When considering the decision to have an estate sale, families typically are already dealing with a plate full and, feeling your way through the estate sale process may seem scary and overwhelming. I'm sharing tips from a great article to help simplify the process. The main result should be to go with a person that you feel a connection with after the face to face visit-- NOT the company who quoted the lowest fee; otherwise, you may get exactly what you paid for. I say this because there is a lot of trust involved when hiring a company to do your estate sale so in addition to doing your homework always ask for and follow up on references!
These tips are courtesy of Carol Madden with EstateSaleNews.com
What do I look for in an estate sale company?
CHOOSEat least several estate sale companies (if possible) to contact that work in your area.
CHECKthe internet for any reviews on the companies you will be calling.
CALL the estate companies: Ask them about their business experience, staff, and services they provide. Be sure to ask if they are insured and, in some states, licensed. You may also want to ask them about visiting their next sale and tell them you would like to speak with past clients.
SCHEDULE appointments for face-to-face interviews only with companies you felt provided you with satisfactory answers during the phone interviews. Be sure to schedule the in-person interviews several hours apart or even on different days so they don’t overlap.
SHOW the estate liquidator through the property. Point out any items that will not be included in the sale, and if you have any items where price is a concern, discuss it with them at that time.
ASKthem about their crowd control policy, pricing (how they research prices), credit card acceptance and any associated credit card fees, security, staffing, staging the property (when they would want to start and how long it would take), and what their current schedule of sales is. Additionally, ask how many days they would conduct your estate sale, whether they allow anyone (staff or otherwise) to buy before the sale starts (presale), whether they will be required to collect sales tax, obtain any necessary permits, and place advertising (where and when).
INQUIRE as to commission or fee. What they charge is not as important as hiring a reputable, experienced estate sale company that will work to achieve the best results possible in current market conditions in your area and make the process as stress-free as possible.
FIND OUT from the estate sale company how and when you will be paid and whether or not they provide clean out services (what do they charge) or do they have a company that will (again ask about the fee).
TAKE NOTES AND DON’T MAKE A DECISION UNTIL YOU HAVE MET AND TALKED TO ALL THE LIQUIDATORS WITH WHOM YOU HAVE APPOINTMENTS. Take time to review their answers to your questions and any notes you made about the estate liquidator (attitude, appearance, demeanor, apparent knowledge and any recommendations).