Category Archives: Learn About Estate Sales

Estate Sale Etiquette Is Important Any Time Of The Year

Estate sale etiquette is important any time of the year.

Buyers are what makes an estate sale a financial success or bust, however, buyers  should follow some basic etiquette for estate sales.

EstateSalesNews.com hears often from estate sales liquidators from across the country. All of them agree that during that over the last few years, the buyers showing up at estate sales have become increasingly demanding and on occasion difficult to work with or satisfy.

Buyers become argumentative in lining up for entrance into estate sales.

All most all estate sale companies post their terms and conditions on estate sale listing advertising websites. Please read. See what entrance system, if any they are using. Don’t create chaos.

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.

Where To Find An Estate Sale Company

 

Where to find an estate sale company? Your editor had a friend contact her recently about finding an estate sale company who works in her area for another friend.

I advised her I did not know anyone, but would work my estate sale networks.

We are waiting to hear back now, but some thoughts about this.

When asking the members of the networks I belong to I asked them if they “know” someone. In other words have familiarity with their company and ethics. The way they prepare and handle a sale.

In today’s world with so many companies and associations and organizations offering to help you find an estate sale company it is important to ask the working liquidators to assist in your search.

If you need to find an estate liquidator seek advice from people that know someone personally. People in the estate liquidation industry want to provide good advice. They want to provide you with a qualified, ethical estate sale company. It reflects on them too.

Estate sale advertising websites can only provide you with companies that work in the area by zip code or towns. They do not have the ability to personally know the thousands of estate sale companies that advertise on them.

Use your resources wisely. Ask friends, attorneys and Realtors not looking for renumeration. Realtors cannot accept referrals fees of any kind from an estate sale company. All fees belong to their brokers.

EstateSalesNews.com offers many resources and suggestions on how to find an estate sale company and they are free to all. We urge you to use them.

Be an informed consumer and make a knowledgeable choice. It’s you or your friends financial bottom line.

Reporting About Estate Sales – Quote Multiple Sources

Editorial, Carol Madden, Owner, Publisher, EstateSalesNews.com

Recently a reporter, Paul Sullivan of the New York Times wrote an article in wealth matters “It Pays To Be Wary When Hiring An Estate Sale Agent”.

This article was circulated on several internet sources about a family in Chicago, IL looking to sell the contents of the parents home in Beverly Hills, Michigan.

The article begins with the names of the individuals (the Davis Family) and their first hand experience with the dark side of estate sales, and includes this quoted “the fixture of weekend life in affluent suburban towns around the country”.

Your editor, as a former liquidator for 20 plus years in the estate sale industry can say without contradiction that estate sales take place in towns (affluent or not) in villages, and even the countryside all over America.

The article explains the problems encountered by the Davis family, however, it does not explain why only two sources quoted were chosen.

Autumn Time To Shop For Halloween At Estate Sales

Autumn has arrived and it is time to shop for Halloween at estate sales.

Vintage or new, decorations and costumes. So many estate sales featuring Halloween.

Halloween is now a huge holiday for fun.

Check out these estate sale advertising websites.

EstateSale.com

EstateSales.org

EstateSales.net

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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.

How To Choose An Estate Sale Company

How to choose or hire an estate sale company. Tips from a former estate liquidator. Experience counts.

Choosing an estate sale company (liquidator) is a decision made with careful consideration and knowledge. Here is a guide from Carol Madden of EstateSalesNews.com to common questions about choosing an estate sale company. These helpful tips are based upon her 25 years’ experience as an estate liquidator. Print them out for your easy reference!

Where do I find estate sale companies?
There are several ways to find estate sale companies. Online, there are four leading websites that list estate sale companies and their sales. They are EstateSale.com EstateSales.org, EstateSales.net and Estatesale.company. You can also ask your attorney, local realtor and/or friends about their experiences with companies with which they might have had estate sale dealings in the past.

What do I look for in an estate sale company?
Choosing an estate sale company is a process – here is a list of tips to follow.

  1. CHOOSE at least several estate sale companies (if possible) to contact that work in your area.
  2. CHECK the internet for any reviews on the companies you will be calling.
  3. how-to-chooseCALL the estate companies: Ask them about their business experience, staff, and services they provide. Be sure to ask if they are insured and, in some states, licensed. You may also want to ask them about visiting their next sale and tell them you would like to speak with past clients. Print out and use our handy interview page at the end of this linked document (at right) to record your findings for each company.
  4. SCHEDULE appointments for face-to-face interviews only with companies you felt provided you with satisfactory answers during the phone interviews. Be sure to schedule the in-person interviews several hours apart or even on different days so they don’t overlap.
  5. SHOW the estate liquidator through the property. Point out any items that will not be included in the sale, and if you have any items where price is a concern, discuss it with them at that time.
  6. ASK them about their crowd control policy, pricing (how they research prices), credit card acceptance and any associated credit card fees, security, staffing, staging the property (when they would want to start and how long it would take), and what their current schedule of sales is. Additionally, ask how many days they would conduct your estate sale, whether they allow anyone (staff or otherwise) to buy before the sale starts (presale), whether they will be required to collect sales tax, obtain any necessary permits, and place advertising (where and when).
  7. INQUIRE as to commission or fee. What they charge is not as important as hiring a reputable, experienced estate sale company that will work to achieve the best results possible in current market conditions in your area and make the process as stress-free as possible.
  8. FIND OUT from the estate sale company how and when you will be paid and whether or not they provide clean out services (what do they charge) or do they have a company that will (again ask about the fee).

TAKE NOTES AND DON’T MAKE A DECISION UNTIL YOU HAVE MET AND TALKED TO ALL THE LIQUIDATORS WITH WHOM YOU HAVE APPOINTMENTS. Take time to review their answers to your questions and any notes you made about the estate liquidator (attitude, appearance, demeanor, apparent knowledge and any recommendations).

More helpful reading at EstateSalesNews.com:

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.

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.