What is an estate sale?

What is an estate sale?

It used to be the wording used for the liquidation of a deceased persons personal property was sold. Today it has become a generic term in most states for the liquidation of personal property whether the owners are alive or deceased. Read More »

Bonded and Insured: What it does

Bonded and Insured: What it does

When an estate sales company advertises it is bonded and insured in means they have purchased Liability Insurance and a Surety Bond. Not all companies do this. It is not a requirement in every state and is often the choice of the individual company. Read More »

What is USPAP?

What is USPAP?

USPAP is an acronym for Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice; the mandatory guidelines that govern the performance of all licensed and certified appraisers. The goal of USPAP is to promote and maintain a high level of public trust in appraisal practice by establishing requirements for appraisers. Read More »

Estate Sales Costs

Estate Sales Costs

Every estate sales company operates differently. Here is an overview of what you might encounter depending on the company. Read More »

You Hired An Estate Sale Company – What Will Happen Now? – Part 5

Estate Sale signYesterdays’ discussion you arrived at you decision for an estate sale company. After letting them they are coming back to see you, sign the contract, and start working on your estate sale. Now what should you expect? Let’s list it out.

  1. The dates and times for the estate sale have been chosen and agreed to by the estate sale company and you.
  2. The estate sale liquidator should take a least a few preliminary photos of some of the items for sale and they should be staged, not just in a heap, or boxes. Clearing off an area to photograph these items or a piece of furniture is fairly simple and very important to start generating interest. It’s also the sign of a professional estate liquidator.
  3. Days have also been agreed to allow the estate liquidator to start preparing the sale ( this includes, sorting, possible cleaning or polishing of items in the sale, researching any items of questionable value).
  4. One of the most important tasks that will take place is the advertising of the sale. Listing your estate sale on websites such as EstateSales.Net, Estatesale.com, EstateSales.org or Estatesale.company. Some companies list on craigs list, however, this site has become more about freebies and your quality buyers will come from other sources.
  5. Social media work begins. Getting the word out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, reddit, and Pinterest is vital.
  6. As the sale preparations and staging continues, more and more photos should be added to the various websites including the estate sale companys’ website.
  7. Sellers, please remember after doing your due diligence you have chosen a professional estate sale company, you have explained (prior to signing the estate sale contract) any questions you had about items that might not be included in the sale and also prices. Now that the work has begun do not micromanage the estate sale. To do so defeats the reason you hired the professional estate sale company.
  8. Remember sellers, do not remove any items that you said would be included in the sale. You may be subject to a commission of the price the item would have brought.
  9. This is important for sellers and the estate sale company – sellers the estate sale company knows you are somewhat stressed and concerned, but your being at the sale can make it difficult on all parties involved including buyers. If you must take a peak before the sale begins, wish the liquidator and staff good luck, be available by phone and “leave”. Believe in your choice and trust that you made a good decision.
  10. Ask the estate liquidator to call you at the end of the first day to let you know how the attendance was and how the sale went. They may or may not have an amount to give you. Each estate sale company works differently.

Now it’s time to go out for lunch, take in a movie and let your estate sale company work for you!

Copyright © 2014 Estate Sales News.


How To Choose An Estate Sale Company – Decision Time What’s Next? – Part 4

MP900382659Last week we discussed where to find an estate sale company, the telephone, and face to face interview, and the estate sale contract.

At this stage you have interviewed estate liquidators, listened to their presentations, and reviewed the contract line by line with them (if you haven’t you aren’t ready to make a decision yet and it is part of their job to explain their contract, what’s in it and why).

During the presentation they should have reviewed their experience, advertising, staffing, security measures, crowd control procedures and researching methods. As a seller (heir, attorney, Realtor, family) you should have decided what will and won’t be in the sale. If there are several people involved in the decision, make sure that you are all in agreement with the what is and isn’t for sale as well as the choice for the estate sale company.  They should have been present at the walk thru and presentation if at all possible. Any personal issues should be worked out prior to the interview and finally the choice of estate liquidators. All parties involved should sign and date the estate sale contract to avoid any misunderstandings or confusion.

