Category Archives: Estate Sale Contracts

Moving And Need An Estate Sale, Tag Sale Or Event? What’s Next?

Estate Sales News included all these different terms for estate sales because they apply depending on your location in the United States.

If you are moving or downsizing and not taking most of your belongings with you there are some important steps to follow.

Decide what you want or will need where you are going. Pack those items and if possible arrange to store them in a storage facility, with a friend or in one room of the property that can be securely closed off.

Once your personal items are packed away it is time to find your estate sale company or estate liquidator. Following guidelines provided here on EstateSalesNews.com (for choosing your estate liquidator) when you show your chosen company through they will be seeing the items to be sold. Estate sale companies have to make decisions about excepting or passing on a sale based on the amount and type of items to be sold to see how that will affect there balance sheet. They have a variety of costs including monthly exposure (internet), advertising, staffing, etc. to consider.

A word of advice to sellers.  Please don’t feel it’s personal if a an estate sale company turns you down. They are a business and make business decisions. These may be personal items to you, but for them it is whether they can make a profit to provide for their families and themselves.

A topic that has been an on going problem for many estate sale companies and sellers is when the seller(s)s decide after an estate sale company has gone through the property, prepped all the items to be sold and priced and the seller decides they want to take some of those item(s) with them. Sellers your job is to look carefully and thoroughly through everything ahead of asking a liquidator to come to your property and remove any possible items you may want. You can always change your mind and give them to the estate sale company to sell, but removing anything that was to be included in the sale and priced is not good business. Many estate sale companies have a paragraph in the contract allowing for the charging of a commission on items that were to be in the sale and removed. The commission is usually based on what the item would have sold for on the opening day of the sale.

When you are moving or downsizing take your time and go room to room and if necessary box to box in the attic or basement and choose what items you will be taking with you and leave the rest for the estate sale company. Don’t throw anything out. Let your chosen professional make that determination. If you have done your due diligence, made the best choice possible and have trust and confidence in your estate liquidator let the estate sale or event commence.

Have Questions About Estate Sales? Email Us – Front Page Topics

questions and answersWhether you are a seller, estate sale company or buyer there seems to be no limits on the concerns and questions to be asked about estate sales.

After 25 years in the estate liquidation business and with the continually changing laws and needs of clients we want to hear from you so we can discuss these issues here on the Front Page of EstateSalesNews.com.

From what to do when you need or want to have an estate sale, finding a liquidation company, interviewing and hiring an estate sale company, what is the process (how and why it works), what to expect before, during, and after and what if something goes wrong, we want you to email us.

contact@estatesalesnews.com

When everyone involved understands what is expected and on the same page the process can be less stressful and more successful.

EstateSalesNews.com is your resource for estate sales information, help, and news.

Estate Sale Contracts – Basics Continued

Estate Sales NewsContinuing our discussion from Wednesday of estate sale contracts:

  • The next paragraph should deal with pricing and selling. The estate sale liquidator your hire is a professional and should be in charge of the pricing and selling. However, during the walk through of the property it is advisable to ask a potential seller about any particular items they are concerned with in regard to price. This is when an estate liquidator may have to determine whether to accept the sale or not and also if the seller wants to hire that liquidator. Both parties should be in agreement and it is recommended if there is an item to two of concern that those be included on an addendum to the contract with relation to price. Of course, a wise choice by a seller is to accept bids and decide towards the end if they may rethink their position on an item they had concern with price. It should also be noted that many estate sale companies will not work with price issues and that is perfectly acceptable as well. “initial”
  • This paragraph is controversial, but of major importance to all parties. If a seller removes any items that were to be in the sale after the contract was signed or sold prior to the sale also after the contract was signed what are the ramifications. This paragraph should clearly state what the estate sale company policy is  and if the seller will be charged a commission (state the amount if you are going to do this) based on the price the item would be marked or not. Estate sale companies base their decision to accept or reject a sale on the contents shown to them at the time of the contract signing. They have advertising and staff costs. Any items that are in question or a family member may wish to have should be removed prior to the signing of the contract or specified to the estate sale company. The removal of items after the fact is detrimental to a good working relationship and financial results for both parties. It also complicates the opening of the sale when the liquidator has to inform the waiting buyers lined up that items have been removed. “initial”
  • The next paragraph in the contract deals with liability insurance. The seller(s) whoever they are must have a liability policy on the property for their protection and the estate sale company’s protection. The estate sale liquidator should also have their own liability policy.
  • The contract should also state that seller(s) (owners, executors, heirs attorney), agree to not hold the estate liquidation company or their staff liable for damage or liability to persons or property (real or otherwise) before, during, or immediately after the sale. Again the reason for all parties to have liability insurance. “initial”
  • This paragraph deals with the disposal or removal of any items not sold. It should clearly state who will be responsible and if there is a fee.
  • It should be stated in the contract that if any permits are required who will obtain and pay for the permits.
  • The last basic we will cover for an estate sale contract is the part for signature of all parties involved and dates.

