Category Archives: How Do Estate Sales Work

Why You Should Hire An Estate Sale Professional – Video Chat

As we start our second chat we want to discuss why hiring a professional is important. One of the most important reasons is that unless you are very knowledgeable about what you are selling you may end up underselling the items you have for sale.

Estate Sales News is your source for information, tips, and news on estate sales and the estate liquidation business. We’re here for you.

Estate Sale Contract Printable Check List

Estate Sales News knows that having a contract between you and the estate sales company is paramount. As we go into the weekend we have posted this on our front page if you wish to print out the printer-friendly version to assist you with choosing an estate sale company. The Editor of Estate Sales News will be speaking and moderating a session at the 2014 Estate Sales Conference in Memphis, TN sponsored by EstateSales.Net.

The contract should lay out the following in clear language.

  • Name of the estate sales company
  • Your name (you’re hiring the liquidator)
  • Date of the contract
  • Address where the sale is to take place
  • Dates the sale is to be held and time
  • Party responsible for advertising costs
  • Who is responsible and paying for permits (i.e. sign, sale etc.)
  • Cost of the sale – commission, fee or both, make sure it is explicit
  • How the net proceeds of the sale will be paid out, i.e cash or check.
  • Payout for sale is end of each day or end of sale
  • Any items to be excluded from sale
  • Will you be charged if an item is removed from sale after contract signed
  • Who is responsible for the clean out after the sale is concluded
  • Does the liquidator provide a written account of items sold
  • Any additional costs for specialists i.e. appraisers
  • Is the company bonded and insured

All of these items should be covered in the contract for your protection and the estate sales company and to prevent misunderstandings during the liquidation process.

When Times Get Tough – Estate Sales Can Be A Solution

New Jersey Life articleWith the roller coaster ride the economy has been on the one steady course that has actually seen and increase in business is estate sales.

Although some areas have seen the value of some items decrease somewhat, (not all by any means) more and more people are using an estate sale (whether for a living person or deceased) to sell their personal property. The number of estate sale companies across the country has tripled in the last 3 years.

Estate sales offer opportunities to buy at reasonable prices, many times without sales tax (depending on the state), and items from A-Z.

The estate liquidation business has also provided income for unemployed people and offered some folks that always wanted to be their own boss the opportunity to do so.

The term estate sale has become a rubber stamp for moving sale, tag sale, house sale as well as selling the property of a deceased person. In any case this once cottage industry has become a booming industry in almost every state.

In Los Angeles there are over 19,00 subscribers, in Chicago over 28,500 and in northern New Jersey over 22,000. Those are only 3 areas among thousands.




Why Read Estate Sales News – Information, News, and Resource

Estate Sales is an independently owned online news magazine website. We are not affiliated with any estate sale company. The articles and information we publish are to assist perspective estate sellers, buyers and estate sale companies. We are not an estate liquidator.

Our goal is to make you an informed consumer in an industry that in many states has little or no regulation either locally or by state. Information is your best assurance that you are making a wise choice.

There are many resources available for estate sale information, however, we want to keep the entire country informed about what is happening in the estate sale business world. We are consistently researching for your benefit.

For buyers we hope to showcase whenever possible news worthy estate sales and tips for helping you when visiting and purchasing at an estate sale.

We welcome questions and you can contact us at We’ll do our best to answer your question and if you have a subject you would like to know more about we will make every effort to provide that information publicly.


Estate Sales – Cottage industry to booming bonanza

To educateThe number of estate sales companies is soaring. Check out any of the sites listing estate sales companies and estate sales and the numbers become incomprehensible. EstateSales.Net, or

Currently on there are over 4,000 estate sales companies listed. What is surprising is the current city with the most estate sales companies and estate sales subscribers is Chicago, Illinois. Counting the number of estate sales companies Chicago has over 300 companies and over 21, 200 subscribers. That is just Chicago. Check out Los Angeles, northern New Jersey, Phoenix, or Dallas and the numbers will amaze you.

Now more than at any time if you need or want to have an estate sale or personal property liquidation having the resources to gain knowledge to assist you in making a wise choice are paramount. Finding the right company to work with and put your trust in depends on whether you know what to consider and then ask. From the time you start your estate sales company search, knowledge for you the consumer is powerful in acquiring a company with the assets and ethics to generate a successful sale. is a FREE estate sale resource for information

Estate Sales NewsDuring my many flights reporting on various estate sales I have met some wonderful people and the most frequent question I’m asked it was do you do.

I respond that I am the editor of an online news/magazine about estate sales and the personal property liquidation business. It amazes me that almost every time that person will say I know someone that needs an estate sale or they have a friend downsizing. 

