Category Archives: Learn About Estate Sales

Unethical or Illegal Problems With Estate Sale Companies – What You Need To Know

Estate Sales NewsThe majority of 14,000 plus estate sale companies are honest, hardworking people that deserve kudos for the work they do, however, every once in a while as in all businesses an estate liquidation company will not operate the way they are expected to.

Estate Sales News is contacting all the estate sale listing websites, and the websites that offer to teach you to become an estate liquidator to find out what they can and cannot do with companies that inappropriately handle estates.

It should be clearly stated that we are not talking about sellers not achieving the financial results they had hoped for or frivolous complaints. As in most of life there are no guarantees, however, we are addressing serious issues of unethical behavior,  failure to pay sellers or failure to account.

Over the course of the next two weeks we will be writing about what each of these listing websites can or cannot do as well as the teaching associations and societies. Sellers should be aware of what to expect, what can be done, how to do it, and who to turn to.

This set of articles will be fair and unbiased. Estate Sales News is here to inform, enlighten and empower you as news media and information sources do.

We encourage you to reach out if you have a serious unethical problem or believe something illegal has been committed, but remember we are discussing serious issues not disappointments.

Look for our articles starting after Labor Day.

Getting Ready For An Estate Sale – Understanding The Process

News You Can Use words in torn newspaper headlines for articles, information or reporting that will help you with needed advice, tips or guidance

Sellers now that you have chosen your estate sale company with due diligence and care what happens next?

As we approach Labor Day Weekend next week let’s review what an estate sale company will be doing to get your sale event ready, somewhat abbreviated.

An estate liquidator may take a few “staged” photos of unique, rare, or unusual items in the sale for immediate advertising. They will probably do a walk thru to determine how many tables will be needed, any additional lighting, if extension cords will be required, where to set-up the check out counter, whether they will utilize one entrance and exit only or one of each, and check out any special requirement (port a john) etc. that may be needed depending on the size of your sale. They will also arrange when they plan to start preparing the sale and ask you for a key or code for access to the property. This is also the time they will decide on security measures including hiring off duty policemen if required.

Every liquidator works different hours. Some start very early and finish each day in mid to late afternoon and some start later in the morning and work well into the evening. They also have to decide what special jobs may need doing (polishing, cleaning, etc.) and if there are additional charges that should be included in your estate sale contract. Some estate sale companies have factored that into their commission, others charge an additional fee depending on the amount of work to be done to prepare the items for sale.

Once they start working at the sale most estate liquidators will assign staff to different rooms (some may not) and the sorting of items begins. Discovery of what may be of significant value will take place as well, and these items will be set aside for showcases or other secure locations. After the sorting, cleaning, polishing, etc, comes the room by room staging of the personal property. Next the liquidator will begin the pricing process, and if needed researching the value of items that may be of high value or unknown origins or provenance.

All of this can take anywhere from 3 days for a very small sale up to a month for a large sale. Hours and hours are spent not only working on the estate sale on site, but on the advertising of the sale which is usually done in the evening or early morning at the home of the liquidator. It is not unusual today to see 500 or more photos on an estate sale listing website along with a detailed list of most items in the sale. Many companies use more than one site so double the work and then there is the social media work to be done, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube to name the major social media sites.

Usually the morning before the sale the estate sale company will post signs inside and on the exterior of the door to let buyers understand how they will be handling the sale including entrance (crowd control), sales (cash, cheques, or charge cards) and the rules of etiquette including if they will be considering discounting after day one of the sale or accepting written interest in items that have not sold on day one.

The morning of the sale signs (depending on the community) will be placed in appropriate or approved locations directing buyers to the sale. All of this work leads up to the opening of the door on day one of the sale. Announcements may be made prior to permitting entrance perchance there are any last minute changes or additions to the sale. The door opens and those words “welcome to our estate sale”. Day one begins.

The Stock Market In Chaos The Best Place To Buy Is An Estate Sale

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As I sit and listen to CNBC’s the Closing Bell Wrap Up with Kelly Evans, and Bill Griffeth this Monday, discussing the upheavals of the stock market and the uncertainty associated with it, Ms. Evans commented that most people are not going into a Nordstrom (a high end retailer) right now looking for shoes. They are concerned with their portfolios. The graphic above is used with the permission of Microsoft.

Ms. Evans and Mr. Griffeth are absolutely right unless the wealth one has is infinite.