Having a blank lined addendum for additional information, considerations, etc. is always a good practice. Many estate sale companies advertise being bonded and insured. The addendum is a good place for this information to be included, but sellers be sure to ask about the type of bond an estate sale company has. See our archives for information on bonded and insured.

We have only covered what we consider the basics of an estate sale contract. As stated Wednesday, we are not an attorney and we do not give legal advice. The information provided is based on our 25 years in the personal property liquidation business. Every estate sale company has their own requirements, often based on state and municipality laws. The basics provided are intended as guidelines and assistance.

Estate Sale Contracts – Important Basics

Estate Sales NewsThe most important topic reviewed by sellers and estate sale liquidators on Estate Sales News is the estate sale contract.

For the benefit of sellers and estate sale companies we present some of the topics of concern to both. Clarity in an estate liquidation contract can prevent misunderstandings and reduce stress. Estate Sales News is not an attorney and we do not give legal advice. The information presented is based on 25 plus years of estate liquidation experience. Please consult an attorney for legal advice or contract legalities.

Next to some areas you will see the word “initial”. This is to insure that all parties have read and agreed to the content of the paragraph. That way all parties are working on the same “page” so to speak.

  • The contract should be dated and contain the dates and times of the estate sale or event.
  • It should also contain the complete address of the sale.
  • The contract should clearly state who the seller or responsible party is (whether it is an attorney acting for the estate, heir, family member, or even a Realtor).
  • The contract should specify that the property has electric and water and working plumbing that is available before, during and until the estate sale is over and the estate sale company has vacated the property entirely. This is for safety of all and sanitation. “initial”
  • Following this section would also be the place to include snow or ice removal and who is responsible if that is an issue in your area. “initial”
  • The next section should be specific about the commission or fee that is to be paid from the gross proceeds ( percentage or amount) at the end of the sale. If the liquidator works on a minimum fee this should be in this section as well. “initial”
  • The next section would deal with cancellation of the sale. This depends on the estate sale company, however, many contracts include a cancellation clause with a specific fee. If work has been done by the estate liquidator and staff and advertisements have been made they should be compensated for their time and expenses. Each company operates differently. If the contract has this clause “initial”.
  • Next would come advertising and who is responsible for payment of the ads.

At this point in the contract it is advisable to let the seller(s) know that the company will make all possible attempts to achieve the best possible financial results, however, they cannot make any guarantees of the prices or of the gross sale total. An estate liquidation company cannot control weather, attendance, market conditions or other competition in the area. All they can do is make their best effort and that is why sellers, it is up to you to make your estate liquidator choice having done your do diligence to find the estate sale company you feel will be the most successful and professional. As a seller you have a responsibility to so make sure you take time to research, become informed, and make the best choice possible.

Please note that every estate liquidator chooses a contract that works for them. There is more for our discussion on Thursday, however, many contracts from estate sale companies will contain more and many may contain less.

Estate Sales News is here as a resource. Some may agree others may not, but getting out matters of public concern and interest as well presenting the views and concerns of estate liquidators and sellers is what this news magazine is here for.

It is important that all parties understand their responsibilities and obligations.

Preventing stress and tension between sellers and estate liquidators during this process is important.

 

Estate Sales – What To Expect, Sellers, Buyers, Estate Liquidators

HomeToday’s estate sale business has grown to the point where people may have forgotten what is expected of them so let’s review some estate sale basics.

Sellers – It is your responsibility to investigate, interview, and hire an estate sale company with a good reputation. There are multiple resources available to you including information right here on EstateSalesNews.com as to how to find a company, what to look for, what to ask, what to expect. If you do not do your due diligence you may not hire the best estate liquidator that is a “good fit” for you. Don’t forget, these people are not trash removers (unless you pay them additional) they are happy to be of service, however, you should let them do the professional job you hired them for and please don’t micromanage. Pay them fairly and if prices don’t quite meet your expectations remember this also effects the estate liquidator. The more money they make for you (especially on a commission basis) the more an estate sale company receives. They can’t control weather, market conditions, other sales in the area that are your competition. Your job after hiring them is to trust them and let them be the professional you hired. You should also write a review on the way they handled your sale. If you’re really pleased, speak out and if you are truly not pleased, speak to the estate company first, then decide about your review.

Buyer – Please use your estate sale etiquette. Don’t go into an estate sale expecting a bargain basement sale. These are personal items (that do not belong to the estate sale company) and they are priced where they are for a reason. If you don’t like the price, ask politely if they are doing any reductions or accepting bids. An estate sale company has a fiduciary relationship with the seller(s) not with you. Please and thank you, wipe your feet, do not shove or push, and please don’t use foul language when attending an estate liquidation. That is the fastest way to be asked to leave and they can do so. You wouldn’t curse in Macy’s or Nordstrom so please respect the professionals running the sale. Prices are set by the estate sale company (after researching) and sometimes by the seller. Unless you are a certified appraiser, the prices are what they are and hopefully you may get a better price if the item doesn’t sell in the first day or two. It is absolutely discourteous and disrespectful to write ranting reviews on any website about prices. You may even find yourself banned from attending any further sales by the company. Please use your MAT (manners and thank you).

