Category Archives: Estate Sales Help & Tips
Weather effects on estate sales can take their toll, however, safety for all is the primary concern.
Hurricane Matthew is heading to the east coast of Florida. Hurricane warnings are up as far inland as Orlando.
This is not stopping some estate sale companies from starting their estate sales today in the central Florida area.
Looking on estate sale advertising websites in the metro Orlando area, several estate sale companies are opening their sales this morning for most of the day. These companies have included in their ads that they will be closed tomorrow for the hurricane.
EstateSalesNews.com has also found some companies that have postponed their estate sales until next weekend.
This is a judgement call for each estate sale company. We wonder though with the warnings in effect, the number of closed businesses, schools etc. if conducting an estate sale even today is a wise idea.
Conducting estate sales when the weather is bad (hurricanes, blizzards, flooding rains) is risky for several reasons. Having estate sale company owners and their staff driving to and from the sale is a concern. Looking for buyers to come out to shop also is questionable.
Roads may be clogged with last minute people buying hurricane supplies or driving to shelters. Having a full tank of gas in your automobile is a must in case of power loss. Keeping cash on hand is another consideration.
EstateSalesNews.com wishes all of the residents that will be affected by hurricane Matthew to be safe.
Where to find an estate sale company? Your editor had a friend contact her recently about finding an estate sale company who works in her area for another friend.
I advised her I did not know anyone, but would work my estate sale networks.
We are waiting to hear back now, but some thoughts about this.
When asking the members of the networks I belong to I asked them if they “know” someone. In other words have familiarity with their company and ethics. The way they prepare and handle a sale.
In today’s world with so many companies and associations and organizations offering to help you find an estate sale company it is important to ask the working liquidators to assist in your search.
If you need to find an estate liquidator seek advice from people that know someone personally. People in the estate liquidation industry want to provide good advice. They want to provide you with a qualified, ethical estate sale company. It reflects on them too.
Estate sale advertising websites can only provide you with companies that work in the area by zip code or towns. They do not have the ability to personally know the thousands of estate sale companies that advertise on them.
Use your resources wisely. Ask friends, attorneys and Realtors not looking for renumeration. Realtors cannot accept referrals fees of any kind from an estate sale company. All fees belong to their brokers.
EstateSalesNews.com offers many resources and suggestions on how to find an estate sale company and they are free to all. We urge you to use them.
Be an informed consumer and make a knowledgeable choice. It’s you or your friends financial bottom line.
Editorial, Carol Madden, Owner, Publisher, EstateSalesNews.com
Recently a reporter, Paul Sullivan of the New York Times wrote an article in wealth matters “It Pays To Be Wary When Hiring An Estate Sale Agent”.
This article was circulated on several internet sources about a family in Chicago, IL looking to sell the contents of the parents home in Beverly Hills, Michigan.
The article begins with the names of the individuals (the Davis Family) and their first hand experience with the dark side of estate sales, and includes this quoted “the fixture of weekend life in affluent suburban towns around the country”.
Your editor, as a former liquidator for 20 plus years in the estate sale industry can say without contradiction that estate sales take place in towns (affluent or not) in villages, and even the countryside all over America.
The article explains the problems encountered by the Davis family, however, it does not explain why only two sources quoted were chosen.
Selling before an estate sale can cost sellers a commission.
Sellers, understand that when you sign an estate sale contract you have signed and agreed to the terms in the contract. It is just like any other legal document.
Have signed a contract with an estate sale company? If your home is for sale and your buyers want to buy any of the contents this should be done through the estate sale company. 99% of estate sale contracts include a clause that specifies that any items not excluded from the sale prior to signing the contract will be subject to the commission amount charged at the sale.
Estate sale companies do this as a business. They make their living and pay their bills through this.
Sellers, you leave yourself open to going to court if you start pre-selling or withdrawing items after signing the contract. Estate liquidators determine whether to accept a sale based on what will be sold by them.
Realtors should not encourage sellers to buy without the estate sale company either. The Realtors also cannot and should not receive a commission for this. They can only be paid by their Brokers.
Sellers you should also not ask for a reduced commission. If you want to sell to your buyers prior to the sale with a signed contract expect to pay a commission.
Sellers Protect yourself from legal action and respect the estate sale company.
How to choose or hire an estate sale company. Tips from a former estate liquidator. Experience counts.
Choosing an estate sale company (liquidator) is a decision made with careful consideration and knowledge. Here is a guide from Carol Madden of EstateSalesNews.com to common questions about choosing an estate sale company. These helpful tips are based upon her 25 years’ experience as an estate liquidator. Print them out for your easy reference!
Where do I find estate sale companies?
There are several ways to find estate sale companies. Online, there are four leading websites that list estate sale companies and their sales. They are EstateSale.com EstateSales.org, EstateSales.net and Estatesale.company. You can also ask your attorney, local realtor and/or friends about their experiences with companies with which they might have had estate sale dealings in the past.
What do I look for in an estate sale company?
Choosing an estate sale company is a process – here is a list of tips to follow.
- CHOOSE at least several estate sale companies (if possible) to contact that work in your area.
- CHECK the internet for any reviews on the companies you will be calling.
- CALL the estate companies: Ask them about their business experience, staff, and services they provide. Be sure to ask if they are insured and, in some states, licensed. You may also want to ask them about visiting their next sale and tell them you would like to speak with past clients. Print out and use our handy interview page at the end of this linked document (at right) to record your findings for each company.
- SCHEDULE appointments for face-to-face interviews only with companies you felt provided you with satisfactory answers during the phone interviews. Be sure to schedule the in-person interviews several hours apart or even on different days so they don’t overlap.
- SHOW the estate liquidator through the property. Point out any items that will not be included in the sale, and if you have any items where price is a concern, discuss it with them at that time.
- ASK them about their crowd control policy, pricing (how they research prices), credit card acceptance and any associated credit card fees, security, staffing, staging the property (when they would want to start and how long it would take), and what their current schedule of sales is. Additionally, ask how many days they would conduct your estate sale, whether they allow anyone (staff or otherwise) to buy before the sale starts (presale), whether they will be required to collect sales tax, obtain any necessary permits, and place advertising (where and when).
- INQUIRE as to commission or fee. What they charge is not as important as hiring a reputable, experienced estate sale company that will work to achieve the best results possible in current market conditions in your area and make the process as stress-free as possible.
- FIND OUT from the estate sale company how and when you will be paid and whether or not they provide clean out services (what do they charge) or do they have a company that will (again ask about the fee).
TAKE NOTES AND DON’T MAKE A DECISION UNTIL YOU HAVE MET AND TALKED TO ALL THE LIQUIDATORS WITH WHOM YOU HAVE APPOINTMENTS. Take time to review their answers to your questions and any notes you made about the estate liquidator (attitude, appearance, demeanor, apparent knowledge and any recommendations).
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