Category Archives: Estate Sale Contracts

Considerations When More Than One Seller Is Involved In An Estate Sale

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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.

 

Estate Sales Friday – Links To Estate Sale Websites, Estate Sale Contract Info

Estate Sale signAs we end the third week of August we offer links for you to use to find estate sales and right here on Estate Sales News information pertaining to estate sale contracts, staging, interviews, clean outs, what to expect and more.

Estate Sales News your #1 estate sales news and information source.

Click the links below to go to major estate sale listing websites.

Estatesale.com

EstateSales.Net

EstateSales.org

Estate sale contract information

 

Estate Sale Contracts Are A Hot Topic – What Sellers Need To Know

Trust, confidenceWeek after week estate sale contracts is one of the top searches on Estate Sales News.

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.

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.

Please let the estate sale companies you visit know you read Estate Sales News and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

 

 

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