Last week we took a look at what estate sale companies, or estate liquidators, do when they are hired to sell property. This week we thought we would provide more information that might help you if you need to hire such a company to sell your property.
Not all estate sale companies are created equal, and choosing the right company can take some time. Here are several tips you can use if hiring an estate sale company to help you.
Research the Estate Liquidator
According to estimates, there are approximately 14,000 estate liquidation companies in the country operating at any given time. There is a constant need for the services that estate liquidators provide, and a lot of people who want to go into business for themselves see estate sales as an easy option. There are relatively few regulations surrounding this industry and almost anyone can start an estate liquidation company at any time.
Anyone considering hiring such a company needs to do the necessary homework. How long has the company been around? Can they provide you with references or referrals? How do they conduct their operation? Finally, can you visit one of their sales to get an idea of how they work?
Answering these questions before you enter into any agreement is essential.
Understand the Sale Process
The estate liquidation process typically comes in two forms: sale and auction. An estate sale typically lasts a few days, while an auction typically takes place in a single day.
In both types, the estate liquidator is responsible for managing all parts of the process. Not only does it have to ensure that it organizes the sale or auction properly, but it is also responsible for marketing the sale and making sure potential buyers show up.
Be Clear About Revenues and Fees
Estate liquidators will usually take a percentage of the sale proceeds as their fee. Though percentages differ, 30 to 35 percent is fairly common.
You need to be clear about fees prior to hiring a company. Always ask if the company provides a written contract that details their fees and any additional costs or expenses that might be involved beyond the revenue percentage.
It’s important to have reasonable expectations when it comes to how much a sale will generate in revenue. Most items at an estate sale sell for far less than their original purchase price. If there are collectibles or valuable items, you may want to have them appraised prior to agreeing to sell them through the liquidation, as estate liquidators usually are not equipped to provide appraisals.