Category Archives: Learn About Estate Sales
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 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.
- CHOOSE at least several estate sale companies (if possible) to contact that work in your area.
- CHECK the internet for any reviews on the companies you will be calling.
- CALL 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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 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.
Why an estate sale company cancels estate sale?
Sellers, these are reasons you need to know and understand.
A seller hires an estate sale company after performing their due diligence. You should have chosen a professional company that you can place your trust and confidence in.
Today, many sellers fail to have this confidence and trust in their estate sale company. Why did you hire them? Did you check their references, how they research and price items and what security they have.
Showing up the day or night before an estate sale to “check” how the estate sale company did is inappropriate and may have the result of an estate sale company cancelling the sale.
An estate sale company is working for your best interest. If you have chosen the company following the guidelines for hiring an estate sale company let them do their job for you.
When a seller displays distrust in an estate sale company before the sale starts this causes a concern to the estate liquidator.
Checking prices established by the estate sale company is in appropriate. If you are concerned about pricing this should be discussed before signing the estate sale contract. Have an item you have a bottom line price on. Speak with the estate sale company before signing their contract.
An estate sale company cannot work for mistrusting sellers.
Marilyn Kalfus of the Orange County Register interviewed Simone Kelly of Grasons and your editor Carol Madden of EstateSalesNews.com last week. This article about estate sales was published in the real estate section of the Orange County Register on August 21, 2016 and has appeared on several other websites including inusanews.com, Orange County Sun, follownews.com and NVS24.
By MARILYN KALFUS / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER STAFF WRITER
When Rocky Scott moved his family to Orange County, the overstuffed, bulky furniture that looked so right at home in Tennessee suddenly looked so wrong.
It wasn’t just the rustic style, perfect for a 7,000-square-foot house in the mountains. In sunny Southern California, the Scotts had moved into a 5,000-square-foot rental, then bought a place about half that size.
“We didn’t want to go through the aggravation and the risk of running our own sort of yard sale,” said Scott, a 46-year-old information technology executive. “It was just too much stuff. We didn’t want to manage people running in and out of the house.”
They decided to hold an estate sale.