Category Archives: How Do Estate Sales Work

Know Before You Go – Read Estate Sale Info And Terms

Before you go to any estate sales be sure to read the ads on the internet.

Advertising listing websites such as EstateSale.com provide information about the terms, conditions, entrance system, and contents of the sale as provided by the estate sale company.

The estate sale company also includes photos of the sale, but just looking at photos isn’t sufficient.

Understanding what is being sold or not is key to your success at the sale.

Being aware and knowledgeable about the terms and conditions of the estate sale is very important.

The ad should contain information about the sale, parking, forms of payment accepted. If you are buying furniture do you need to bring your own assistance. It should also include if they will be discounting on the first day or if they have any discount policy.

Going to any estate sale that you have seen on the internet without reading the ad and the terms and conditions can become a problem for both the estate sale company and buyers.

Most estate liquidators are extremely busy during the estate sale. Having to explain details that were available on advertising sites takes up valuable time and can be irritating. Estate sale companies are trying to sell, prevent theft, and assist buyers that may have questions pertaining to age or working condition.

So know before you go to the estate sale is good estate sale etiquette and can be a valuable benefit.

Selling Before The Estate Sale Can Cost Sellers Commission

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.

Estate Sale Companies Cannot Be Biased

Estate sale companies cannot be biased.

It is against federal law for an estate liquidator to not permit people based on their race, ethnicity, religion or sexual preference from attending your estate sale.

Estate liquidators that encounter such bias will likely excuse themselves from the interview and exit the property.

Federal law does not permit this kind of discrimination in any business including real estate and estate sales.

Recently this happened to an estate sale company and they immediately left the home.

The only persons not allowed at estate sales are known thieves, persistent trouble makers, people that tend to be physically threatening and those that have passed bad checks or commit credit card fraud.

Although there isn’t any federal regulation on estate sales, there is federal law about discrimination and that affects all businesses.

Having a broad attendance at your estate sale increases the likely hood of achieving success. It doesn’t matter who spends, the important thing is that they spend.

EstateSalesNews.com has not addressed this issue before and we want this to be the only time.

Wishing you a happy Monday.

Where Does Estate Sale Experience Come From?

Time to ask the question where does estate sale experience come from?

More organizations, associations and societies are entering the estate sale field.

The question arises, where do they get their expertise in the estate sale field from? Some of the owners of estate sale companies are members of appraisal organizations such as ISA, CAGA or ASA. They have completed courses of study by these associations. Have met their requirements including experience, years in the business and a code of ethics and professional conduct they adhere to.

Many estate liquidators started out as helpers or apprenticed at estate sales. A great way to acquire knowledge about personal property, antiques, and art.

Others have taken courses such as the Fine Art course offered by NYU.

Each of these estate sale associations, societies and organizations has written their own code of ethics. There isn’t a national code of ethics or a state code of ethics.

Sales Tax State By State – Does Your State Charge Sales Tax At Estate Sales

 EstateSalesNews.com is providing the sales taxes charged by the 50 states.  Not all states charge sales tax on estate sales. It depends on the county, city or town. Check with your state to learn if your state requires sales tax be charged at estate sales. Do not expect cash payment to evade paying sales tax. Retail stores charge it and states are alert to estate sale companies failing to charge it.

Currently there are only 4 states that do not require sales tax at estate sales.

Be kind to the estate sale company. They are doing what is required and this is extra paperwork for them that they are not compensated for.

Alabama 4% – 12%, Alaska 0%, Arizona 2% -6.6%, Arkansas 6.5%

California 7.5% -10.0%, Colorado 2.9% – 8.0%, Connecticut 6.35%

Delaware 0%, District of Columbia 5% – 7.5%

Florida 6% – 7%

Georgia 4% – 6%

Hawaii Gross receipts and use tax 4% +

Idaho 6.0%, Illinois 6.25% -9.0%, Indiana 7.0%, Iowa 6.0% -7.0%

Kansas 6.15% – 11.15%, Kentucky 6.0%

Louisiana 4.0% – 9.0%

Maine 5.5%, Maryland 6.%, Massachusetts 6.25%, Michigan 6.0%, Minnesota 6.0%, Missouri 4.225% – 9.6%, Montana 0%

Nebraska 5.5% – 7.0%, Nevada 6.85% – 7.25%, New Hampshire 0%, New Jersey 7.0% enterprise zone 3.5%, New Mexico 5.0% – 8.8625%, New York 7.0% – 8.75%, North Carolina 4.75% – 7.0%, North Dakota 2.0% – 7.0%

Ohio 5.75% – 8.0%, Oklahoma 4.5% – cities 7.5% – 8.5%, Oregon 0%

Pennsylvania 6.0% Philadelphia 8.0%

South Carolina 6.0% – 10.5%, South Dakota 4.0%

Tennessee 7.0% – 9.25%, Texas 6.25% – 8.25%

 Utah 5.95%

Vermont 6.0%, Virginia 5.3% – 6.5%

Washington 6.5%, West Virginia 6.0%, Wisconsin 5.0% – 5.5%, Wyoming 4.0% – 7.0%

Understanding The Estate Sale Process

Understanding the estate sale process is very important as the liquidation business continues to grow.

