Category Archives: Estate Sale Contracts

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.

Please subscribe to our magazine, it’s free, new articles are delivered directly to your in box and you can opt out at any time (no obligation) and the tab is in the upper left part of the website. We hope you will tell any estate sale companies you interview or work with you read and use EstateSalesNews.com as your resource for estate sales information and news.

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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Estate Sales News Celebrates Our 2nd Birthday

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Two years ago today we started publishing EstateSalesNews.com.  This online news magazine and resource has continued to evolve and over the next several weeks we will be introducing new and we hope exciting additions.

We celebrate today and give our sincere thanks to those who have we have been part of this growth. Our  feature guest authors (Judy Martin and Julie Hall, both appraisers and experienced liquidators. Judy is a director of the International Society of Appraisers, ISA. Julie is also the director and owner of the American Society of Estate Liquidators).

Estate Sales News has traveled to California, Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, Nevada, Missouri, and Florida to name a few of the states we have spent time in covering news worthy estate sales.

We attended and reported on two Estate Sale Conferences and we spoke about estate sale contracts at the 2014 conference.  We went to the headquarters of EstateSales.NET in Jackson, MO, interviewing Dan and Micky McQuade, the founders and owners.

We have had guest articles from Lofty, (an online auction site), CRTS (Certified Relocation Transition Specialists), Lela of TrashFindRedesigned  (turning estate sale and other finds into great repurposed items). We hope we haven’t left anyone unmentioned.

We would also like to thank our advertisers who have supported us. Please support them if you are part of our audience.

Our goal two years ago was to inform and provide a resource for estate sale sellers, buyers, and estate sale companies. We have and continue to talk about how to choose an estate sale company, estate sale tips, estate sale contracts, staging the sale, estate sale etiquette, pricing, what is an estate sale, dealing with the uncomfortable moments that can occur with sellers or buyers, rare or unique finds and more.

Entering our third year we will continue to present information to keep you informed on the wide world of estate sales.

Thanks for being part of our history and we look forward to continuing the future with you.

Estate Sales, Spring Is Coming and Now Is The Time To Find Your Estate Sale Company

how-to-chooseAlthough parts of the northeast are buried under feet of snow, spring is coming and estate sale companies are booking estate liquidations quickly.

If you are planning on having an estate sale, right now is the time to start looking for the estate liquidator to work for you.

Lets review some basics and then you can use our printable list to assist you helping you with all the steps in the process. Look for the link on the top of our Front Page How to Choose an Estate Sale Company for more details and also a host of information including estate sale contracts.

  • Ask your family, friends, neighbors, Realtor or attorney if they know a liquidator they would recommend and be sure to ask why.
  • Look at the estate sale listing websites, EstateSales.Net EstateSales.org, Estatesale.com and Estatesale.company. These four companies feature the most estate sale companies that are listed on the internet across the country. They also feature their current or upcoming estate sales (you may want to attend some estate sales).
  • After reviewing estate liquidators on these websites and looking at their sales listed take time to look for internet reviews.
  • Call at least three companies to conduct an initial phone interview. Decide if you would be interested in pursuing these liquidators and inviting them to your property where the estate sale would take place. Once you have at least two or three companies, set up appointments well spaced apart to walk them through the property and discuss their services afterwards.
  • When you sit down with the estate sale company to discuss work, fees or commissions, availability dates for a sale, length of sale, set-up etc., be sure they completely review their contract with you. Ask questions, and do not hesitate to seek legal advice if you are unsure of the contract.
  • Once you have decided on a liquidator and have done your due diligence remember you have based your choice on the best information possible, that they are professional in what they do and ask them what if anything you can do to assist.
  • Now it is time to let them get to work and do their job. Don’t micromanage and only step in with a genuine concern.

These are the very basics for your search for an estate sale company. Never a 100% guarantee, but with so many thousands of reputable, experienced, knowledgeable estate sale companies out there you have done your best. Now let your estate sale company do their best for you.

Estate Sales News 2014 Year In Review – What We Have Learned & Shared

Slide1With Christmas eve less than a week away Estate Sales News wants to look back at what was under the tree this year for us and our estate sale going audience. This truly is a labor of love and we have enjoyed all the opportunities it has presented.

In February 2014 Estate Sales News flew to Memphis, TN to report on the 2014 Estate Sales Conference sponsored by EstateSales.Net and we were a guest speaker at the conference discussing the basics of the estate sale contract. Since late February we have presented many articles on this most important topic and answered numerous requests from sellers and estate liquidators for more information, keeping in mind we are not an attorney and we do not give legal advice.

We have been to California on several occasions to report on a variety of estate sales including one with the crown of a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, a massive sale of multiple collections from a National Geographic photographer and Indian Agent from the 1920’s to name a few.

We have also covered two estate sales (one including an auction) in Michigan. A fantastic collection of Mid-Century Modern furnishings, Jensen sterling, art glass, and more in Midland and another sale that included a large taxidermy auction in Portland, MI.

