Category Archives: Learn About Estate Sales

Sellers Need To Liquidate An Estate? Reducing Your Stress Level

Trust, confidenceIt seems like everywhere you look today, print media or the internet you will find estate sales and for many that represents a stress for the parties needing to sell and buyers looking for bargains.

It is important to remember that an estate liquidation is a process and the estate sale liquidator you choose should help reduce or relieve that stress. However, the job of the estate sale company is to sell the personal contents and possibly (depending on the company and agreement) clean out the premises. It is up to you the seller to choose wisely and then let your professional liquidator do their job.

The stress of losing a loved one difficult and a stressful time for family and heirs, but as a seller(s) let the company you have chosen lessen your burdens of liquidating the personal property.

Buyers, an estate sale is not a garage sale or charitable give away. The estate sale company has a fiduciary relationship with the seller to get the best possible price (just like a Realtor) for the items they are selling. Please remember this is not the Dollar Store. This is the selling of personal property second hand.

Sellers and buyers do your research, please remember that everyone involved wants a pleasant and pleasing experience and keep your perspective about the process.

Somewhere tomorrow estate sales start. Happy shopping.

 

Estate Sales News will be traveling starting next week and our first stop will be Tuesday in Minnesota.

Have a suggestion for an article or something you want to know more about. Email us at contact@estatesalesnews.com

 

Photographs Are An Important Asset To Successful Estate Sales

cameraIn today’s internet world with perspective sellers and buyers having instant access and results to searches for estate sales on the internet taking good photographs which showcase what is included in a sale or event is very important to success.

Estate Sales News reviews numerous liquidation sales daily on various listing sites and many of the photographs we see are not beneficial to the estate liquidator or their sale or event.

Estate Sale Companies along with having knowledge about what items are and are worth, staging know how, selling techniques, and a host of other capabilities also need to know how to take photographs that draw the public to the sale. An estate sale liquidator must wear many hats and be talented to achieve success.

Let’s review a few photographic basics.

An estate sale company should have a good way of taking photos (it can be a simple point and click with built in flash), or tablet (iPad for example) it could also be a smart phone. When going on an appointment for an estate sale if you have any type of lighting equipment or even a clip on light or lamp bring that along. Going prepared is a must. Also bring along a light colored cloth (preferably white) and a dark cloth (black or navy). You never know what kind of backdrop or background you will have available (if any that is usable).

In a hoarder house it is difficult without staging to take good photographs, however, time should be taken to do a quick sort through (on easy to see things) to find a few of the items that will be available and of interest for sale. Create a background that will enhance the item you are photographing. Posting a few good photos with an explanation that as you sort and stage you’ll continue posting more photos. It is better than showing a cluttered mess that appears like the end of a garage sale. Now that estate sale listing sites provide more space for descriptions you can always list many of the items in the sale with “photos to follow as we sort and set-up”. Many estate liquidators have started doing this, however, sadly many just keep posting unflattering photos of piles of clothes, boxes etc.

When you go into a garage, basement, or attic the same approach should be taken. If you really feel that having a photo of large un-staged clutter will attract buyers (a diggers delight some like to call it) then take just one and follow it with a few staged items against a proper backdrop. Be sure to let the buying public know this is before you have started working there.

Buyers pay close attention to photos and nothing can turn a buyer off from pursuing a sale and attending it than poor photography technique.

When you do take photos look to see if the images are sharp. Fuzzy or out of focus photographs do not enhance your future sale.  Watch for glare from the flash or miss placed lighting used. If you’re taking the photo of a mark on porcelain or glass this is particularly important.

Sellers it is always a good practice when you are looking to hire an estate liquidator to look at any current sales they may have posted to see what approach they take to photographing them. Good photography is a key component to attracting buyers and in turn helping to generate a financially successful estate sale.

Advertising On Estate Sales News – Stand Out

Estate Sales NewsAre you looking for a new outlet to advertise on? Stand out from your competition. Be seen.

Have a business restaurant, hotels, airlines, photographers, videographers, suppliers for estate sales, etc. where you have a national audience? No pay per clicks or contracts. Social media used extensively.

Click thru ad right to your website, phone number and an ad created just for you at affordable rates.

Contact carol@estatesalesnews.com about joining the growing number of advertisers here on EstateSalesNews.com

Our current advertisers include.

EstateSales.NET

American Society of Estate Liquidators

Crown City Estate Sales, Los Angeles CA.

