A lot goes into the planning of estate sale, & auctions. Getting the right company to help you with this can be daunting. Choosing to have a sale usually means you may be grieving a loved one or dealing with an elder parent or relative that can no longer maintain a household. Estate sales and liquidations and or auctions are the 3 big D’s: Death, Divorce or Downsizing. All three can be extremely emotionally draining and trying. There are endless situations that may require liquidation of assets. Estate sales, or liquidators; and auction companies do this work for you. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. It is important to call more than one company. You may have people that try to tell you that you can accomplish this task yourself or have a “garage sale”. And if you’ve ever attempted a personal garage sale you will know how difficult that can be with your own items, much less a house full of things you must sort, tag and all the trash you will need to dispose of. It’s a never-ending task! An estate sale company maybe you ticket to less stress, a quicker outcome, and freedom from the headaches that this type of endeavor provides. This is what estate sales companies, and Auction companies do every week, day in and day out. These companies live for this work. This is work that you must be made for. Are you willing to give days, or even weeks to this task? These professionals are built for this.

With estate sales, liquidation and auctions, there isn’t necessarily a good time of year versus a bad time of year. A good sale will have items for everybody. And for the company you hire, it’s about getting people interested. They must advertise effectively and give their time to your sale as if it was their own. If they accomplish this well, you will have people at the doorstep waiting before the door even opens. People will be eager to come in and shop your sale. Estate sales and auctions have become a national past time. People literally, will call in sick to go to a sale. I just spoke to a customer at a sale recently, she literally cancelled her dental appointment she was on the way to, when she spotted the estate sale sign. I would say the dental appointment probably was not as entertaining as the sale, to say the least. Either way people love to shop estate sales! They have become more than people liquidating their assets. It’s become a hobby, a pastime. When people go to estate sales, they pick the top 3 sales that the search engine or sites advertising them, have listed. Any estate company is vying for those spots and will work to gain attention from people who are enjoying this new trend. More and more are buying used. Shoppers have realized that what started as the fad of buying “retro” used clothes to re-purpose, have found other items and getting things at a steal versus buying new. This is the new way people are being trendy, and they get great excitement in finding that unique item. It’s also a great way to get gifts that you may not have a lot of money for and may even find an item you’ve been looking for at a retail store. This item may be of a higher quality that you may otherwise have had to settle for a lower quality item for the same lower price. People who are retired come to sales every weekend. It’s become a hobby for some. They find interest in unique items and those items become a conversation piece in their home. They pass along these treasures and the stories behind them. Many reasons to have a sale are very tragic, but these items get repurposed, and this transforms these items into a new chapter. It breathes new life into them. People are interested in repurposing. People like to reuse and appreciate not being a part of creating more waste. It’s great for the environment. It’s more than a fad. It’s a movement.

Companies start up by asking other estate sale companies questions. Estate sale companies receive calls every two or three months for advice from individuals looking to start an estate sales business of their own. This is a quickly growing industry. An industry that more people want to be a part of. There are so many things to consider when starting estate sale or auction companies. It is not for the faint of heart. There are several things to think about, from the “How?”, how are you going to get the sales? You must think about the “Where?” Are you able to hold the sale at the property? Or are you going to have to find a place to rent or a building you will purchase to continuously hold sales. You may have to bring the items to your auction house or building you are renting. How are you going to find the right employees? You and your crew must be willing to give a lot of time in putting the sales together, but the rewards can be abundant. There are advantages such as making your own hours, meeting interesting people, going on adventures! It’s a full-time treasure hunt! There isn’t one sale that is like another. Your environment always changes. You can see the appeal the industry has for people. It’s an exciting and new experience every day! Who isn’t going to love that?

When you call an estate sale, liquidators or an auction company, they will ask you what services you require and will make an appointment with you. Each company will decide if you will meet their requirements. There will be an amount of value they need to reach in order to have a sale that is profitable for all parties involved; and whether they will be able to incorporate all the services that you may require. Choose a company you feel comfortable with and will understand all your possible needs. Each company will give you an idea of what services they provide. For the most part they will offer the same services. It’s wise to have your questions ready for your appointment and a list of your needs. Every situation is unique. Choosing the company that fits your needs will depend on your ability to convey what services are a priority. The estate sales companies, and individuals that run them are problem solvers. Don’t be shy about sharing all the obligations, and situations you are facing. If they can’t help you with a situation, a good company will have contacts for various services that they don’t provide. For instance, if you also need to sell the house that Aunt Bee left you; you may need a relator. Perhaps Aunt Bee was a hoarder, you may need clean out services. All these situations are not unusual for liquidators, and estate sales companies. You may happen to find a company that incorporates all these services. They may offer a point person for you that can manage all the calls to other companies. They can coordinate all the services to make this event in your life as painless as possible. Having a resourceful, competent company will be able to achieve this.

estate salesAs the seller, or client you will want to verify if the company you choose is insured, or bonded. You are handing the keys over to the house or property, after all. If anything occurs during the setting up or the days of the sale, you will be protected from any theft, or damage to your property. You should also check the Better Business Bureau and check online reviews. Take reviews with a grain of salt, however. You never know what that situation was or if the client themselves was difficult. You will get the feel of the company by the overall collective. Getting advice from friends and family is also good idea. Personal experiences will lend a better view into what to expect. This advice may also help you to think about other situations you may have not thought of. This may help with the list of questions you need to compile, before meeting the company you have an appointment with.

Depending on how much you are selling will determine how much time is necessary to prepare for your sale. The Estate sale team will assess the amount of time will be required for them to set up, tag, and advertise. They will also need to determine if an appraiser will be necessary for items such as jewelry or fine art. Estate sales companies either have appraisers on staff or they have them on retainer. The company consults with them in situations such as these. Appraisers are equipped with the knowledge to assess the quality of the variety of items you may have.

In order to sell the items, you will need to also provide documentation of your legal authorization to sale the items, if the sale is for a deceased family member. Letters of Testamentary need to be provided prior to the sale (If you have gone through probate to be legally determined to be the executor of the estate by the court of the county); or the documentation from a trust, or the Will, automatically naming you as the legal beneficiary of the items in question. There will be many details to cover and the right company will make you aware of what is necessary to hold the sale. Rest assured if they have been doing this kind of work for long, they will know what you need and will be able to answer any questions you may have. Having advice from those you trust, will also give you an insight on how important choosing the right fit for your situation is, and you won’t feel unprepared for your first appointment with an Estate sale company.

Remember you are interviewing them for a job. A good Estate sale company will give information about their company, but also give you an insight into the process. Again, don’t go with the first company you speak to, you can always call them back. If you feel they will best fulfill the needs of your situation call them, they are used to this. Having more than one option to look at will only give you more information to work with and will help you in making an informed decision. It’s about competition for the estate sale and liquidation companies. It’s about what one company has to offer versus what another company has to offer for you. Companies compete for your business. They are in a race to book your sale. In order to do this, some companies may make the percentage of the sales that they take, lower than the rest. But be aware that just because they have the lowest percentage, it doesn’t mean that they will be the best choice for you. Look at all that the company offer. What do they bring to the table? Go with your gut feeling. You may pay a higher percentage, but they may be able to do more for you. In the end, less work for you. You most likely will have other obligations to tend to. Such as your job, and your children amongst other things. So, take your time if that is available to you. Have someone with you for each interview. This way you will have another person’s view of what is said. When it’s your situation you may want your job done quickly, so you may not catch everything that is said. You may have the urge to sign with the first company that offers you some perks. You may want to sign and get the sale on the move. But having a friend there will help sway you from a rash decision. And in the end to a better outcome for all who is involved in your sale. 

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