When choosing your estate sale company consider your interviews, did they arrive on time, their appearance and manner during the tour of the property and presentation, the responses you received to any questions you asked and did they give you complete answers, and how you felt towards the individual(s) you met. Be sure to ask them before signing the contract if they will be present and running the sale or assigning it to a team member. If that is the case you should meet and speak with the team member that will be running your sale. Some estate sale companies send the owner of the company to the tour of the property and presentation and then that will be the last time you see them. It is important for you to know ahead of signing any estate sale contract or agreement. They will be handling your money. Also ask how they pay you, when and about the clean out (do they perform clean outs or have a company that does and is there an extra charge, etc.). Not all estate sale companies perform clean outs, but this should not be the deciding issue either.

Now after weighing all the information you have garnered ask yourself who was best qualified as well as someone you could have a business relationship with. Your last consideration should be the commission or fee charged. The adage “you get what you pay for” is very true in the estate sale business so let the commission be your last concern not your first.

After careful review and consideration an you have made your decision call your choice for an estate sale company and ask them to come over so you can sign the contract and review available dates. This is also the time to ask any last minute questions.

Tomorrow – What’s the next step in the estate sale process. The work begins.

Copyright © 2014 Estate Sales News. All rights reserved. No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials.


Estate Sales Friday – Ready, Set, Go – Happy Halloween!

Estate Sale signOnce again the weekend begins for thousands of estate sale companies across the country. Let’s examine what most of them have done this week.

We will assume they have a sale starting today. If that is the case they have probably spent the week sorting, cleaning, and staging your personal property. They have priced (and when necessary researched) the bulk of your items for sale. Depending on the size of your estate sale they may have worked 6, 8, 10, 12 or even more hours per day. Along with sorting, cleaning, polishing, pricing, and staging your sale estate liquidators have been busy making sure that all advertising, internet, social media, and possibly print media are in place. Most estate sale company owners do this themselves so that work is done either before they come to your property or after they leave.

The estate sale liquidators’ day doesn’t end though when they leave your property. The may return buyer inquiries either by phone or email, respond to perspective sellers, and in some cases, may be checking on the clean out or final pay out of the sale the previous weekend.

They also have to oversee their staff and make sure that all necessary signage and security is in place for your sale. Permits (if required) may have to be posted in a visible position and their method of crowd control must be in place (sign in sheet, number system etc.)

The estate liquidator has probably also dealt with any emotional or stress issues of the seller. You could say they wear many hats.

As the time approaches they make sure everyone is in place, price tags are visible, show cases secure, any rooms not to be involved are secured, cash needed to start is in place along with working credit card internet access is available.

Signs advising buyers of any regulations pertaining to the sale or property must also be visibly posted.

If the sale starts at 9:00am the estate sale owner or manager will probably open the door at 8:59am to advise those waiting for entrance of any conditions property or sale wise that they need to be aware of.

9:00am IT BEGINS!

Happy Halloween from Estate Sales News your source to learn about estate sales, news, and a national resource for estate liquidations.

pumpkin & kitty


Throwback Thursday – The Day Before Halloween

Slide1It’s throwback Thursday the day before Halloween. Here are some vintage Halloween decorations. Do you remember these?









photo-52photo-53The two middle pictures are really throwbacks. My daughters’ Halloween artwork at age 8 and “your editor” in costume at a Halloween party in 1980. The secret of the costume was what you are looking at is my back not my front. A reversed man (actually a woman). Costume parts from sales. A true throwback!


How To Choose An Estate Sale Company – Estate Sale Contract – Part 3

MC900433850Yesterday we discussed the telephone interview and the face to face interview with the estate sale companies you decided might be your best choice to conduct an estate sale for you.

During their presentation the most important discussion that will take place is the estate sale contract. A word of advice, if they don’t have a written contract end your discussion. This is protection for both parties.

Disclaimer – Estate Sales News and Carol Madden, Editor are not attorneys. We do not provide legal advice. The information presented here is based on 25 years of estate liquidation business experience. Please consult an attorney for legal advice or contract legalities.

Our website will have a printable list shortly of topics that should be covered in an estate sale contract. Please watch for it.

Most every estate sale company has a contract that they like to use. What we present here are basics that should be included in the contract for your protection and theirs and to prevent misunderstandings and hopefully provide simplicity and clarity for a successful business relationship. Yes hiring a professional estate company does create a business relationship because money at some point will be involved and payment will be made on the results of the sale.

1) We recommend that at the top of the estate sale contract should be the estate sale company’s name, address, and telephone number.

