking with a client that they worked for within the last year is also a key component to deciding on whether or not you may want to hire them. Ask about their overall experience, but keep in mind financial results aren’t always the deciding factor. Were they on time, responsible, insured, and did they do what they agreed to. They may provide you with a brochure which is a great way to lay out their services. Keep that for future reference. Ask them if they have memberships with any associations or societies and if so what that means for you.

Do a complete review with them of their contract. If they don’t have a contract simply put – look at another company. If you are unsure of the contract ask to take it to your attorney so that all parties understand and begin the process with a good working relationship. Make certain that everyone understands what will and won’t be in the sale and if there is a penalty for removing something after the sale begins. If everyone is on the same page when the estate sale process starts it helps relieve stress and can forge a good working relationship between client and estate liquidator.

It is always important to look at any estate sales a company may be holding and if possible visit a company during a sale. Observation can be very informative.

Do not make the mistake of choosing an estate sale company by commission. That should be the “last” consideration.

This is just a quick review. For more information look at the orange tab on the top left side of our Front Page. How To Choose An Estate Sale Company.

No one can guarantee you that the estate sale company you choose will be perfect. All any company or group can do is remove them from the website and discontinue their membership. What matters is that you, the client, did your due diligence so that your final decision was yours. It is your financial bottom line and your responsibility. If you have questions contact us at carol@estatesalesnews.com We welcome your questions and comments. Please visit us on Facebook and Twitter and check out our Pinterest page.

Not All Estate Sales Are Created Equal And They Don’t Need To Be

Estate Sale signThousands of estate sales and thousands of estate sale companies, and everyone is different in some way.

Many estate sale companies do not want to handle the small sales (under $5,000, in some areas of the country that could be $10,000). Don’t feel insulted or hopeless. There are so many estate sale companies out there with some good researching you should be able to find a reputable company that can help you.

There are several reasons estate sale companies are carefully choosing which sales they will handle. Many estate sale companies have full time staff (a cost of $10/hour or more per employee), liability insurance, licensing (if required in your area) the cost of advertising (if the companies are listed on all three major estate sale listing websites – Estatesale.com, EstateSales.Net, and EstateSales.org), the monthly costs are significant. Many estate sale companies spend an average of $5,000/month just on maintaining advertising and visibility on the internet. This can also include Facebook boosts and Twitter.

There are estate sale companies that also handle online auctions as well, so you have to decide how you want your personal property disseminated. It is important to keep in mind that unless the items are rare, or unique, the value is similar to what happens at a used car lot. Once driven off the lot, the value decreases and for some, if they are moving or downsizing just eliminating their belongings is what really counts.

When you telephone estate liquidators ask them if they only take sales with minimum values. Don’t feel offended, remember this is business for them, and there is someone out there for you. It may require a little more investigation.

You may also want to look at the estate sale listing sites above to see what companies are showing for their current sales.

Where To Find Estate Sales?

Estate Sales News is “the” online source for estate sales information (contracts, staging, choosing an estate sale company, how to interview, what to expect, pay out, clean out, and more) news, help, tips and where to find estate sale companies and estate sale listings.

Click on the links below to find 1000’s of estate sales.

Estatesale.com

EstateSales.Net

EstateSales.org

What To Expect Before The Estate Sale Begins

EstateSales_lgWhen you choose your estate sale company along with a complete and thorough review of the estate sale contract, ask to see proof of liability insurance and do not be surprised when the estate liquidator asks to see a copy of a homeowner policy. In todays’ world it is important that both the liquidator and the property be covered by insured.

If the estate sale company belongs to any associations ask to see some type of ID (appraisers, education, etc.)

More and more liquidators are bringing professionally prepared brochures, but they should contain pertinent information about the company, name, address, phone number, email address, how long they have been in business, (license number if required by state or municipality) educational information (if any i.e. appraisal or fine art courses, estate liquidation courses), where they list their sales and advertise, and a list of their services showing fees or commission charges. It should also include if they have insurance or are bonded.

Following all this information, the estate liquidator should take photographs (if possible) to start the listing of the sale.

Access to the property should be arranged for pricing and staging and the dates and times of the sale.

If either party has any concerns about the sale this is the time to express these concerns. If the home is overflowing (commonly referred to by many as a hoarder) and you have an issue with this term discuss it with the estate liquidator. Television shows have promoted the use of this term and many times this can help encourage buyers to attend the sale. The term is not intended to be disrespectful.

