Category Archives: How Do Estate Sales Work

Estate Sales Costs Evolve Over Time

One of the largest generations in our history, the baby boomer generation, has helped to create a boom in the estate sale industry, changed the way estate sales work, and the costs associated with estate sales.

Ten years ago holding an estate sale you payed a commission to an estate liquidation company or a flat fee and possibly paying an outside source to provide a clean out after the sale. The commission or fee was set by the estate sale company and was the same for almost every sale they conducted.

Not so today. The majority of estate sale companies now carry liability insurance, important for them and sellers. Workman’s compensation is also an expense for hundreds of estate sale companies. Estate sale companies that hold more than one estate sale per week or handle large content sales have had to add staff to handle the volume of sales they are working, advertising has gone from placing an ad in the local paper and hand made signs to marketing with estate sale advertising websites such as EstateSale.com (including featuring large or unusual sales an extra cost. Each estate sale adverting website is different and has varying costs), Facebook (and boosting the post for the sale) professional signage, brochures, memberships in associations, email targeting lists, and clean out costs either by the liquidation company or a company that specializes in clean outs of property.

Estate Sale Contracts Are Commitments

Many people moving, downsizing, or selling off a family home, fail to realize that once you have signed an estate sale contract it is binding just like any other contract. You have committed to an estate sale company and they have committed with you. For this reason it is important to you as a seller that you understand the contract and ask any questions. Do not feel hesitant or intimidated to say I don’t understand this clause. The estate liquidator wants a clear understanding between you both and a good working relationship.

Estate sale companies are discovering (especially in packed homes) that sellers are coming in after they begin their setup, and remove items they hadn’t seen in years. This is not the way it works and most estate liquidators have a clause in their estate sale contract that says they may charge you a full commission on any items removed.

Retail Sales May Be Down But Estate Sales Selling Is Up!!

Listening to the latest consumer report, retail sales at most stores were down the end of last year and beginning of 2016.

Estate sales, however, are going strong in almost every area.

The ability to buy everything from antiques to boats, trailers, washers, dryers, and other appliances is appealing not only for their prices, but in many places, because they do not charge sales tax. Many states do have estate liquidators charge sales tax so be sure to ask. It isn’t the estate liquidator’s choice, but the states’.

When an estate sale is being priced, research is done by the liquidator to ask a price that reflects the current market. It isn’t necessarily based on eBay or an auction, but may be a compilation of several prices from various sources.

One other reason for such success with estate sales is their time is limited. After the first day you will usually find discounts and the closer to the end of the sale the bigger the discounts may become with the items that haven’t sold.

Just look at the lines. Retailers only see lines on Black Friday, but for estate sales every weekend presents another opportunity for great lines, excellent buys, and of course keeping us green.

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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.

Estate Sale Contracts – Important Topics

EstateSalesNews.com has written about estate sale contracts in the past, but there are topics that deserve review.

One of them is the final payout to sellers of the net proceeds. Every estate sale contract should have a paragraph that addresses the specifics of how and when you, as a seller, will receive your net proceeds. It should lay out either the number of days (and this should be business days – excluding weekends and holidays preferably) or weeks, but certainly within 30 days of the conclusion of the sale.

Each estate sale company has a process they go through, however, 30 days should be the maximum and if you have a contract that is not specific, do not sign it. You will not have any guarantee of when or even if you will be paid. Estate sale companies that have good business ethics (99.9%) want you to know when you will be paid. They also want you to know how your will receive your proceeds, either by check, cashiers check, or in cash. When you review the contract with your prospective estate sale company look for the payout clause and ask questions if you have any. Estate sale companies want to have a good working relationship with you as a client. It benefits both of you.

Estate Sale Companies Care About The Public

The majority of estate sale companies in the United State (99.9%) care about the public’s welfare and any event that casts a shadow for this service industry becomes a concern. Estate liquidators deeply care how this affects clients and abide by unwritten code of ethics based on their personal lives and how they do business. They are honest, hardworking people who have chosen this industry to make their living in and they want legal justice for a client from a dishonest company.

Most estate sale companies pay within days or a week of the end of the sale.  Be sure if you are a seller that your estate sale contract clearly states when payment is due and don’t hesitate to discuss with your estate sale company. They want you to feel trust and confidence in them.

We are not discussing minor complaints that are primarily poor communication or unrealistic expectations about items not selling for what a seller wanted.

Estate Sale Companies Advice For Sellers Before The Sale

Recently, Estate Sales News had the opportunity to discuss with many estate sale companies from across the United States what they would advise sellers before the estate liquidation process begins. The advice we were given from estate sale companies is important for sellers and/or heirs to help make the estate sale successful.

Here are the items they feel strongly about and that are of great importance for both parties.

Don’t throw anything away until an estate liquidator has viewed the contents. You never know what might have value. The only exceptions should be perishable foods, used plastic food containers, medications, income tax or personal papers.

Be sure you leave the property air conditioned whether it is occupied or not. Heat and/or humidity can ruin many items. In the winter, be sure that the heat remains on too. Be sure that electricity to the property is on until the sale is over and the estate sale company has vacated the property.

Estate Sale Advertising Is Now Big Business

Estate sale advertising is growing. The number of companies  offering various types of advertising is increasing. Businesses have been created to meet the demand for getting the information out. Some are paid by estate sale companies and some through advertisers.

You have the major estate sale advertising listing websites and they have now included auctions (both online and on site) as well as social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, email services, and craigslist.

Although most estate sale companies have their own websites, several successful companies utilize a variety social media to get their estate sale information out to the public.

The advertising listing websites offer estate sale companies the opportunity to post hundreds of photos,  a list of items for sale or descriptions, the ability to feature their sales, email notifications to their subscribers, and the ability to search for items. All three charge fees to be listed, some more than others, along with some that offer advice about estate sales, however, this information is based on conversations with liquidators. Their information is not based on their own experience. This was written about in the autumn of 2015 here on Estate Sales News in response to our survey questions. They are advertising sites for estate sale companies and estate sales that are compensated by estate sale companies.

Celebrating Presidents Day At Estate Sales News

It is a national holiday for Presidents day, however, estate sale companies are hard at work even today preparing estate sales for this coming weekend. Celebrate Presidents Day and the freedom it embodies with estate sales.

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