Tag Archives: Estate sale contracts
Here is an updated checklist for estate sale contracts for estate sale companies and sellers.
We are not an attorney, but these items should be included and understood in the estate sale contract.
The estate sale contract should lay out in clear language.
- Name of the estate sales company
- Name of owner/s, heirs, or attorney
- Date of estate sale contract
- Address where the sale is to take place
- Dates the sale is to be held and time
- Dates the estate sale company will be given access to setup and price
- Any items excluded from sale on addendum when contract is signed
- Utilities – electric, plumbing, heating and air conditioning should be working
- Liability insurance for estate sale company
- Homeowner must have active homeowner insurance policy
- Ramifications of removal of items by sellers after contract is signed
- Fee or commission that will be charged if items removed or sold ahead by seller
- Cancellation clause of contract
- Party responsible for advertising and costs
- Who is responsible for obtaining and paying for any permits required
- Cost of sale, commission, fee, any additional sale related costs
- When seller will receive net proceeds and form of payment to be made
- Will seller receive written account of sold items and what it will or won’t include
- Who is responsible for the clean out when the estate sale is concluded
- If estate sale company cleans out any costs associated with clean out
- Any additional costs for appraisals or specific appraisals
- **If needed winter expenses and responsibility, i.e. plowing, shoveling, sand etc.
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Removing hazardous waste items from estate sales is important and necessary with estate sales.
Hazardous waste items include leftover paint cans, chemicals, pesticides, motor oil, old television tubes and other items which require special handling and can not be put in a trash dumpster.
Sellers, if you are not taking these items with you, discard of them properly or ask the estate liquidator what they will charge to eliminate them.
Disposing of what is considered hazardous waste today is not an inexpensive process and most estate sale companies will now include a clause in their contract that deals with who will and the cost of hazardous waste disposal.
Matters that use to be so simple to deal with our now becoming more important and most times more difficult. As the result, many estate sale companies are adding to their contracts to cover these situations and prevent misunderstandings.
We would like to take this time to discuss the weather across the nation right now. In most areas of the United States severe rain, heavy snow falls, high winds, and in some cases tornadoes. Estate sale companies are constantly monitoring these situations.
We urge estate sale buyers to exercise caution attending sales and stay alert to weather conditions and estate sale company postings.
Be sure to check these estate sale listing websites for updates on estate sales in your area.
Many people moving, downsizing, or selling off a family home, fail to realize that once you have signed an estate sale contract it is binding just like any other contract. You have committed to an estate sale company and they have committed with you. For this reason it is important to you as a seller that you understand the contract and ask any questions. Do not feel hesitant or intimidated to say I don’t understand this clause. The estate liquidator wants a clear understanding between you both and a good working relationship.
Estate sale companies are discovering (especially in packed homes) that sellers are coming in after they begin their setup, and remove items they hadn’t seen in years. This is not the way it works and most estate liquidators have a clause in their estate sale contract that says they may charge you a full commission on any items removed.
EstateSalesNews.com has written about estate sale contracts in the past, but there are topics that deserve review.
One of them is the final payout to sellers of the net proceeds. Every estate sale contract should have a paragraph that addresses the specifics of how and when you, as a seller, will receive your net proceeds. It should lay out either the number of days (and this should be business days – excluding weekends and holidays preferably) or weeks, but certainly within 30 days of the conclusion of the sale.
Each estate sale company has a process they go through, however, 30 days should be the maximum and if you have a contract that is not specific, do not sign it. You will not have any guarantee of when or even if you will be paid. Estate sale companies that have good business ethics (99.9%) want you to know when you will be paid. They also want you to know how your will receive your proceeds, either by check, cashiers check, or in cash. When you review the contract with your prospective estate sale company look for the payout clause and ask questions if you have any. Estate sale companies want to have a good working relationship with you as a client. It benefits both of you.
Estate Sales News will be taking time off starting tomorrow to share the Christmas holiday with our family until next Monday.
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As the estate liquidation business has grown, so have some issues with sellers and estate sale contracts. Many sellers believe that they can micro-manage an estate sale even though they have hired and signed a contract with a professional estate sale company.
Let’s review for clarity and understanding.
When you review the contract with the estate sale company, this is the time to ask any questions. It is important as a seller that you understand the terms of the contract and what is expected of you and what you should or should not expect from the estate sale company.
The contract should clearly state the name of the company, the name of the sellers (or responsible party or parties) hiring the seller. If the sellers are a group of family members make sure “all” parties are present for the contract presentation and questions. All sellers should sign the contract and initial paragraphs of importance such as:
- Who is responsible for access to the property.
- Electric, water, and heat will be provided by the selling party.
- Any items that are not being included in the sale have already been removed or written into an addendum and this should be initialed by sellers and the estate sale company.
- If the estate sale company (and almost all do) have a cancellation clause for the contract. Sellers should initial this and remember that unless stated in the clause could be legally held responsible for cancelling the sale – no you don’t have an opportunity to keep interviewing other companies for a lower commission. You have made your choice. Again initials by all parties should be expected.
- Estate sale companies may have a right to cancel clause for themselves if a seller/s becomes difficult to work with (micro-managing, removing items, failure to give access to the property, not providing utilities etc.)
- Many estate sale companies have a clause that permits them to charge you the seller/s the commission on the sale value of any item removed from the sale once the contract is signed and/or the sale is staged. They usually deduct it from a seller’s net proceeds.
- As a seller don’t expect to renegotiate a commission or fee during or after the sale. Estate sale companies have costs (staff, advertising, etc.) and their commission is based on that.
- Remember why you hired an estate sale company – because they are professional, familiar with area prices, and their marketing expertise. Things you can’t learn in a video or book. It takes hands on and time to gain this type of knowledge and experience.
If you aren’t ready to sign a contract – don’t. An estate sale contract is a legal document and should be respected and taken seriously. Be confident, comfortable, and secure with your choice of an estate sale company. Before you sign on the bottom line and initial, also make sure you have done your due diligence. Personal referrals are always the best source for finding an estate sale company, but if you use a service, remember that the majority of these services charge a fee for the estate liquidator to be part of them even if they meet their standards.
Keep in mind that an estate sale company cannot control weather, the economy (such as the stock market having a rough two weeks or so lately), and the number of other estate liquidations competing with yours.
An estate sale is a professional service to liquidate personal property contents for seller/s and hopefully provide a good financial outcome for all parties involved.
With 1000’s of estate sales taking place today a quick reminder that here on Estate Sales News you can learn about estate sales and estate sale contracts. We have hundreds of articles on different subjects that you can search and video as well.
Have a great weekend estate saling. EstateSalesNews.com is your #1 source for estates information and news.
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