Estate sales, estate auctions, and estate liquidations are often a common part of the estate settlement process, as are the estate sale companies that run them. However, not all estate sale companies are created equal, and anyone considering hiring such a company needs to approach the decision with a certain amount of caution. This is especially true if you are an estate administrator and are trying to find the right estate sale company to dispose of estate assets on the estate’s behalf. Here are several tips we’ve come up with the help you determine which estate sale company would be best for you.
Estate Sale Companies
According to one estimate, there are about 14,000 estate liquidators operating in the country at any given time. These companies specialize in selling property for those who have gone through a divorce, downsize, relocated, or from estates left behind by the deceased. While there are professional estate liquidator associations, such as the American Society of Estate Liquidators, this is an industry that is largely unlicensed and unregulated. Anyone who wants to can be an estate liquidator, as there are no formal training or education requirements associated with this industry.
This is why it’s so important for anyone considering hiring one of these companies to do their homework. Research estate sale companies in your area before you make any decisions. Look for companies that have a track record, companies that can provide you with multiple references, or those who have worked with professionals in the estate planning field in the past.
Estate Sale Revenue and Costs
Beyond investigating the individual histories and reputations of the companies you are considering, you also need to be very clear about the costs involved. One of the sideshows of popular television shows such as Antique Roadshow, Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and similar programs is that many people incorrectly believe their property is worth far more than it actually is. Most of the items sold at estate sale sell for a small fraction of what they originally cost. Typically, unless the person is a collector of valuable items, there are usually only a small number of items in any given estate that will sell for more than what they cost to acquire.
Further, when you hire an estate sale company, it’s vital that your clear on the costs involved. How much will the company charge? What expenses are you liable for, if any? Is the company insured against damage caused during the sale process? Will a deposit be required? Does it provide a written contract explaining these details?
Being clear about all these issues before you make your decision is essential if you want to be sure that you are hiring the estate sale company that is right for you. Please contact Byrd Garrett before you make your decision and we would be happy to assist you in any way possible.