We had the delightful pleasure of visiting with Judy Martin, nationally known appraiser and estate liquidator at a fabulous sale in a Chicago suburb who provided great information about the estate sale industry and what’s selling as well as her sale for a famous Chicago artist.

Along with our travels, we have interviewed several estate sale companies across the country with unique sales, spoken to the owners of several national estate sale listing websites about the changes they are making to their websites to meet the increasing needs of a rapidly growing liquidation industry and the evolution of the estate sale business.

One of our larger projects this year was writing about How To Choose An Estate Sale Company. We covered in depth what to look for as well as providing a printable list to assist you in the process of finding and hiring an estate sale company.

Estate Sales News has featured articles on the sale of ivory, sales tax, inheritance tax, as well as featured guest articles from Julie Hall, nationally known owner, director of the American Society of Estate Liquidators (ASEL), Lofty.com (a new way of liquidating items that may not be a perfect fit in an estate sale) and of course we have produced many videos from estate sales and liquidation specialists and appraisers.

We have also been been included as a resource by EstateSales.Net for the 7,000 companies listed with them and shared our information with ASEL and other online resources.

Along with good news we have reported on some estate liquidation companies that were not typical of this great industry.

Majolica, gesso, and ormolu were some of the educational topics we wrote about.

We have featured a ThrowBack Thursday feature for most of the year.

Our thanks to EstateSale.company for sharing interesting articles from their collectors corner.

It’s been quite a year at EstateSalesNews.com and we thank everyone mentioned above along with all those who have assisted us in providing a free service to sellers looking to hire estate sale companies, buyers, and estate liquidators.

As the Editor and writer for EstateSalesNews.com it is with great pride to share this overview of some of what we have provided to our audience.

We will be taking some time now to spend with our family for this Christmas season. Please feel free to look into our nearly two years of archival information.

From our house to yours EstateSalesNews.com wishes you a Christmas of joy and happiness the blessings of family and friends.

How To Choose An Estate Sale Company – Decision Time What’s Next? – Part 4

MP900382659Last week we discussed where to find an estate sale company, the telephone, and face to face interview, and the estate sale contract.

At this stage you have interviewed estate liquidators, listened to their presentations, and reviewed the contract line by line with them (if you haven’t you aren’t ready to make a decision yet and it is part of their job to explain their contract, what’s in it and why).

During the presentation they should have reviewed their experience, advertising, staffing, security measures, crowd control procedures and researching methods. As a seller (heir, attorney, Realtor, family) you should have decided what will and won’t be in the sale. If there are several people involved in the decision, make sure that you are all in agreement with the what is and isn’t for sale as well as the choice for the estate sale company.  They should have been present at the walk thru and presentation if at all possible. Any personal issues should be worked out prior to the interview and finally the choice of estate liquidators. All parties involved should sign and date the estate sale contract to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion.

When choosing your estate sale company consider your interviews, did they arrive on time, their appearance and manner during the tour of the property and presentation, the responses you received to any questions you asked and did they give you complete answers, and how you felt towards the individual(s) you met. Be sure to ask them before signing the contract if they will be present and running the sale or assigning it to a team member. If that is the case you should meet and speak with the team member that will be running your sale. Some estate sale companies send the owner of the company to the tour of the property and presentation and then that will be the last time you see them. It is important for you to know ahead of signing any estate sale contract or agreement. They will be handling your money. Also ask how they pay you, when and about the clean out (do they perform clean outs or have a company that does and is there an extra charge, etc.). Not all estate sale companies perform clean outs, but this should not be the deciding issue either.

Now after weighing all the information you have garnered ask yourself who was best qualified as well as someone you could have a business relationship with. Your last consideration should be the commission or fee charged. The adage “you get what you pay for” is very true in the estate sale business so let the commission be your last concern not your first.

After careful review and consideration an you have made your decision call your choice for an estate sale company and ask them to come over so you can sign the contract and review available dates. This is also the time to ask any last minute questions.

Tomorrow – What’s the next step in the estate sale process. The work begins.

Copyright © 2014 Estate Sales News. All rights reserved. No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials.

How To Choose An Estate Sale Company – Estate Sale Contract – Part 3

MC900433850Yesterday we discussed the telephone interview and the face to face interview with the estate sale companies you decided might be your best choice to conduct an estate sale for you.

During their presentation the most important discussion that will take place is the estate sale contract. A word of advice, if they don’t have a written contract end your discussion. This is protection for both parties.

Disclaimer – Estate Sales News and Carol Madden, Editor are not attorneys. We do not provide legal advice. The information presented here is based on 25 years of estate liquidation business experience. Please consult an attorney for legal advice or contract legalities.

Our website will have a printable list shortly of topics that should be covered in an estate sale contract. Please watch for it.

Most every estate sale company has a contract that they like to use. What we present here are basics that should be included in the contract for your protection and theirs and to prevent misunderstandings and hopefully provide simplicity and clarity for a successful business relationship. Yes hiring a professional estate company does create a business relationship because money at some point will be involved and payment will be made on the results of the sale.