Estate sale companies cannot commit until they have seen everything you are selling. The company needs to decide if there is enough in the sale to make it profitable for them.

Estate liquidators have many expenses such as insurance, staff, supplies, security and the time needed to prepare the sale. Liquidators have to include their advertising costs to compete with the growing number of estate sales.

Sellers hiring an estate sale company should recognize that they have a multitude of expenses. Working to create a successful sale for you to the best of their ability requires knowledge and marketing experience.

Estate liquidators also need empathy in many cases for clients.

A strong estate sale contract that protects and explains the estate sale company obligations and the sellers obligations is very important in the process. Many estate sale companies have their contracts prepared by attorneys.

The estate sale company may have a membership in associations such as the NAOEL. These associations and societies charge a fee to join and a yearly fee for membership. They also provide education that they charge the estate liquidator for.

The estate sale company incurs the cost of excepting charge cards. Fees are accessed and each company decides whether to charge them to a seller or absorb them. This may be part of their commission. Each estate sale company is different.

Sellers should understand what is required to prepare and conduct a sale. Reviewing the estate sale process with any estate sale company you are interviewing is important to avoid future misunderstandings.

Why An Estate Sale Company Cancels Estate Sale!

Why an estate sale company cancels estate sale?

Sellers, these are reasons you need to know and understand.

A seller hires an estate sale company after performing their due diligence.  You should have chosen a professional company that you can place your trust and confidence in.

Today, many sellers fail to have this confidence and trust in their estate sale company. Why did you hire them? Did you check their references, how they research and price items and what security they have.

Showing up the day or night before an estate sale to “check” how the estate sale company did is inappropriate and may have the result of an estate sale company cancelling the sale.

An estate sale company is working for your best interest. If you have chosen the company following the guidelines for hiring an estate sale company let them do their job for you.

When a seller displays distrust in an estate sale company before the sale starts this causes a concern to the estate liquidator.

Checking prices established by the estate sale company is in appropriate. If you are concerned about pricing this should be discussed before signing the estate sale contract. Have an item you have a bottom line price on. Speak with the estate sale company before signing their contract.

An estate sale company cannot work for mistrusting sellers.

Shopping At Estate Sales In Person Or Online

Shopping estate sales online or in person. Which works for you?

There are some companies that have offered online estate sales. Two large national companies prefer selling this way. Another estate sale listing website has announced that it too will offer online estate sales starting next year. All this in a growing competition to attract buyers and estate sale companies.

How do you like to shop? Do you like to handle and inspect what you’re buying personally or do you trust online sales to include all the necessary photos and information to enable you to make a decision? It is similar in this way to online auctions. You rely on the company selling to provide accurate and complete descriptions.

Many large retailers sell online only, such as Overstock and Wayfair. Selling new items with warranties or return policies can offer security. Online estate sales will usually be used items and the return policy will depend on the estate sale company. Determining whether to buy at an on site estate sale or online estate sale really depends on your comfort zone.

Preventing Theft At Estate Sales

Preventing theft at estate sales is important as more people attend the sale.

Estate liquidators are hiring off duty policemen for security and safety for their estate sales.

Estate sale companies can use this security to ensure orderly entrance into the estate sale as well as monitor those exiting. The off duty police officer may ask to see your receipt. He or she may also ask to look at the contents of your bags or boxes.

Estate sale staff are monitoring the personal property entrusted into their care. If staff see someone trying to steal or change a price tag, they will report this to the owner of the estate sale company and the security person.

Many estate sale companies that have caught thieves have taken to posting their photos on Facebook to warn others and hopefully prevent further theft attempts. They hope the embarrassment of their photo will succeed when viewed by the general public.

Estate sale companies can prosecute anyone caught stealing. Many use video cameras to monitor their sales.

Estate liquidators are now limiting coats and in many cases preventing pocket books from being brought into the estate sale. In Florida it is not uncommon to see yard signs that clearly say no large bags or purses.

Why Learn About Estates?

Why learn about estate sales? If you are a baby boomer or an heir settling an estate you want to understand the liquidation process and hire the right estate sale company for your needs.

A liquidator with 20 plus years in the estate liquidation business conducting estate and moving sales as the editor of EstateSalesNews.com I learned by hands on experience. Experience working estate sales is the best teacher of knowledge and handling a variety of situations.

Estate sale advertising listing websites are able to put you in contact with estate sale companies in your area.

Experience and knowledge about estate sales is done by actually working at estate sales.