Category Archives: Professional Liquidators
When you are interviewing either as a perspective seller or as an estate sale company this is a business venture and as with all businesses a contract must be in place to set out in writing the terms, responsibilities, and consequences of the estate sale.
This is protection for both parties. It is not just about a date, address, or commission/fee. It is about who is responsible for utilities (seller), who prices and stages the contents being sold (the estate sale company), who advertises and pays for the ads (usually the estate sale company), which party will get the permit if needed, how will the sale be paid out (daily, at the end of the last day, within a precise time period after the sale), will the seller be paid by cash or cheque, and the list of what must be in the contract goes on. Please use our search feature to read other articles about the estate sale contract.
Each estate liquidator has their own contract that should delineate all terms including the consequences of removing items from a sale that were to be included (it is common practice for a seller to be charged the commission/fee for items removed once the contract is signed and was not excluded), but this is up to each liquidator. Sellers should make sure they know who is responsible for the clean out of the property after the sale, how it will be done, will there be additional costs or fees for that service and when it will be done.
It is the responsibility of the estate sale company to review the entire contract with the seller before signage. It is the obligation of the seller to ask the estate sale company any questions they may have and understand all the terms and responsibilities. If you aren’t sure, ask for a night to review it, seek legal advice, but once the decision is made and the contract is signed, remember this is business, especially for the estate sale company. They pay mortgages, utilities, staff, etc.
Estate sale companies work hard to achieve the best results possible. It is in the interest of both parties. The better the financial results, the better payout for seller and the better commission for the estate liquidator. They cannot guarantee results or control weather or economic conditions. Understanding what cannot be controlled is also key to a successful working business relationship.
A friend posted an article on Facebook that appeared in the Washington Post on March 27th written by Jura Koncius in the Home and Garden section. The article was titled Stuff it: Millennials nix their parents’ treasures. Here is the link to the complete article
Today as ThrowBack Thursday it seemed appropriate to discuss what is taking place with baby boomers downsizing and moving across the country and this article and my friends’ comments about her own family and dilemna along with the 930 comments that were on the internet WAPO.ST is a testament to what the baby boomer generation faces.
The boomer generation is the largest group of individuals to date. The amount of “stuff” that we have collected is larger than any other generation. Many of us inherited our parents and grandparents possessions and with the monetary success that many baby boomers have enjoyed they used their money to purchase and fill their homes with furniture, art, household items, collectibles and just about anything you could think of. The job of downsizing has become a burden. Especially when the younger generations have purchased their own belongings, want different styles and are unaware of the value of many of your possessions in your home. The minimalist movement has also had an effect.
With millennials lack of interest in their parents possessions this is the time to find and hire an estate sale company or estate liquidator. They understand the plight of baby boomers and understand the task of preparing and selling their personal property. Estate sale companies are aware of the thousands of estate sales that are required and taking place weekly to assist this on the move generation.
What is important is finding an estate sale company that can accomplish the task in a professional manner with honesty and integrity. Knowing what to ask and expect from an estate liquidator is vital and no one source can guarantee you that the choice you make will be the right one. Following on Judy Martin’s article about “Why Bother To Research” the same principle applies to making a knowledgeable decision that requires you to do your own due diligence (research) as well as using the resources of others to choose an estate sale company to place your trust and confidence in to sell your personal property.
Baby boomers are moving in record numbers and many are downsizing as retirement time has arrived. Knowing what the best answer is for you to liquidate your unwanted or no longer needed items depends on your understanding the difference between an estate sale and garage (yard) sale.
An estate sale sells the greater part of the contents of your home. Usually it involves selling the items within the home. Most estate (or sometimes called a tag) sales are conducted by professional personal property liquidators – an estate sale company. They sort, organize (or stage) the contents within the home, price, advertise, and conduct a sale lasting two, three, or four days. Many also offer clean out services as well for an additional fee. Estate liquidators are experienced with selling household items as well as antiques, art, etc., however, when in doubt they research and may call in an appraiser to assist them with the proper description and pricing.
