Category Archives: Estate Sale Contracts

Estate Sale Contract Cancellation Can Be Costly

contract requirementsEstate sale companies have contracts for protection of sellers and themselves.

Along with the date of the contract, dates of the sale and location and cost to the seller, most estate sale contracts include a cancellation clause.

Estate Sale companies put in a lot of time researching, writing and placing ads in print media and the internet, utilizing social media, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Social media can be very time consuming and very beneficial to bring in buyers. An estate sale company puts your sale on the calendar and may turn away other business to conduct your sale.

They also have costs involving staff before the sale including staging and pricing.

When a seller decides to cancel a contract after the process has begun, like any type of business costs have been incurred and a fee is usually do. Each estate sale company sets their own policy and fee, but it is not unreasonable to charge a seller. Many estate sale companies now take legal action to enforce this clause especially if they lost other business.  It is a contract and agreement for performance from both parties.

If you have any doubts about an estate liquidator, don’t sign the contract until the doubts are resolved or you decide on another company.

Just as an estate sale is a financial transaction for you, it is business for the estate liquidator.

Estate Sale contracts – For sellers and estate sales companies

sample contractEstate Sales News is receiving a lot of feed back on estate sales contracts from sellers and estate sales companies so we would like to address the most important issues pertaining to both the perspective seller and the estate sale company.




Let’s start with the perspective seller:

  • Once you have chosen an estate liquidator make sure you have a written contract.
  • It should be specific about the commission or fees.
  • Date of the sale and how and when you will be paid.
  • It should spell out exactly when you will owe a commission. Do not expect an estate sale company to agree to conduct a sale after they have photographed and  started their work without charging you a commission if you pre-sell or withdraw items after the contract is signed and before the sale. Like any other business they have started to work for you and advertise. It is your obligation as a seller to either sell or withdraw items from the sale prior to the signing of a contract. Then the estate sale company has an opportunity to decide whether the contents left will warrant their accepting the sale and they can advertise accordingly. Most estate sale companies will include a clause that says once you sign if anything is removed or sold by you then you will owe a commission on those items.
  • If you are truly not sure about a few (“key word being few”) items then include them on an addendum.
  • An estate sale contract is like any other contract. It is an agreement to perform for both parties.
  • If you are selling a property and the new purchasers are interested, you should inform the estate sale company prior to signing a contract and decide who would best serve your interest. Emotions can sometimes be costly so it may be financially better to let an estate liquidator negotiate for you.

The estate sale company:

  • Your contract with sellers should include several things, including the commission or fees to be charged, dates of sale, what happens when items or sold or removed after the signing of the contract, a cancellation clause, how you will pay the seller and account for items sold, if you charge the seller for advertising or if the seller is paying for the advertising.
  • You should also set out your ground rules. Will you conduct the sale if the seller is present, what about the cleanout, any additional expenses, and very important if the seller sells or withdraws items after the signing of the contract will they be charged and how much.
  • Again your contract is an agreement for performance and it should state what you will do should the seller not abide by the signed contract, but also what you are obligated to do for the seller.

If you click on the contract image you will see a partial contract example. It is simplistic and may not be copied for use. It is strictly for information purposes.

Estate Sales News welcomes your questions and you can write to

One caveat, I am not an attorney so the only advice I will give pertains to ethics and expectations not the legalities.

Industry Experts Speaking At The Memphis 2014 Estate Sale Conference

conference2014logoIf you’re an estate sale company and you haven’t made a reservation for the Memphis 2014 Estate Sale Conference sponsored by EstateSales.Net here is a preview of some of the industry leaders currently on the agenda.

Micky McMcQuade, Ron Marks, Val Merkel, Julie Hall, Gary Newton, Mark Sherrill, Barbara Stevens Jersey, Mark Prendergast, James and Michael Fry, Angie Becker, Katie Britt, Jerry Huskey, Harry Rinker, Dan McQuade, Julie McClure, and your Editor Carol Madden.

The list of topics to be covered is wide ranged and there is something for everyone from a brand new estate sale company to a company that has been in business 30 years.

It is also a great marketing tool. Sellers appreciate it when you tell them you are taking the time to be better informed and educated in your profession. Importantly you will network with others, share their successes and perhaps non-success, pick up tips on how to make your business the professional power house you want it to be, and find the edge that will set you above your competition.



Why Choose Estate Sales News For Your Estate Sale Information?

information iconEstate Sales have become prolific across the United States. Just look at the number of estate sale listing sites. Over 5,000 estate sale companies are now listed with over 6 websites for estate sale companies to list on.

Estate Sales News is the online estate sale news magazine covering the estate liquidation business, providing estate liquidation information and reporting on newsworthy estate sales. . We are not affiliated with an estate sale company. We aren’t looking to list your estate sale. We provide free, unbiased information to help you become an informed consumer either as a seller or buyer. Knowledge is empowerment and helps you make successful decisions.

Our articles are also geared at assisting estate sale companies as well. With such growth in what was once a very small industry estate sale companies need help to be the number one choice in their area.

Estate Sales News goal is to help an industry that has little to no regulation.  A business where some may take advantage of those who are not knowledgeable and new upcoming estate sale companies and even those who have experience may not utilize all the current marketing tools available. We want to help you be a successful company and provide successful results for your client and achieve good reviews from sellers and buyers for you.