Estate Sale Companies – This is a customer service industry. You are trying to make a living off this, but you should be a professional and provide good quality customer service to sellers and buyers. Take the time to become experienced and educated in this industry. Patience and professionalism will be virtues you need every day as an estate liquidator. Reliability, honesty, and integrity are paramount. Make sure your estate sale contract covers all contingencies (you can find info right here on Estate Sales News or email us at contact@estatesalesnews.com) Research your items thoroughly and have a listening ear for your seller(s). This doesn’t mean you need to be a therapist, but hear their concerns and respond with what you feel and know is fair. Don’t be afraid to turn a sale down, work with buyers, but remember be professional and please don’t go negative about other estate sale companies. Let your reputation and record shine.

Estate sales are wonderful and should be fun and the estate liquidation business should be rewarding for sellers and estate sale companies. Not everyone will be a winner, but knowing whether you’re a seller, buyer or estate liquidator that you did your best is in itself a reward.

 

Estate Sales News Is On It’s Way to Los Angeles

crown-city-ad-260x260We are flying today to meet with Crown City Estate Sales today. They have many years of experience in the estate liquidation business and we are going to interview them about their success over the years.

 

It’s hump day for many people so happy Wednesday, we will be flying back east tomorrow.

** If are an estate sale company and would like to have your estate sale featured here on the Front Page of EstateSalesNews.com we are looking for two that have sales between June 15 and July 31. Email us particulars at contact@estatesalesnews.com and we’ll get in touch with you.

 

Estate Sale Company – Bonded?

To educateThere are several types of bonds, but two that most estate sale companies will use.

The fidelity bond which has two types – one first-party protects against fraud, theft and wrongful acts committed by employees and the third-party which protects against wrongful acts by consultants or independent contractors.

The surety bond in simplistic terms guarantees performance.

Many estate sale companies advertise that they are bonded and insured. This is not necessarily required (depends on the state and community), but it is good protection for sellers and estate sale companies.

When you are looking at estate liquidators during the telephone interview ask if they have a bond, what type, and are they insured. Protection for all is always a wise choice.

Estate Sales News Celebrate Our 1st Anniversary With A Look Back

1st candleToday we are excited to celebrate our first anniversary with the launching of this site March 6, 2013.

Since then we have traveled over 45,000 miles covering estate sales coast to coast, discussing a host of topics including what is an estate sale, finding estate sale companies, estate sale company listing sites, the process of the estate sale, estate sale contracts, insurance, photographs, payouts, reviews, vintage, jewelry, national news that circulates on video and blogs, the use of social media, estate sale costs, bonding and insurance, estate sale etiquette, after the sale, videos of news worthy estate sales, and the list goes on.

Our goal when we started last year and as we enter our second year is to provide a free online resource for perspective estate sellers, buyers, and estate sale companies. We have said we welcome your questions and continue to do so contact@estatesalesnews.com.

 

Getting Paid After An Estate Sale

CheckEvery estate liquidation company works differently and practices for paying sellers vary from company to company, community, and state. There is no right or wrong way.

Here are a few ways of paying out the net proceeds

 

  • Counting out the cash right after the end of the sale, taking any costs, fees, or commissions agreed to and remanding the net proceeds to the seller.
  • Taking 3- 30 days after the sale ends to let checks and/or credit cards process and payout and then giving the seller a check for the net proceeds.

There are no set rules about payout, however, it should be in your estate sale contract and if it isn’t a seller should be concerned. Every estate sale company works based on what works for them and you, but making sure you are in agreement before beginning the estate liquidation process is paramount.

Sellers should research the estate sale company you are considering on Google, Yext, Yellow Pages etc. as mentioned in other articles (September 23, 2013 for one) to ascertain that they do payout without problems. If you find reviews that indicate otherwise rethink your decision or ask them directly about what you have read before you sign a contract.

If your estate sale company does accept credit cards and/or checks they need time for them to process and pay you. You should also ask about whether a fee for the credit card is charged separately (generally they do, but some may have it factored into their commission or fee for the sale) and that should also be included in your estate sale contract.

Protection for sellers and estate sale companies is important to keep the estate liquidation process as smooth as possible without misunderstandings.

Video Discussion About Estate Sale Contract Session At Conference

This video chat is about the session we will moderate about estate sale contracts at the 2014 Memphis Estate Sale Conference starting in two weeks sponsored by EstateSales.Net. The video was done in a hotel lobby so please accept my apologies for the sun glare.