2) The beginning of the contract should state the date of the contract, the contract is between (the name of the estate sale company) and a blank space ____________ to be filled in by the party or parties hiring and responsible (seller, heir(s), attorney, executor(s). If it involves more than one individual make sure to include all names.

3) The next section should include a statement about who, what, and where – the company (name) agrees to conduct an estate/house/tag/moving sale on ________ (this will be the dates chosen for the sale) at _________(the full address of where the sale will take place) and the estate sale company may include the county and state (if they work in an area where their company crosses state lines).

4) Another paragraph should include the necessity of having electricity and water on at the premises for the entire time (from staging through clean out). This should be the responsibility of the party or parties hiring the estate sale company. This is for safety and sanitation. This is also a paragraph where many companies that work in areas that receive snow or ice should be specific as to who is responsible for plowing driveways and shoveling sidewalks and providing sand/salt. Again these are safety issues and everyone part of the contract should know their responsibilities.

5) An important paragraph is the one that states clearly and concisely the commission or fee the estate sale company is charging on the gross proceeds of the sale. This part of the contract should also include whether the estate sale company has a minimum they are charging (some companies do and some don’t that is up to them and your choice if you accept or decline). All this information should be clear and understandable.

6) We recommend that a contract include a cancellation policy that will spell out in detail what happens if the contract is cancelled. (This includes a time line and any monetary penalty that an estate sale company may charge). If a company does not charge a penalty this should be included as well.

7) A paragraph about advertising the sale should be included in the contract and it should clearly state who will be paying for the advertising.

8) A disclaimer should be in the estate sale contract that an estate sale company cannot make guarantees of the gross proceeds of the sale, but will attempt (or, however, they choose to state it) to obtain the best possible results. Each company usually has specific wording for this.

9) When hiring a professional estate liquidation company you may see a paragraph that specifies who will be responsible for pricing and selling the items in the sale. **If you have price concerns about certain items discuss this during the walk through or during the presentation. Most estate sale companies have a wealth of experience and knowledge and know the market, but you should express any concerns you have about prices before signing the contract.

10) A big concern for estate sale liquidators is the removal of items that were originally going to be included in the sale and then removed or sold prior to the liquidation by the party hiring the estate sale company. A paragraph that specifically outlines what happens and any commissions or fees that will be charged on removed items is usually included. Many companies have an addendum to their contract for items that are either to be excluded or for which a decision has not been made. Most estate sale companies have a policy to charge for items removed from a sale after the signing of the contract that were not noted during the presentation. Remember estate sale companies start advertising and often attract buyers with some items. If they are removed from the liquidation sale prior to the start this affects their reputation with buyers and their financial bottom line.

11) There should be a paragraph that includes who has liability for the property and the customers attending the sale. The property should always have a homeowners (or similar) type of insurance policy as well as we recommend that the estate sale company have their own liability policy. Stating specifically who is responsible is important.

12) Most estate sale companies will include a paragraph that details what takes place after the sale with any goods left over and who is responsible for their disposal. Any additional charges and the amount should be included in this section of the contract.

13) The bottom of the contract should include signature lines for the estate sale company and parties hiring the company and also have lines for both to date.

Estate sale contracts can have many other important inclusions including whether a company is licensed, insured, or bonded and other areas of concern. Many companies have their contracts written by their attorney.

The above areas are presented as basics we consider important in an estate sale contract and can be worded differently or excluded by individual companies or attorneys.

* Please be sure to read our use and privacy page with regard to any articles or intellectual property on EstateSalesNews.com


How To Choose An Estate Sale Company – Part 2

retro telephoneChoosing an estate sale company is a process. In part 1 we discussed where to look for a company, what you should be looking for in an estate liquidator, and how many estate sale companies you might consider. Now we start part 2.

  1. The telephone interview.
  2. The face to face interview.

1) You have hopefully decided on calling at least three estate sale companies and now it’s time to speak with them. It is best to write out a list of questions to ask them and use the same list for each liquidator your call. Be sure you are seated where you can jot down notes as you call each liquidator. We do not recommend you call an estate sale company on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. These are usually their sale days. Monday thru Thursday is probably the best time and usually between 8am – 8pm. Remember they have lives and families too. Some companies may post their hours on their websites and for others anytime will do. One thing an estate liquidator doesn’t do is leave their home without their phone.

a) Hopefully you will reach the estate sale liquidator on the first attempt. If you go to voice mail be sure to clearly leave your name, phone number, time, date , and reason for your call. Lack of cell phone service, speaking to another client, and other clients could keep them from answering, however, if you do not receive a call back within 24 hours from someone at the estate sale company, hopefully you have a fourth choice to call. It is time to move on.

b) Now is the time to ask such questions as how long have they been working and conducting estate sales, how did they get started in the liquidation business, ask to speak to other sellers they have worked for, and what openings they have on their current calendar for an estate sale. Also ask them if they have any professional affiliations or designations.