I explained to her that if they had questions was a website devoted to providing information on what to look for when choosing an estate liquidator. This website is a free public resource from the beginning of the process when you realize you need to start eliminating items to the conclusion of the sale where it is time for a clean out, charitable donations or a final buy out.

On a recent trip from Florida I met an accountant who lives on the east coast of Florida near a retirement community with a great many retired military people. Many of them are getting to the point in their lives where they need to downsize and transition into a simpler lifestyle. This accountant spoke of the need for many of these individuals to find reputable companies that will have their best interest and not attempt to cherry pick them. I gave her my card and suggested she review this news/magazine and pass it on to her clients and friends.

Estate Sales News does not conduct estate sales. We welcome your questions.

Don’t have enough for a full estate sale. What to do?

As more and more baby boomers come of age what to do with a life time of household, collections, etc. is becoming a challenge.

In many cases the children of boomers will want some of their parents belongings either for sentiment or value, however, may children today are minimalists and this leaves boomer parents with decisions when downsizing time comes.

If your children have taken a great many items and furniture you may be left with what is known in the estate sale trade as a partial. Many estate sales companies will simply not deal with low contents. It does not cover their costs for the sale. Some estate liquidators look at this with other possibilities. They can offer to add to the contents from other minimal sales or in some instances if they are antiques dealers they may offer to add some of their unsold merchandise to the sale (this practice is referred to as seeding the sale). Every estate liquidator works differently, but if you find one you like and your contents are minimal ask them if there is a way for them to work with you. They may even want to increase their commission or fee.

The other choices left to you are consignment (not all consignment shops accept everything) or donations to local charities.

When choosing an estate sale company be sure to let the liquidators you are talking to know upfront if it isn’t a full contents and ask them how they work. Saves time and frustration for everyone.

Estate Sales – What effects them the most

money moversEstate Sales across the country can be effected by several things, but the most common are location, weather, and who is running the sale.

You can choose who runs your estate liquidation, but you cannot control the location (most of the time) and certainly not the weather.

Recently there have been some very nice estate sales that appeared to be well advertised and the weather was ok, however, the properties were located in areas where unemployment has been a continuing problem. As the result the sales proceeds weren’t not as high as they might have been in an area where unemployment is not a factor. That old real estate saying “location, location” even applies to estate sales.

The weather can also be a problem. If spring is suppose to be here and it’s snowing out, sales can be off. This also applies to heavy rain and windy conditions. Right now in April websites like have thousands of sales posted for every weekend because the weather is reasonable, barring a few exceptions. January and February can be difficult in the Midwest and Northeast, but many times after being snow bound or frozen in time (so to speak) can bring the buyers flooding out to sales for relief.

The professional estate liquidation company you choose is also important. Please check out our pages on what to be listening and looking for from an estate sale company.

Well it’s Friday and there are so many sales, if you are in need of an estate sale company go check out a few sales in your area. Watch the company in action. Or, if you are on the hunt be it for furnishings, jewelry, artwork or even a car this is a great weekend to go shopping, go green and save over retail.


Looking For An Estate Sale Company? Check For Reviews

If you are looking for an estate sale company check out the internet for reviews, good or bad. Today the majority of people in the United States have access to the internet.

Google is a great source to look for reviews, however, Google only accepts reviews from people that use gmail. Another great source to check out is the BBB (Better Business Bureau). A serious complaint from a consumer can end up on the doorstep of the BBB.

You can also look at the yellow pages. Believe it or not people do leave reviews.

You can check social media such as Facebook, however, an estate sale company like anyone else on Facebook can remove unwanted comments.

One other internet source is

If you do have internet access you may want to type in the name of the estate sale companies your are looking at and see what shows up.

Hiring an appraiser – USPAP by Judith Martin ISA CAPP

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)  is published by The Appraisal Foundation located in Washington DC.   This document is re-issued every two years and is the guidelines for Appraisers and the users of Appraisals.  USPAP involves real estate, personal property and business valuation.  

The document is broken into nine parts.  The first seven sections (Definitions, Preamble, Ethics Rule, Record Keeping, Competency, Scope of Work, and Jurisdictional Exception ) pertain to all those who use USPAP in their professional lives.   The following sections are The Standards which pertain to the development of an appraisal and the reporting of the findings.  The final section is the Statements which clarify, interpret, explain and elaborate the Standards.     

All  the parts of USPAP are important in an appraisers work.  However, USPAP does not state how reports are to be written.  The Standards only indicate what needs to be included in the report to be a USPAP compliant report.