Epic Auctions and Estate Sales, MI

CRTS (Certified Relocation Transition Specialists) National

Professional Sales RV. TX

Sweetwater Video Service, Longwood, FL

Osteria 177, Annapolis, MD

Small Web Solutions, IN , national

BCD video, Los Angeles, CA

Estate Sale Contracts – Basics Continued

Estate Sales NewsContinuing our discussion from Wednesday of estate sale contracts:

  • The next paragraph should deal with pricing and selling. The estate sale liquidator your hire is a professional and should be in charge of the pricing and selling. However, during the walk through of the property it is advisable to ask a potential seller about any particular items they are concerned with in regard to price. This is when an estate liquidator may have to determine whether to accept the sale or not and also if the seller wants to hire that liquidator. Both parties should be in agreement and it is recommended if there is an item to two of concern that those be included on an addendum to the contract with relation to price. Of course, a wise choice by a seller is to accept bids and decide towards the end if they may rethink their position on an item they had concern with price. It should also be noted that many estate sale companies will not work with price issues and that is perfectly acceptable as well. “initial”
  • This paragraph is controversial, but of major importance to all parties. If a seller removes any items that were to be in the sale after the contract was signed or sold prior to the sale also after the contract was signed what are the ramifications. This paragraph should clearly state what the estate sale company policy is  and if the seller will be charged a commission (state the amount if you are going to do this) based on the price the item would be marked or not. Estate sale companies base their decision to accept or reject a sale on the contents shown to them at the time of the contract signing. They have advertising and staff costs. Any items that are in question or a family member may wish to have should be removed prior to the signing of the contract or specified to the estate sale company. The removal of items after the fact is detrimental to a good working relationship and financial results for both parties. It also complicates the opening of the sale when the liquidator has to inform the waiting buyers lined up that items have been removed. “initial”
  • The next paragraph in the contract deals with liability insurance. The seller(s) whoever they are must have a liability policy on the property for their protection and the estate sale company’s protection. The estate sale liquidator should also have their own liability policy.
  • The contract should also state that seller(s) (owners, executors, heirs attorney), agree to not hold the estate liquidation company or their staff liable for damage or liability to persons or property (real or otherwise) before, during, or immediately after the sale. Again the reason for all parties to have liability insurance. “initial”
  • This paragraph deals with the disposal or removal of any items not sold. It should clearly state who will be responsible and if there is a fee.
  • It should be stated in the contract that if any permits are required who will obtain and pay for the permits.
  • The last basic we will cover for an estate sale contract is the part for signature of all parties involved and dates.

Having a blank lined addendum for additional information, considerations, etc. is always a good practice. Many estate sale companies advertise being bonded and insured. The addendum is a good place for this information to be included, but sellers be sure to ask about the type of bond an estate sale company has. See our archives for information on bonded and insured.

We have only covered what we consider the basics of an estate sale contract. As stated Wednesday, we are not an attorney and we do not give legal advice. The information provided is based on our 25 years in the personal property liquidation business. Every estate sale company has their own requirements, often based on state and municipality laws. The basics provided are intended as guidelines and assistance.

Estate Sale Contracts – Important Basics

Estate Sales NewsThe most important topic reviewed by sellers and estate sale liquidators on Estate Sales News is the estate sale contract.

For the benefit of sellers and estate sale companies we present some of the topics of concern to both. Clarity in an estate liquidation contract can prevent misunderstandings and reduce stress. Estate Sales News is not an attorney and we do not give legal advice. The information presented is based on 25 plus years of estate liquidation experience. Please consult an attorney for legal advice or contract legalities.

Next to some areas you will see the word “initial”. This is to insure that all parties have read and agreed to the content of the paragraph. That way all parties are working on the same “page” so to speak.

  • The contract should be dated and contain the dates and times of the estate sale or event.
  • It should also contain the complete address of the sale.
  • The contract should clearly state who the seller or responsible party is (whether it is an attorney acting for the estate, heir, family member, or even a Realtor).
  • The contract should specify that the property has electric and water and working plumbing that is available before, during and until the estate sale is over and the estate sale company has vacated the property entirely. This is for safety of all and sanitation. “initial”
  • Following this section would also be the place to include snow or ice removal and who is responsible if that is an issue in your area. “initial”
  • The next section should be specific about the commission or fee that is to be paid from the gross proceeds ( percentage or amount) at the end of the sale. If the liquidator works on a minimum fee this should be in this section as well. “initial”
  • The next section would deal with cancellation of the sale. This depends on the estate sale company, however, many contracts include a cancellation clause with a specific fee. If work has been done by the estate liquidator and staff and advertisements have been made they should be compensated for their time and expenses. Each company operates differently. If the contract has this clause “initial”.
  • Next would come advertising and who is responsible for payment of the ads.