We do not conduct estate sales so our agenda is about helping you.  With 25 plus years experience as an estate liquidator we are here to assist with advice in picking an estate sale company, buying at an estate sale with knowledge and etiquette and providing useful information to estate sale companies about how to get their sales the most public attention possible through various marketing methods.

Here on Estate Sales News you’ll learn about the ethics an estate sale company should have, how the process works, interviewing and choosing an estate sale company, what should be in an estate sale contract, staging a liquidation sale, how the sale can be advertised, handling crowds before and during the estate sale and the list goes on.

Please email your questions or comments to

Carol Madden,


2014 Estate Sales Conference in Memphis TN – sponsored by


The second annual Estate Sale Conference sponsored by will be held in Memphis, TN February 25th, 26th, and 27th, 2014 at the Peabody Hotel.

This conference is to educate and provide a broad spectrum of information to improve the estate sale industry.

It is not open to the public, only to estate sale companies, but it will benefit the public in so many ways.

Estate Sales News will be participating and covering this conference. We will be speaking in a session on the afternoon of the first day of the conference and the topic is estate sale contracts.

Estate Sales News Will Be Taking Part In The 2014 Estate Sale Conference

Estate Sales News will be speaking at a breakout session at the second annual 2014 Estate Sale Conference in Memphis TN sponsored by EstateSales.Net. Our topic “Contracts“. What you need to include in your contract for your protection and to prevent misunderstandings. Contracts can provide simplicity and clarity for a successful relationship between estate sale company and seller.


Estate Sale Contract Printable Check List

Estate Sales News knows that having a contract between you and the estate sales company is paramount. As we go into the weekend we have posted this on our front page if you wish to print out the printer-friendly version to assist you with choosing an estate sale company. The Editor of Estate Sales News will be speaking and moderating a session at the 2014 Estate Sales Conference in Memphis, TN sponsored by EstateSales.Net.

The contract should lay out the following in clear language.

  • Name of the estate sales company
  • Your name (you’re hiring the liquidator)
  • Date of the contract
  • Address where the sale is to take place
  • Dates the sale is to be held and time
  • Party responsible for advertising costs
  • Who is responsible and paying for permits (i.e. sign, sale etc.)
  • Cost of the sale – commission, fee or both, make sure it is explicit
  • How the net proceeds of the sale will be paid out, i.e cash or check.
  • Payout for sale is end of each day or end of sale
  • Any items to be excluded from sale
  • Will you be charged if an item is removed from sale after contract signed
  • Who is responsible for the clean out after the sale is concluded
  • Does the liquidator provide a written account of items sold
  • Any additional costs for specialists i.e. appraisers
  • Is the company bonded and insured

All of these items should be covered in the contract for your protection and the estate sales company and to prevent misunderstandings during the liquidation process.

Estate Sale Contracts – What do you want to know?

Estate Sales News monitors the categories and questions everyday on our magazine and the number one request is estate sale contracts.

To our readers, please let us know what questions you have? You can email your questions to Once we have heard from perspective sellers and estate sale companies we will be updating a list to assist all.

An estate sale contract should protect all parties and lay out what is expected from sellers, and esate sale companies. It should also be easy to read and understand. 

Estate Sales News will be keeping you informed on our responses so please take the time to email us and let us know your thoughts and/or concerns with regard to estate sale contracts.

Lots of estate sales today. Check out EstateSales.Net,, and 


Estate Sales – Regulations or Not – Sales Taxes or Not

Estate Sales News will be reviewing estate sale regulations by states over the next several weeks. This is with regard to state regulations or not. This will not be coverage of any possible county or municipal regulations.

California – Does not have state regulations for estate sales. Does require collection of sales tax.

Georgia – Does not have state regulations for estate sales. Does require collection of sales tax.

New Jersey – Does not have state regulations for estate sales and does not collect sales tax for estate sales.

Texas – Does not have state regulations for estate sales. Does require collection of sales tax.

Washington – Requires the collection of sales tax and the estate sales businesses have to pay a tax (Business & Occupation) under the retail sales category.

We will be continuing our review of the 50 states and when completed we will have a page dedicated to this information. In most states if the purchaser has a resale certificate, they usually don’t have to pay sales tax, however, in some states such as Maryland, the purchase must be over $200 or they have to pay the sales tax and then apply to the state for the reimbursement of the tax.

With so many states not having any regulations pertaining to estate sale companies, this is another excellent reason for having a written contract with the estate liquidator. Protection for all parties.

Why Read Estate Sales News – Information, News, and Resource

Estate Sales is an independently owned online news magazine website. We are not affiliated with any estate sale company. The articles and information we publish are to assist perspective estate sellers, buyers and estate sale companies. We are not an estate liquidator.

Our goal is to make you an informed consumer in an industry that in many states has little or no regulation either locally or by state. Information is your best assurance that you are making a wise choice.

There are many resources available for estate sale information, however, we want to keep the entire country informed about what is happening in the estate sale business world. We are consistently researching for your benefit.

For buyers we hope to showcase whenever possible news worthy estate sales and tips for helping you when visiting and purchasing at an estate sale.

We welcome questions and you can contact us at We’ll do our best to answer your question and if you have a subject you would like to know more about we will make every effort to provide that information publicly.