Category Archives: Estate Sales Costs

Differences You Should Know Between Estate Sales & Yard Sales

Sunday was the first official day of Spring and that heralds the start of yard and garage sale season, but they are not estate sales. Occasionally when a family divides up the remainder of an estate there may be some leftovers and this is what you may find included in a garage or yard sale, but these aren’t estate sales.

An estate sale will be run by a professional estate liquidator who has gained education and hands on experience, along with possibly an education from some of the liquidation courses offered by various associations and societies.

Estate Sale signAn estate sale company has a professionally trained staff. They are well versed in marketing strategies to optimize the exposure of your estate sale, they know how to stage or set-up your sale, conduct research, arrive at current market pricing for the contents in your sale and the understand the very important need for security crowd control.

An experienced estate sale company will provide you with a contract detailing what they will do and when including paying out net proceeds and they should also provide liability insurance that covers them.

Whether you are having an estate sale, yard sale, or garage sale, you should have a homeowner insurance policy that is in effect. Protecting your assets is important for all venues.

EstateSalesNews.com Celebrates 3 Years Providing Estate Sales Information

It’s been three years since we launched this estate sale website magazine. We want to take a look back at the variety of topics we have covered.

We are also flattered that other websites have been developed to try to provide estate sale information. The difference for you our audience, we were in the estate sale business for 20 plus years. We do not charge you for all the information you find on our website. Others have been websites have been launched that either charge for information or are used to assist another existing website that estate sale companies (that estate sale companies already pay advertising fees for).

We started by discussing what is an estate sale. The definition has changed greatly over the years. We use to call them tag sales, house sales, moving sales, etc. Now for the most part we group them under one banner “estate sales”

When we launched there were about 9,000 estate sale companies. Today the growth continues and we have passed the 16,000 mark.

Our 2015 Most Popular Topics And Articles About Estate Sales

Estate Sales News will be taking time off starting tomorrow to share the Christmas holiday with our family until next Monday.

We wanted to take a look back at our most requested articles and information. This information is provided through our analytics. Please click on the link to go to the articles that relate to these topics.

Estate Sale Contracts

How To Choose An Estate Sale Company

Learn About Estate Sales

Estate Sale Costs

Estate Sale Cost

esate sale moneyEstate sales today aren’t just about commissions or flat fees anymore.

Many of the baby boomer generation have accumulated large amounts of items in their homes, unlike their parents who were raised during the great depression of the 1930s. This has resulted in additional costs being added by many estate sale companies to deal with the volume of merchandise to be sold.

Commissions vary from city to city and state to state. In some areas they are having commission wars to attract business from competitors. Remember the commission should be your last concern when hiring an estate sale company – not your first.

Having a good solid contract written by an attorney is an expense, but important for both sellers and estate sale companies.

It is not unusual to find an estate liquidator charging for extra labor time with larger estate contents for sorting, staging, and cleaning which require extra staff. If the property belonged to a compulsive disorder individual (a hoarder) it may well necessitate weeks of sorting, a dumpster, and much more work. Most companies will charge for this. It is time they cannot devote to other sales.

Researching takes time. Today, companies bring iPads and tablets on site to research, however, there isn’t always enough time with all the other work to be done and they continue when they get home well into the night. It isn’t just an 8 hour day anymore.

License costs (in many areas, not all) along with permits either for holding the sale or putting out signs or both are costly and many towns that didn’t use to charge for them, however, many cities and towns have changed their policies.

Liability insurance is a big cost for estate sale companies and a liquidator that doesn’t have liability insurance is a risk, you as a seller may not want to take.

Estate sale companies are also providing workers comp insurance to their staff. Some companies even provide unemployment insurance and many companies have to pay their staff even if they don’t have a sale.

The costs have also risen as many estate sale listing websites increase the cost of listing sales. Pricing for specialties like local, regional, or national featuring on some listing sites can go as high as $500. This has also helped raised the price of conducting estate sales.

Credit card fees, professional group fees, providing security, and also security cameras all add to the costs factored into the commission for the estate sale.

Supplies (tables, lighting, table covers, tags, showcases, shelving, etc.) are an additional cost and many estate sale companies require a storage unit or warehouse to keep their supplies in when not in use. Some companies have 50 or more tables and this isn’t an “in your home” storage item.