At this point in the contract it is advisable to let the seller(s) know that the company will make all possible attempts to achieve the best possible financial results, however, they cannot make any guarantees of the prices or of the gross sale total. An estate liquidation company cannot control weather, attendance, market conditions or other competition in the area. All they can do is make their best effort and that is why sellers, it is up to you to make your estate liquidator choice having done your do diligence to find the estate sale company you feel will be the most successful and professional. As a seller you have a responsibility to so make sure you take time to research, become informed, and make the best choice possible.

Please note that every estate liquidator chooses a contract that works for them. There is more for our discussion on Thursday, however, many contracts from estate sale companies will contain more and many may contain less.

Estate Sales News is here as a resource. Some may agree others may not, but getting out matters of public concern and interest as well presenting the views and concerns of estate liquidators and sellers is what this news magazine is here for.

It is important that all parties understand their responsibilities and obligations.

Preventing stress and tension between sellers and estate liquidators during this process is important.

 

Learn About Estate Sales – What Sources Are You Using?

learn about estate salesEstate Sales News searches the internet daily for anything new in the estate sale business and we are finding more and more sources offering advice about estate sales, from how an estate sale works, how to choose an estate sale company, estate sale contracts, pricing, staging, clean outs etc.

It is vital for perspective estate sellers to find their information from sources that have had experience in the estate liquidation business or were at some time estate liquidators. Books have been written about how to hold your own estate sale by book authors and estate sale liquidators. Why an estate sale liquidator would want to tell you how to hold your own estate sale would appear to be a means of making money selling books and persuading you that you need to hire an professional estate liquidator (perhaps them).

Hiring a professional estate sale company is like hiring a Realtor to sell your property or an attorney to draw up a will or prepare and read through legal documents. You hire them because of their expertise, experience and knowledge in their specific field. The same applies to hiring an estate sale company.

To learn about estate sales begin by talking to anyone you know who has had one. Use the internet to find articles written by estate liquidators and others in the estate sale business. Follow up by looking at estate sale listing sites and associations. They can offer further information. You will also be able to find estate sale companies in your area and then you can begin the process of looking at their liquidators current estate sales or events and any internet reviews. Keep in mind that some buyers and sellers may post an unfavorable review and it may be wise if only one or two to call the estate liquidator and speak by telephone with them about these reviews.

Many articles are appearing on the internet written by authors who write on a variety of subjects that their assistants research for them and they then publish. This may be a newsy article, but nothing replaces first hand professional experience and knowledge of the process in this very complex industry.

An example would be what is happening with the sale of ivory and taxidermied endangered species including foul, fish, and other wildlife. These are state issues and may also be federal issues depending upon the items.

However you learn about estate sales, make sure to thoroughly review not only the information provided, but the sources that the information comes from.

EstateSalesNews.com works weekly to provide up to date information and we hope you will continue to use us as one of your primary resources to learn about estate sales.

 

Estate Sales – What To Expect, Sellers, Buyers, Estate Liquidators

HomeToday’s estate sale business has grown to the point where people may have forgotten what is expected of them so let’s review some estate sale basics.

Sellers – It is your responsibility to investigate, interview, and hire an estate sale company with a good reputation. There are multiple resources available to you including information right here on EstateSalesNews.com as to how to find a company, what to look for, what to ask, what to expect. If you do not do your due diligence you may not hire the best estate liquidator that is a “good fit” for you. Don’t forget, these people are not trash removers (unless you pay them additional) they are happy to be of service, however, you should let them do the professional job you hired them for and please don’t micromanage. Pay them fairly and if prices don’t quite meet your expectations remember this also effects the estate liquidator. The more money they make for you (especially on a commission basis) the more an estate sale company receives. They can’t control weather, market conditions, other sales in the area that are your competition. Your job after hiring them is to trust them and let them be the professional you hired. You should also write a review on the way they handled your sale. If you’re really pleased, speak out and if you are truly not pleased, speak to the estate company first, then decide about your review.