We recommend you do not set any definite appointments until after speaking with all the estate liquidators you are considering and speaking to their former clients. This is why making notes is important. Keep it simple, but let them know you are giving them serious consideration.

2) Now that you have spoken to the liquidators you decided might best serve your needs it is time for the face to face interview.

Whether you are impressed with two or three call them back and set up the interview at your property. Do not schedule them close together. A morning interview, afternoon interview, and if it works for both parties an evening interview or the following day. It is not a wise practice to have them passing each other as they come to your door.

Again have a list of questions prepared after you have shown them through the property, explained your goals, told them what you’re selling and have listened with an open mind to their presentation.

Be sure when you walk them through the property that you point out any items that will not be included in the sale (sellers, it is critical that you have made your final decisions of what’s to be sold before inviting any estate sale company to your home). Estate sale liquidators base their decisions (yes they can turn down  your sale and that’s ok if you don’t have enough to make the sale profitable for them).

When you sit down to listen to their presentation that is the time to ask them what they charge (but it is not the most important item of discussion and basing a decision solely on commission can be a costly mistake). Some of your questions if not included in their presentation should include how do they handle crowd control (what method do they utilize for entrance into your sale),  how will they promote your estate sale (print media, internet sites, social media, (do you have to pay for any advertising) ask about the experience and number of staff they use, how long will it take to stage your home, what kind of security do they use, do they provide any extra lighting if needed and wrapping and bags or boxes for buyers. Also ask them how they will research any items that they may need more information about and also how they price items. Sellers please keep in mind that you are interviewing professional liquidators and they should be knowledgeable about what the current estate sale market will allow in prices. Each area of the country is different and prices can vary by location.

* The estate sale companies should review their contract paragraph by paragraph. Be sure if you have any questions or concerns you ask them at this time.

We will discuss the estate sale contract and what to look for in part 3.

Copyright. Unless otherwise indicated, all content on this site, including text, graphics, images, and logos, is the property of ESTATE SALES NEWS or its content suppliers and is protected by United States and international copyright laws and regulations. In addition, ESTATE SALES NEWS owns a copyright on this site as a collective work or compilation, and in the selection, coordination, enhancement, and arrangement of the site’s content. Except as expressly provided herein, ESTATE SALES NEWS does not grant any express or implied right to you. ESTATE SALES NEWS actively and aggressively enforces its intellectual property rights to the fullest extent of the law. The contents of this site are Copyright© ESTATE SALES NEWS, Inc. All rights reserved.


How To Choose An Estate Sale Company – Part 1

questions and answersThere are 1000’s of estate sale companies across the United States and every day more liquidation companies open for business.

Starting today, Monday, Oct 27th we will go through the steps we think will lead you to your best choice for an estate liquidator.

  1. Where to look for an estate sale company?
  2. What should I be looking for in an estate sale liquidator?
  3. How many estate sale companies should I consider?

1) There are many sources to find estate sale companies and all deserve your consideration. There are estate sale company listing websites (thousands of companies are listed over several listing websites).  There are organizations that estate sale liquidators can belong to such as ISA (International Society of Appraisers, and we do not want to imply that your estate sale liquidator should be a certified appraiser) the ASEL (American Society of Estate Liquidators run by Julie Hall, Director, Owner and CAGA member and estate liquidator), CAGA (Certified Appraisers Guild of America), ASA (American Society of Appraisers). ESA (Estate Sale Association, Mark Blondy Founder and CEO and estate sale liquidator). Many of these companies have their own code of ethics that an estate sale company must sign and agree to abide by in order to join. They also require paid membership.

You should also consult your attorney or local estate or probate attorneys and also local Realtors. Asking family members and friends is another good source.

When looking for an estate sale company consider all of these sources and utilize all the above mentioned resources. There is no one source that can guarantee you success or the right choice, however, using the multiple resources listed is a good choice.

