Category Archives: Estate Sale Contracts

Getting Paid Proceeds of Sale – Contracts and Questions

A recent report from a Houston television station reported a story in August about an estate sale company that had not paid the seller for an estate sale they conducted and the amount owed was also under dispute. According to information included in the station’s investigation there were two other estates that had also not been paid.

Occurrences such as this are more common than you know. Estate Sales News is researching the internet every week to learn about what is happening across the country. Many of these stories never reach outside their immediate area. Being an informed seller can help protect you from different situations that can arise. Most of the estate sale companies working across the country are honest, hard working people performing professional services, however, as in all types of services there is always a company that is not so reputable.

When hiring an estate liquidator let’s review some must do tasks and questions to ask.

  1. Search the internet for reviews.
  2. When you have chosen a company ask to speak to previous sellers and be sure you make the call.
  3. Reviewing the contract don’t just look at the commission. If it includes costs, but is not specific ask about the costs and consider an addendum with a cap on the expenses (ads, cleanout, etc.) You then know what is the maximum to expect at the end.
  4. If the company gives a time range to pay you the proceeds and it goes as far as 30 days ask why. Most companies like to settle within 2 weeks. If it does take 30 days you need to understand the reason.
  5. Do not agree to work with any estate sale company that does not have a contract for you. You will have no protection if things go wrong.

It is a perspective sellers’ responsibility to research and ask questions. Since the estate sale business has grown so dramatically over the last four plus years, it is incumbent upon you to be proactive when hiring a company. Even a company referred by a friend should be checked out. Past history of the company’s dealings are important and an indication of their business practices.


The Estate Sale Contract Review – questions to be asked & answered

questions and answers


This Monday we would like to review some of the important areas in an estate sale contract. It is one of the most requested pages in our news magazine.



  • Duplicate contracts – for the benefit of the seller and the estate sale company you should have two contracts with you so that when the contract is signed both parties have a completed contract exactly the same.
  • Dates of sale – both sellers and estate liquidators should make sure the dates chosen will work for both and that there isn’t anything going on in the community that could detract or impair the sale (such as a community festival, town wide garage sales, etc. unless it is necessary or you choose to proceed without concern).
  • Who is going to run the sale – if you are using a company that conducts more than one sale at a time you should ask the estate liquidator you are interviewing to introduce you to the person who will be in charge of the sale and put that person’s name on the contract as well. This should be done before you sign the contract or at the least at the signing of the contract. Signing up with liquidator X and an employee Y shows up to stage, price and run the sale without your prior knowledge or consent can be unsettling (no surprises and you can decide ahead if you feel comfortable with that individual and with that arrangement).

Estate sales – what do you want to know about?

emailEstate Sales News is always looking for interesting estate news and providing informative articles. We would like our readers (sellers, buyers, and estate sales companies) to email us about what you want to know more about or discuss. Please share your ideas and questions.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Please email me at and let me know.

Estate Sales contracts

We have published a page on what to look for in an estate sale contract and we have heard from readers that this has been helpful when interviewing estate sale companies.

The estate sale contract is so important. It is what determines everything from the date of the sale, time, location, costs, and how you receive your net proceeds.

It also addresses the obligation of the estate liquidator and your obligation as the seller, granting access to the premises, not removing items once the sale process is underway unless there is a clear written understanding.

It should also include who is paying for advertising, credit card fees (if used) and what the estate sale company will or will not do at the end of the sale.

To review what to look for and expect for everyone’s protection click here.

Trending in estate sales – multiple estates & seeding a sale

trendsTracking sales across the country some new trends and some old are emerging.

In many states where the estate sale has very large collections that cannot be displayed properly for an effective sale in the residence (or in some cases the owner/heir does not wish to have their residence used for an on site sale) professional estate sales companies are relocating the collections to large open rooms (similar to what an auctioneer would use) to stage the quantity of items to be sold. If you have such a collection or collections, you should inquire on the interview if the estate sales company performs such a service and what it will cost you. It would be unusual for a professional liquidator to absorb the cost of the move. It is usually preferable to most estate sales companies to conduct the sale on site, however, not only can large collections present a challenge, but so can some gated communities where they will not allow an estate sale on site.

Another trend that for years has been little spoken about is what is referred to as seeding a sale. Sometimes when a sale does not have enough items to draw significant public attention some estate liquidators will bring in items from other small sales or if they also sell retail they may bring in merchandise of their own. If your contents are limited, be sure to ask during the interview whether the estate sale company will want to  seed the sale, where the items are from, and how they will be tagged  to differentiate their merchandise from your items. Accurate recording of items sold from others is needed to ensure all monies are distributed appropriately.