1) We recommend that at the top of the estate sale contract should be the estate sale company’s name, address, and telephone number.

2) The beginning of the contract should state the date of the contract, the contract is between (the name of the estate sale company) and a blank space ____________ to be filled in by the party or parties hiring and responsible (seller, heir(s), attorney, executor(s). If it involves more than one individual make sure to include all names.

3) The next section should include a statement about who, what, and where – the company (name) agrees to conduct an estate/house/tag/moving sale on ________ (this will be the dates chosen for the sale) at _________(the full address of where the sale will take place) and the estate sale company may include the county and state (if they work in an area where their company crosses state lines).

4) Another paragraph should include the necessity of having electricity and water on at the premises for the entire time (from staging through clean out). This should be the responsibility of the party or parties hiring the estate sale company. This is for safety and sanitation. This is also a paragraph where many companies that work in areas that receive snow or ice should be specific as to who is responsible for plowing driveways and shoveling sidewalks and providing sand/salt. Again these are safety issues and everyone part of the contract should know their responsibilities.

5) An important paragraph is the one that states clearly and concisely the commission or fee the estate sale company is charging on the gross proceeds of the sale. This part of the contract should also include whether the estate sale company has a minimum they are charging (some companies do and some don’t that is up to them and your choice if you accept or decline). All this information should be clear and understandable.

6) We recommend that a contract include a cancellation policy that will spell out in detail what happens if the contract is cancelled. (This includes a time line and any monetary penalty that an estate sale company may charge). If a company does not charge a penalty this should be included as well.

7) A paragraph about advertising the sale should be included in the contract and it should clearly state who will be paying for the advertising.

8) A disclaimer should be in the estate sale contract that an estate sale company cannot make guarantees of the gross proceeds of the sale, but will attempt (or, however, they choose to state it) to obtain the best possible results. Each company usually has specific wording for this.

9) When hiring a professional estate liquidation company you may see a paragraph that specifies who will be responsible for pricing and selling the items in the sale. **If you have price concerns about certain items discuss this during the walk through or during the presentation. Most estate sale companies have a wealth of experience and knowledge and know the market, but you should express any concerns you have about prices before signing the contract.

10) A big concern for estate sale liquidators is the removal of items that were originally going to be included in the sale and then removed or sold prior to the liquidation by the party hiring the estate sale company. A paragraph that specifically outlines what happens and any commissions or fees that will be charged on removed items is usually included. Many companies have an addendum to their contract for items that are either to be excluded or for which a decision has not been made. Most estate sale companies have a policy to charge for items removed from a sale after the signing of the contract that were not noted during the presentation. Remember estate sale companies start advertising and often attract buyers with some items. If they are removed from the liquidation sale prior to the start this affects their reputation with buyers and their financial bottom line.

11) There should be a paragraph that includes who has liability for the property and the customers attending the sale. The property should always have a homeowners (or similar) type of insurance policy as well as we recommend that the estate sale company have their own liability policy. Stating specifically who is responsible is important.

12) Most estate sale companies will include a paragraph that details what takes place after the sale with any goods left over and who is responsible for their disposal. Any additional charges and the amount should be included in this section of the contract.

13) The bottom of the contract should include signature lines for the estate sale company and parties hiring the company and also have lines for both to date.

Estate sale contracts can have many other important inclusions including whether a company is licensed, insured, or bonded and other areas of concern. Many companies have their contracts written by their attorney.

The above areas are presented as basics we consider important in an estate sale contract and can be worded differently or excluded by individual companies or attorneys.

* Please be sure to read our use and privacy page with regard to any articles or intellectual property on EstateSalesNews.com

Cleaning Out After The Estate Sale – What To Do?

clean out truckEstate sale companies do everything they can to completely sell your contents out, but that doesn’t always happen. Unable to control weather conditions, market conditions, and property location an estate liquidator may not be able to sell all the contents of a property.

What happens when there are leftovers?

Many estate sale companies offer clean outs. Some have even started an additional phase of their business just to perform clean outs.  They may include it in their commission or it may be an additional charge. This is a discussion that should take place when reviewing the estate sale contract with the estate liquidator.  Other  estate liquidators hire a company that will perform the clean out for you. The fee the company will charge should be divulged before signing the estate sale contract. In this case you may be paying the company directly or it may be deducted from the net proceeds of the sale.  Some estate sale companies may take more valuable items on consignment if they have a shop or sell online if they do not sell at the sale.

If your estate liquidation company does not do clean outs there are companies you can call. One nation wide name is 1-800-Got-Junk. (This is not an endorsement, simply an example).

Leaving a property broom clean is very important in many cases when the property has been sold or is going up for sale.

Ask your estate sale company if they have a list of charities also.

Estate Sales News would like to hear from companies that specialize in clean outs. You can email us at carol@estatesalesnews.

It’s Wednesday, October 16th, the month and week are half over. Estate sales start tomorrow.