A garage sale involves selling miscellaneous household and garden items, usually takes place in the garage, on the driveway, or on the yard and are held for one or two days. The sale is usually run by the owners and they set up the items, price, and sell them. The items being sold are generally low in value.
One key difference to mention is where they are advertised. Estate Sales are advertised on estate sale listing websites, estate liquidator websites, social media, and print media. Garage/yard sales are usually advertised by hand writing on poster board tacked up on poles, (where permitted), in a local newspaper, and on occasion on websites specifically for yard or garage sales.
Another difference that is often overlooked in articles and discussions is negotiating. Estate sales usually will not negotiate the first day of the sale and most have a policy for discounting while garage sales usually have people making offers from the time the sale starts. Estate liquidator also have policies in place for entering the estate sale (numbers, list, etc.) while folks waiting for a garage sale usually just walk up and start looking across tables of items and may even poke through items not yet unpacked.
If you aren’t sure which type of liquidation will meet your needs speak with a few estate liquidators and explain what you are doing and what you have to sell. Most will welcome your call and the result could generate financial gains more significant at an estate sale than you would have received had you chosen to go with a do it yourself garage sale.
Your editor recently lost a close friend at an early age to cancer. Reading the news on MSN we have seen this happen with a New York Times Reporter, singer Lesley Gore, and many more.
At this very vulnerable time for you emotionally the decision of what to do is paramount?
It is very important that you have a relative(s) or friend(s) that you have confidence and trust in to be there not just for much needed emotional support, but to keep you from acting to quickly on the disposition of personal affects. Often times we want to “wrap” things up thinking this may ease the pain, but in most cases this will not help and you could be disposing of items of value emotionally and financially. That old saying “two heads are better than one” is most appropriate at this time.
After allowing yourself some time to mourn it is a good time to start looking for an estate liquidator. When you start (you can learn about the estate liquidation process and how to choose an estate sale company right here on EstateSalesNews.com) do not throw anything away and be sure to have a family member or friend with you as you begin the process.
It is vital for your well being to proceed step by step and when you have chosen your estate sale company feel confident and comfortable with your choice. Honesty and integrity are important for your emotional needs and the success of your estate liquidation.
If you are planning on having an estate sale, right now is the time to start looking for the estate liquidator to work for you.
Lets review some basics and then you can use our printable list to assist you helping you with all the steps in the process. Look for the link on the top of our Front Page How to Choose an Estate Sale Company for more details and also a host of information including estate sale contracts.
- Ask your family, friends, neighbors, Realtor or attorney if they know a liquidator they would recommend and be sure to ask why.
- Look at the estate sale listing websites, EstateSales.Net EstateSales.org, Estatesale.com and Estatesale.company. These four companies feature the most estate sale companies that are listed on the internet across the country. They also feature their current or upcoming estate sales (you may want to attend some estate sales).
- After reviewing estate liquidators on these websites and looking at their sales listed take time to look for internet reviews.
- Call at least three companies to conduct an initial phone interview. Decide if you would be interested in pursuing these liquidators and inviting them to your property where the estate sale would take place. Once you have at least two or three companies, set up appointments well spaced apart to walk them through the property and discuss their services afterwards.
- When you sit down with the estate sale company to discuss work, fees or commissions, availability dates for a sale, length of sale, set-up etc., be sure they completely review their contract with you. Ask questions, and do not hesitate to seek legal advice if you are unsure of the contract.
- Once you have decided on a liquidator and have done your due diligence remember you have based your choice on the best information possible, that they are professional in what they do and ask them what if anything you can do to assist.
- Now it is time to let them get to work and do their job. Don’t micromanage and only step in with a genuine concern.
These are the very basics for your search for an estate sale company. Never a 100% guarantee, but with so many thousands of reputable, experienced, knowledgeable estate sale companies out there you have done your best. Now let your estate sale company do their best for you.