Unfortunately, I’ve seen people make terrible mistakes while organizing estate sales. And, for most, the mistakes have been costly. Here's the biggest blooper:
#1 Not realizing the need to hire a professional company – I don’t recommend organizing an estate sale by yourself because you can lose a lot of money if you don’t know what you’re doing. Bring in the professionals instead. A liquidation company can provide a number of services such as assessing the value of every item in the home, preparing the house for the sale, overseeing all transactions and cleaning the house up after the event. Many companies will even offer a lump-sum buyout of any unsold items.
And here are some of the most common mistakes made when hiring estate tag sale companies:
#2. Not getting references – When interviewing estate sale companies, ask for the names and phone numbers of some of their past clients. Then call those clients and ask if they would recommend using that company.
#3. Not asking about advertising – Find out if advertising is included in the commission or if it's a separate fee. Also ask how the company plans to get the word out about your estate sale. Will they place ads online as well as in print publications?
#4 Not asking who is responsible for damage, loss of property or theft. Need I say more? If the company can't give you a clear and definitive answer, don't you dare sign their contract. Move on and look for another company.
#5 Not asking about staffing – Is the staff experienced at organizing estate sales? Will the company provide enough staff members during the sale to watch over the contents of the house?
And finally, here is what you should never, ever do when working with estate sale companies:
#6 Never remove items from a home before a consultation – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Aunt Susie’s old chair might be a rare treasure worth thousands of dollars. Don’t throw away, give away or sell anything in the house until the company's appraiser examines and prices the content in the home. After that, you can make an informed decision about what to sell, keep or toss.
#7 Never remove items from the home after hiring a company – If there are items in the home that you don’t want to sell, let the estate sale company know before signing the contract. If you don't inform them ahead of time, the company has the right to charge you for any loss of commission.
Until next time!