That is just another good reason to be shopping now more than ever at estate sales. Last week in Chicago Gucci, Coach, Judith Leiber, and other designer handbags were being sold at an estate sale well below full retail price. Jewelry, both gold and silver were also being sold. Designer clothing was featured at several sales across the country.

Whether your looking for designer apparel, kitchen dishes and glassware, lawn care equipment, linens, art, furnishings, and many other items you can find them for sale at an estate liquidation and right now with the market in flux this is a great time to save $$$ and help keep the planet green. It also still allows you the opportunity to buy those sought after items with out the guilt of paying retail while the stock market rides a roller coaster.

2-t_002Here is a sample starting “today” in Clinton Township MI. Gucci, Michael Kors, Louis Vitton, Prada, & Burberry hand bags and more. Click here for link.

 

 

1-t_051Starting August 27th in Sacramento, CA next to a modern washer and dryer. Click here

 

 

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Starting tomorrow in Scottsdale AZ – Everything including the kitchen sink including Central Air Unit to Hot Water Heater Click here.

 

Considerations When More Than One Seller Is Involved In An Estate Sale

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Today so many families are downsizing their older parents or in need of liquidating the personal property because of loved ones passing it often involves more than one person or seller. There may be siblings, cousins, or children of the individual/s.

It is not unusual for those in charge of liquidating the contents to have different or opposing opinions on the disposition of the estate.

If it involves people other than a married couple it is usually a wise idea to consult with an attorney to settle any differences and determine who will be responsible for hiring an estate sale company. Having everything decided and signed off legally makes moving forward in the estate sale process easier for all those involved.

Deciding if there are any personal belongings you want to keep should also be done before calling an estate liquidator. This enables the estate sale company to determine whether or not they feel they can achieve your goals. Seeing what’s for sale, the amount to be sold, the condition of the items, etc. is very important to the company.

It is also very important for the success of the sale in general to know which party the estate liquidator will be dealing with. Conducting an estate sale is a big job and if the company only has to correspond with one individual or couple it enables the process to run at a smoother pace.

Once the estate liquidation process begins keeping other sellers involved in the loop should be the responsibility of the primary seller.  It should be stressed that once an estate sale company starts advertising and setting up the sale no items that were to be included should be removed or sold by any of the sellers party.

It is advisable that if the property is to be sold any Realtors involved be informed that if they show the property their clients will have to purchase items through the estate sale company at the time of the sale. Most estate sale contracts will include such a clause if the property is going to be for sale.

When the decision has been made to liquidate personal contents whether downsizing or to settle an estate keeping it as uncomplicated as possible is always the wise choice to follow.

 

Estate Sales Friday – Links To Estate Sale Websites, Estate Sale Contract Info

Estate Sale signAs we end the third week of August we offer links for you to use to find estate sales and right here on Estate Sales News information pertaining to estate sale contracts, staging, interviews, clean outs, what to expect and more.

Estate Sales News your #1 estate sales news and information source.

Click the links below to go to major estate sale listing websites.

Estatesale.com

EstateSales.Net

EstateSales.org

Estate sale contract information

 

Antique Flemish Art Pyrography – Find Them At Estate Sales

The Flemish wood burning art called pyrography used to create artistic designs mostly on wood is still collectible. Dating from the late Victorian era into the early 1900’s many beautiful and unique pieces were created along with such items as glove boxes, plaques, tables, and the two examples below. Some were plain while others featured color like these. Treasures I cherish and hope you will enjoy.

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A little educational video to know more about Flemish Art.

Some Estate Sales Require A Unique Approach & Presentation

A most unique estate sale in Oviedo, Florida. Five generations of Pennsylvanian historical families. It started with VIP galas 5pm-8pm August 17 and August 18 and opens to the public without appointments on Thursday August, 20th at 9am conducted by Cece’s Closet, LLC. What is unique is the idea of having appointment only VIP galas with what was called “superior purchases of $100” in certain areas of the sale. We have not spoken with Cece, however, with a short video and over 500 photos we thought this sale news worthy for several reasons. Here is a link to her website. To view more information and the photos click here.

This sale features everything from a Coco Chanel dog coat, Mercedes Benz, Civil War memorabilia, gold jewelry and more.

Estate Sale Contracts Are A Hot Topic – What Sellers Need To Know

Trust, confidenceWeek after week estate sale contracts is one of the top searches on Estate Sales News.

