10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Estate Sale Company
Estate Sales are not only our profession, but they are also our passion. We have had the privilege of helping hundreds of families throughout South Puget Sound with their estate sales.
An estate is both money and property owned by someone. When it comes time to liquidate an estate, estate sale companies help price and sell the valuables in the home. This is everything from silverware to couches, as well as artwork, sheets, tools, and even vehicles.
If it’s time for you to hire an estate sale company, we hope you choose us. As you start your journey, be sure to ask these 10 questions.
1. What services do you provide?
We offer a three-step process that includes pre-sale tasks like staging and pricing, the sale itself, and post-sale closeout. For a full overview of our services, check out our Service page.
You want to make sure the company will help take care of nuances like permits, cleaning and staging, and day-of-sale management.
2. What do you charge?
Our services are paid for by a percentage of the total estate sales gross. We’re a big fan of this percentage system because it puts us on the same team. If the sale is a huge success, you win, and we win. The percentage is different for each sale and is based on many factors including – the size of the sale, location, types of items included, and the amount of work involved. We let you know what percentage we would charge during the free in-home consultation.
3. What is your approach to pricing items?
Proper pricing takes experience and expertise. Our professionals are CAGA certified and assign an appropriate and fair value to every item in the house. We are experienced and educated in current market values and pay special attention to items requiring additional research.
4. How will you keep the property secure?
Ask how they handle crowds and secure parts of the home that need to be kept private.
One of the security measures we implement is that we don’t publish the address of our sales until 6:00 am the morning of. That way we avoid early birds, but we also keep the property safe on the days leading up to the sale.
5. How long will the sale take?
In addition to the sale, which is usually two to three days, you want to get an idea of how long the company will take to set up and price all your items. Most companies will allow you to live in the home during the process, but it’s best to understand how long the process takes.
6. How quickly will I be paid after the sale? We know that getting a check quickly is of high importance. Our clients receive their payment in full within ten days of the sale closing.
7. How will you advertise?
The key to a successful sale is in getting the word out there! We advertise the items and pictures of your sales beforehand to would-be buyers. Besides extensive listing on our website HonestEstateSales.com, Craigslist Ads, and various social media outlets, we also feature our sales on EstateSales.net - the most widely viewed estate sales site in the country.
8. Can you provide references?
There is nothing like a good endorsement from a happy customer. If you’d like to see a few of ours, check out our Testimonials page. We will also provide more if you ask.
9. What happens after the sale?
In addition to payment within ten days of the sale, we can help facilitate the disposal of unsold items. We will cover this in our no-obligation consultation.
10. What’s included in your contracts?
Once you’ve selected the company you like, you need to get a contract. It should include all the specifics like fees, the dates of the sale, dates for pre-sale activities, all post-sale activities like clean-up, and so forth.
A few additional tips
Make sure the company you hire carries insurance and is bonded This is to protect you if an item is stolen, or if a customer is injured during the sale.
If you have time, check out the company’s actual sales. This will help you get an idea of how well they advertise and price items.
Interview at least two companies. Selling sentimental items is deeply personal for some and doing your due diligence will help provide the peace of mind you might need.
We would be honored to discuss an upcoming estate sale for you. If you’d like to talk more, contact us today for a free consultation!