Planning for liquidation of an estate or even downsizing a current residence can be difficult.  The first step deciding whether or not to hire a company to manage the sale for you. Because the amount of work involved an estate sale is enormous, most people choose to do this.  Just a few of the taks to be done include

  • Household inventory, what's for sale and what do I want to keep
  • Determining fair and appropriate pricing
  • Staging items in the home 
  • Presenting items in an appealing way to encourage sales
  • Advertising 
  • Managing a smooth sale for everyone, owners as well as customers
  • Making sure no one steals anything

Look for companies on the Internet and in the the phone book.  An internet search will result in several companies and may also include reviews so you can make a more informed decision.  Company websites may also list most of the details you will have questions about.    

Meet with at least two companies before choosing the company for your sale.  Compare rates and the services provided.  Don't hesitate to ask about the company's expertise and knowledge regarding valuable and rare items to make sure they will price the items fairly for the best price.  Services should include removal of unsold items after the sale in a manner agreeable to the client.  Most estate sale companies do not provide cleaning services in their fees but any company should be able to provide you with suggestions for reasonable terminal cleaning services. 

Estate sale companies all do pretty much the same thing.  The difference is in the details of how they meet your needs.  Just because a company charges a higher percentage might not necessarily mean you won't make as much money from your sale.  On the other hand, don't be swayed by glossy brochures. Smaller companies may focus on delivering a better service rather than on expensive brochures that most likely will end up in the trash bin.  

Your company should be interested in helping you and enthusiastic about  working with you.  You may want to ask for an estimate of what the company estimates the sale proceeds will be.  Be wary of promises of a specific amount.  It is possible to guesstimate how much a sale might bring but no one can tell you an exact amount.  

Make sure the company provides a contract that explains the details of what has been discussed.  Ask for clarification of any questions so that you understand everything before you sign.

Choosing an estate sale company that you feel comfortable with can take a huge burden off your mind, and your back!