As the estate liquidation business has grown, so have some issues with sellers and estate sale contracts. Many sellers believe that they can micro-manage an estate sale even though they have hired and signed a contract with a professional estate sale company.

Let’s review for clarity and understanding.

When you review the contract with the estate sale company, this is the time to ask any questions. It is important as a seller that you understand the terms of the contract and what is expected of you and what you should or should not expect from the estate sale company.

The contract should clearly state the name of the company, the name of the sellers (or responsible party or parties) hiring the seller. If the sellers are a group of family members make sure “all” parties are present for the contract presentation and questions. All sellers should sign the contract and initial paragraphs of importance such as:

  •  Who is responsible for access to the property.
  • Electric, water, and heat will be provided by the selling party.
  • Any items that are not being included in the sale have already been removed or written into an addendum and this should be initialed by sellers and the estate sale company.
  • If the estate sale company (and almost all do) have a cancellation clause for the contract.  Sellers should initial this and remember that unless stated in the clause could be legally held responsible for cancelling the sale – no you don’t have an opportunity to keep interviewing other companies for a lower commission. You have made your choice. Again initials by all parties should be expected.
  • Estate sale companies may have a right to cancel clause for themselves if a seller/s becomes difficult to work with (micro-managing, removing items, failure to give access to the property, not providing utilities etc.)
  • Many estate sale companies have a clause that permits them to charge you the seller/s the commission on the sale value of any item removed from the sale once the contract is signed and/or the sale is staged. They usually deduct it from a seller’s net proceeds.
  • As a seller don’t expect to renegotiate a commission or fee during or after the sale. Estate sale companies have costs (staff, advertising, etc.) and their commission is based on that.
  • Remember why you hired an estate sale company – because they are professional, familiar with area prices, and their marketing expertise. Things you can’t learn in a video or book. It takes hands on and time to gain this type of knowledge and experience.

If you aren’t ready to sign a contract – don’t. An estate sale contract is a legal document and should be respected and taken seriously. Be confident, comfortable, and secure with your choice of an estate sale company. Before you sign on the bottom line and initial, also make sure you have done your due diligence. Personal referrals are always the best source for finding an estate sale company, but if you use a service, remember that the majority of these services charge a fee for the estate liquidator to be part of them even if they meet their standards.

Keep in mind that an estate sale company cannot control weather, the economy (such as the stock market having a rough two weeks or so lately), and the number of other estate liquidations competing with yours.

An estate sale is a professional service to liquidate personal property contents for seller/s and hopefully provide a good financial outcome for all parties involved.

Estate Sale With Classic Cars, Vintage Toy Trains & A Vintage 1941 Airplane

1From Sweet & Harding this weekend in Newfane, New  York starting August 14, for three days a unique estate sale with trains, plane & automobiles and that’s just the beginning.  Here is a video done by Ian Harding for this most unusual sale. So many antiques, tools, a partially assembled 1941 Piper Cub airplane. We have put a few still photos below. This estate sale is very large with tools, motors, etc. abound along with the interior home contents.

This video tour runs about 10 minutes and is well worth viewing before attending this truly unique estate sale. A great guide to help you see what’s there and where.

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Click here for a link to this wonderfully unique sale.

Estate Sale Lang Family 2 Iconic Hollywood Directors

Again LA Estate Sales is conducting a magnificent large estate sale for the Lang family for four days starting Thursday, August 13th.

Walter Lang and his son Richard Lang were directors of some of Hollywood’s most memorable movies and television shows. Walter Lang directed Can Can, The King and I, and There is No Business Like Show Business to name a few and his son Richard directed Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, Julia, Charlie’s Angels, and others. Richard’s mother Fieldsie was a silent film actress and was a sidekick of Carol Lombard as well as one of her best friends.

This home is filled with items accumulated by Richard and Carole Lang and his father and mother. An unbelievable eclectic assortment of sterling, china, male oriented collectibles, and furnishings. Copeland Spode Herring Hunt Red Border china (discontinued in 1940). Fantastic assortment of camera equipment including Leica, Hasselblad, Nikon, and others. Lots of vintage clothing and a fantastic collection of 1930s-1940s AAA edition of 250 – signed Thomas Hart Benton prints and many other known artists. This sale has taken weeks to prepare it has so many items.

Here is a brief slide show of some of the items in this great estate sale.

Many more photos have been added to this extraordinary sale. Here are a few.

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To learn more about this fabulous estate sale Click Here.