As a seller when the estate sale company is ready to leave the property you should have trust and confidence and if not this is the time to settle any further concerns. You have hired a professional to sell the personal property and they need to do their job. Keep in mind most estate liquidators conduct sale after sale and they want your estate sale to succeed too so eliminating concerns and reducing your stress is good for you, the seller and the estate sale company.

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Why Have An Estate Sale Contract? To Protect Sellers & Estate Sale Companies

Estate Sales NewsThousands of estate sales are taking place each week and now that winter is over and spring has arrived the number of sales will continue to increase.

When you are interviewing either as a perspective seller or as an estate sale company this is a business venture and as with all businesses a contract must be in place to set out in writing the terms, responsibilities, and consequences of the estate sale.

This is protection for both parties. It is not just about a date, address, or commission/fee. It is about who is responsible for utilities (seller), who prices and stages the contents being sold (the estate sale company), who advertises and pays for the ads (usually the estate sale company), which party will get the permit if needed, how will the sale be paid out (daily, at the end of the last day, within a precise time period after the sale), will the seller be paid by cash or cheque, and the list of what must be in the contract goes on. Please use our search feature to read other articles about the estate sale contract.

Each estate liquidator has their own contract that should delineate all terms including the consequences of removing items from a sale that were to be included (it is common practice for a seller to be charged the commission/fee for items removed once the contract is signed and was not excluded), but this is up to each liquidator. Sellers should make sure they know who is responsible for the clean out of the property after the sale, how it will be done, will there be additional costs or fees for that service and when it will be done.

It is the responsibility of the estate sale company to review the entire contract with the seller before signage. It is the obligation of the seller to ask the estate sale company any questions they may have and understand all the terms and responsibilities. If you aren’t sure, ask for a night to review it, seek legal advice, but once the decision is made and the contract is signed, remember this is business, especially for the estate sale company. They pay mortgages, utilities, staff, etc.

Estate sale companies work hard to achieve the best results possible. It is in the interest of both parties. The better the financial results, the better payout for seller and the better commission for the estate liquidator. They cannot guarantee results or control weather or economic conditions. Understanding what cannot be controlled is also key to a successful working business relationship.

Estate Sale Topics Past, Present, And Future on Estate Sales News

Estate Sales NewsApril 1, 2015 and with new additions and features. Estate Sales News offers topics we have written about in the past, present, and future. What you need to know. This list is for sellers, buyers, and estate sale companies. If you have a topic you would like us to report on just email us at support@estatesalesnews.com.

Advertising – From estate sale listing sites, SEO, social media, brochures, email lists, signs, & more

Animals – dealing with pet stains and odors etc.

Antiques – where to learn, how to know and understand (gesso for example)

Appraisals – It is more than USPAP, understand what it is, who they are, and the many associations

Art – A general discussion on where to learn more

Auctions – Online, on site, and the difference between an estate sale and how they can work together

Baby Boomers – companies that specialize in educating liquidators that work with those moving to assisted living, elderly parents, and downsizing

Bonding – what is it, the different types

Books – First additions to comics and where to find information

Buyers – Advertising for them, etiquette, number system, negotiating, working with them

Choosing an estate sale company it’s not so simple anymore (a printable list to assist you in the process)

Clients – Estate sellers, working with expectations and realities, a helping hand and more…

Clean outs – Who will and won’t, what to expect and fees

Clothing – Vintage or new

Conferences – 2013 and 2014 estate sale conferences

Consignments – what, why, and when they may be useful

Downsizing – decisions to be made including, don’t throw anything out until you talk to a liquidator

Education – Online eduction to apprenticing, society’s to belong to

Estate sales – Understanding what they are, and the process

Estate sale Contracts – What are the basics and what you should know.

Estate sale costs – commissions, fees, how and why what is charged

Estate sale listing websites – who, what they offer, where to find them on the internet

Ethics – Checking for reviews, doing your due diligence to choose an estate sale company

Growing your audience – so many sites that you can participate on to increase visibility on the internet

Insurance – Liability, why it is important, who needs it, where it can be found

Ivory – New United States rules and concerns in various states about the sale (will be updated as needed)

Jewelry – fine, vintage, costume, gold, silver, testing, weighing, and in general

Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, reddit, and Instagram, why it is important and how to use it effectively. This is a frequent topic on EstateSalesNews.com

Taxes – an on going topic about estate taxes and sales taxes in different states.

ThrowBack Thursdays – we look back at items of the past including photos

Videos – News worthy estate sales and video chats.

What’s selling at estate sales

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