2. When looking for an estate sale liquidator there are several things to consider including reviews. Reviews on a variety of websites (don’t just look at one because disgruntled individuals may be biased), you want the ability to speak directly with some of their former clients to discuss how they felt about their estate sale, how long have they been in business, how did they learn the estate liquidation business, what is their experience, and a major concern what kind of knowledge do they have about the estate sale process and contents that they will be selling in an estate sale. Also read through their websites. Think about the information provided. If you notice the website seems to be outdated (information wise) this may be a sign that there is a lack of attention to detail and a red flag. No one is going to know about everything (and sellers should not expect that), however, they should have a general knowledge, some background in vintage and antiques and it is very important to ask them how do they do their research (what do they do when they have something in a estate sale they have no knowledge of).

Education is important in the estate sale business, however, so is experience and their is no substitute for that.

3. There is no set number of estate sale companies to choose from, but we recommend you consider at least three. When you have finished step 1. and step 2. review your information and decide who you want to call for a brief telephone interview. This is a good time to take notes. Did speak to a live person or go to voice mail and if so how long did it take to phone you back. You may want to have an extra estate sale company on the list in case  you do not receive a call back, or the call back is over 24 hours.

As perspective sellers (whether you are the seller, family member, Realtor, attorney, or heir) the estate sale process of picking a liquidator can be challenging, but in the end the choice is yours and the results you obtain will reflect on your decision. Keeping in mind that the responsibility of selling of personal property contents is not only emotional, but financial so utilize all the resources before making your decision.

Tomorrow we’ll discuss the next steps in choosing an estate sale company.

Copyright. Unless otherwise indicated, all content on this site, including text, graphics, images, and logos, is the property of ESTATE SALES NEWS or its content suppliers and is protected by United States and international copyright laws and regulations. In addition, ESTATE SALES NEWS owns a copyright on this site as a collective work or compilation, and in the selection, coordination, enhancement, and arrangement of the site’s content. Except as expressly provided herein, ESTATE SALES NEWS does not grant any express or implied right to you. ESTATE SALES NEWS actively and aggressively enforces its intellectual property rights to the fullest extent of the law. The contents of this site are Copyright© ESTATE SALES NEWS, Inc. All rights reserved.


Cars And Vehicles For Sale At Estate Sales Today

It’s estate sale Friday so today we look at some of the cars and vehicles from across the country for sale this weekend.

























Look at your favorite estate sale listing website to see these cars and vehicles and others for sale this weekend at estate sales. Please let them know you heard about them from EstateSalesNews.com


Throwback Thursday – Vintage Singer Sewing Machine and Gas Stove


Estate Sales News celebrates Throwback Thursday with two items that were similar to items your editor’s Mom had.



Both of these items can be found at estate sales this weekend. The Singer sewing machine can be purchased at Royal Oak, Michigan by DecadesEstateSales.com and the vintage gas stove at Hampton, Virginia by Caring Transitions Newport News, VA.

When you shop at an estate sale please tell them you read EstateSalesNews.com


Oscar de la Renta Has Died – Designer Fashion and Accessories At Estate Sales

Oscar de la Renta dress on eBaySad news this morning from the world of fashion. The man that dressed socialites and celebrities and every first lady from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama and just two weeks ago George Clooney’s bride Amal Alamuddin died last evening. His fashions and style were classic and prized by all who wore them.

His passing reminded us of the designer finds that can be found at estate sales across the country every week. Last Friday on What’s Selling At Estate Sales here on Estate Sales News one of the items shown was a Louis Vitton clutch. The same estate sale also featured other designers including Fendi, Ferragamo, and David Yurman.

At an estate sale this weekend, October 24th by Best Yet LLC in Marlboro, New Jersey, designer hand bags from Fendi, Cole Haan, Celine, and Furla are some of the names you will find at this sale.

Searching EstateSales.Net, EstateSales.org, Estatesale.com and Estatesale.company on a weekly basis may surprise you with the designer fashions and accessories for sale.

If the estate sale company lists designer fashions and doesn’t disclose them, call them and ask who and what size.

Shopping at estate sales can save you money and dress you exquisitely. Please let them know Estate Sales News recommended your search. We appreciate it. Share us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest with your friends. Our support comes from you.

*The Oscar de la Renta dress shown is from ConsignmentNow.