Category Archives: How Do Estate Sales Work

Dangerous Items Found At Estate Sales By A Liquidator

A recent discussion of what estate liquidators find when preparing a home for an estate sale revealed not only dangerous items, but some items that most liquidators would not expect to encounter. As a former estate liquidator for 20 plus years, I was fortunate enough not to encounter anything like these.

Here is what one liquidator has encountered during his 30 years in the liquidation business. Estate liquidators wear many hats as you will see here.

A Civil War land mine with the plunger up. It was taken to the state police bomb squad.

Grenades required a call to the police captain.

This liquidator found Browning machine guns. The liquidator called an FFL with the proper paper work because the can sell or dispose of these items.

He also found an Electric Shock Machine which was donated to a local hospital museum.

WWII vets brought many items home as souvenirs of their conquests or battles.

Have You Downloaded Our IOS App For EstateSalesNews.com Yet?

Just a reminder that EstateSalesNews has a free IOS app for iPhone 6 and up.

Research estate sales, how to choose an estate sale company, what is an estate sale, estate sale staging, estate sale contracts, bonded and insured, estate sale costs, estate help and tips, buying at an estate sale, and finding estate sale companies.

All this at the touch of your finger trip. You can access hundreds of articles from EstateSalesNews.com while you wait in line for an estate sale or if you are trying to learn more about finding and hiring an estate liquidator.

Learn about estate sales, hoarder estate sales, estate sale etiquette, and how lines and crowds are controlled, security is handled and so much more.

Just search for estatesalesnews.com in the app store. You’ll be glad you are connected.

Tips For Hiring An Estate Sale Company From Estate Sale Companies

There are several sources that offer to provide you with verified or successful estate sale companies. Unfortunately, most of these sources have never conducted an estate sale so recommending an estate sale company is merely utilizing information that they can readily acquire through the internet including BBB ratings (not a true indication of performance), feed back from sellers (written, not an actual conversation with them), the time you have been in business, verification of insurance (this is important), and the number of sales conducted within a period of time (numbers don’t add up to knowledge or success).

These are not what determines a successful liquidation company.

We put the question to hundreds of estate sale companies what they feel is important. Here are the answers we received.

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.