Designing a website and maintaining it and keeping it fresh and up to date is costly. Having an email or newsletter service is another additional expense, but helps bring in those buyers.

Most companies that provide a clean out service will have a separate charge for that.

Understanding why estate sale companies charge the commissions they do is beneficial to a good working relationship and understanding between sellers and estate liquidators.

Labor Day Weekend A Time To Rest, Recharge And Restart

Labor Day weekend for most, signals the end of the summer season. In the northeast it also signals the beginning of school in most communities. Other areas of the country have already started back. Please drive carefully to estate sales on Thursdays and Fridays. Take care not to get so involved in the estate sale hunt and endanger our children.

There are many estate sale companies that will be hosting estate sales over the long weekend, however, many liquidators are going to take this last stretch of time to give themselves and their staff some rest before the hectic fall season of estate sales begin.

This is a great time to look for bargains on patio furniture and garden accessories, summer clothing, and other summer related items.

Estate Sales News will also be enjoying a long weekend starting Friday, Sept. 4th and we will return to the Front Page on Tuesday, Sept. 8th.

Whatever your plans are, Estate Sales News archives are available to you free, 24/7. Whether you want to learn about estate sales, estate sale contracts, what to expect as a buyer or seller, staging, advertising, social media, how to choose an estate sale company, what’s selling, you’ll find it here on the #1 source for estate sale news and information.

*We have contacted approximately a dozen companies and estate liquidator learning and membership sites with a set of questions to enable you to understand what they need if you have a serious issue and what membership with them does for the liquidator and for your. Be sure to watch for our series of articles starting on Tuesday, September 8th.

Have a safe and great weekend.

Estate Sales News.

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.

What’s Selling This Week At Estate Sales?

This week there are a variety of interesting and collectible items at estate sales across the country. Please let them know you saw their photos and learned about the sale on EstateSalesNews.com. We are passionate about estate sales.

Rochester, MI May 14th

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Bellefonte, KY, May 14

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Aubrey, TX, May 15

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Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA, May 13

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The “Cost” Of Conducting A House Or Estate Sale, By Judy Martin, ISA, CAPP

Judith Martin, ISA CAPPJudith Martin, ISA, CAPP.

Lately, I have been thinking about the “COST” of conducting a house sale. What does it take financially to conduct a sale in someone’s home.

Starting with payroll, in order to have a staff that can work fast and hard both in the set up and the selling of items the conductor needs to pay them a reasonable wage. If you begin at minimum wage – $10.00 per hour and the employee works for 2 days setting up at 6 hours per day as well as two days of the sale at 8 hour minimum, that makes each employee’s wage $200 for the sale. This of course is a sale that is easy to set and sell. If the sale is a large one then you have to figure the payroll just goes up and up. But for this example I am going to use a simple sale – 3 employees (not including the principles of the company) x $200 for the sales is $600 payroll.

Next you will need supplies – a set of 5 non carbon sales books cost $14 approx. You might need 10 total for sale. Plus you need pricing stickers – a pkg of white removable stickers cost $7. each. So for this purpose, a trip to the office supply store will cost you $80.

Then you have to consider the town you are working in – is there a permit needed. Did you cover in the contract that the client pays the permit? If not, that cost can be $60 per sale in a town that requires a permit, such as Oak Park, IL. There goes some more money out of your pocket.

If this is a new business for you, you will need table, cloths, display items, string tags, secured diplay boxes (so your shoppers cannot help themselves) – all costing you more and more money.

And what about after the sale – what does it cost you to get all the items out of the house? How many hours of labor does it take to wrap and take the items that are saleable. How much does it cost to have the refuse taken away? How much does it cost to have a person stay and sweep up after everything is removed? And who is removing the items? A moving company or you in your own vehicle. This all costs money!

Oh, and of course you have to consider the cost of advertising. If you belong to a website, there is a monthly fee for that. If you have a special sale then that cost just went up from maybe $100 a month to an additional $200 just for this one sale – all costs against your profit.

All of these fees and costs do not inlcude: databases you subscribe to, books you buy for research, t-shirts or uniforms you might use, phone service, credit card fees, bank fees, gas, tolls, and all sorts of items you have to take into account when figuring out what commission to charge so that you actually might make some money to put in your own pocket.

The estate sales business is not for the faint of heart. It is also not a charity, it is a business – you are intending to make a profit. When you consider what to charge as your fee, you must consider all of these things and more.

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.