Buyer – Please use your estate sale etiquette. Don’t go into an estate sale expecting a bargain basement sale. These are personal items (that do not belong to the estate sale company) and they are priced where they are for a reason. If you don’t like the price, ask politely if they are doing any reductions or accepting bids. An estate sale company has a fiduciary relationship with the seller(s) not with you. Please and thank you, wipe your feet, do not shove or push, and please don’t use foul language when attending an estate liquidation. That is the fastest way to be asked to leave and they can do so. You wouldn’t curse in Macy’s or Nordstrom so please respect the professionals running the sale. Prices are set by the estate sale company (after researching) and sometimes by the seller. Unless you are a certified appraiser, the prices are what they are and hopefully you may get a better price if the item doesn’t sell in the first day or two. It is absolutely discourteous and disrespectful to write ranting reviews on any website about prices. You may even find yourself banned from attending any further sales by the company. Please use your MAT (manners and thank you).

Estate Sale Companies – This is a customer service industry. You are trying to make a living off this, but you should be a professional and provide good quality customer service to sellers and buyers. Take the time to become experienced and educated in this industry. Patience and professionalism will be virtues you need every day as an estate liquidator. Reliability, honesty, and integrity are paramount. Make sure your estate sale contract covers all contingencies (you can find info right here on Estate Sales News or email us at contact@estatesalesnews.com) Research your items thoroughly and have a listening ear for your seller(s). This doesn’t mean you need to be a therapist, but hear their concerns and respond with what you feel and know is fair. Don’t be afraid to turn a sale down, work with buyers, but remember be professional and please don’t go negative about other estate sale companies. Let your reputation and record shine.

Estate sales are wonderful and should be fun and the estate liquidation business should be rewarding for sellers and estate sale companies. Not everyone will be a winner, but knowing whether you’re a seller, buyer or estate liquidator that you did your best is in itself a reward.

 

Estate Sales News Is On It’s Way to Los Angeles

crown-city-ad-260x260We are flying today to meet with Crown City Estate Sales today. They have many years of experience in the estate liquidation business and we are going to interview them about their success over the years.

 

It’s hump day for many people so happy Wednesday, we will be flying back east tomorrow.

** If are an estate sale company and would like to have your estate sale featured here on the Front Page of EstateSalesNews.com we are looking for two that have sales between June 15 and July 31. Email us particulars at contact@estatesalesnews.com and we’ll get in touch with you.

 

Estate Sales Friday – Even On The Holiday Weekend

Many companies are holding estate sales this weekend even with the holiday.

Drive with care and enjoy this weekend.

Estate Sale Companies Are Increasing – So Are Issues With Growth

Estate Sales News reported last week on the continuously increasing number of estate sale listing sites and the off shoot businesses associated with this growing industry. All of these businesses encourage creative and innovative individuals to establish new estate sale companies. As with any exploding growth industry come growing pains. This also applies to the estate sale industry.

Encouraging entrepreneurship is what has made this country great, however, it brings with it the issues associated with an ever enlarging industry.

For example in 2007 there were 7 estate sale companies listed on the only estate sale listing network site in the country in northern New Jersey. Today the number of estate liquidators  exceeds 100 companies. With such rapid growth come expansion problems and these affect sellers, buyers, established estate liquidators, and new estate sale companies.

Some estate sale start up businesses see the estate liquidation business as non-complex, but in fact it is the exact opposite. Estate Sale Companies require those owning and operating an estate sale business to have experience and knowledge of personal property, crowd control, pricing, staging, coping with difficult situations (buyers and sellers), the ability to sell, marketing and social media skills,  estate sale contracts that protect all parties, clean outs, and theft protection to name some of the more important skills. It also requires a commitment of time and plenty of energy.

Estate Sales News has recently been contacted by several start up companies asking questions from advertising to what to charge as a commission on various items.

If you are going to start an estate sale business it is best to have apprenticed with a reputable estate liquidator first to learn the basics including much of the above. You can educate yourself through an association with the American Society of Estate Liquidators.

Dealing with difficult and/or complicated sellers and buyers requires finesse, but it also requires confidence that your actions and decisions are correct and that is gained through experience.

There are great new estate sale companies across the country, but be sure if you are interviewing any estate liquidation company, you ask about their training and/or apprenticeship, experience, and how long they have been involved with the estate sale business.