Estate Sale Companies

Estate Sale Companies

A good estate sale company can help you or your loved one transition out of the home easily and profitably. But finding the right company can be a challenge. Unlike industries like law or real estate, the estate sale profession is essentially unregulated. That means that it’s extra important for sellers to research estate sale service providers thoroughly to find a company you can trust with your home, belongings, and peace of mind.

The first step towards finding the right estate sale company is to create a short list. Ask family, friends, neighbors, and other service providers like real estate agents and attorneys for recommendations. You can also search online to find service providers near you, then vet those results against consumer review sites and professional business appraisers like the Better Business Bureau.

When you have identified a few companies that seem promising, start shopping around. All reputable businesses should offer a free initial consultation. To begin, make sure the company is insured and bonded by requesting copies of the bond and/or insurance policy. Ask how long the company has been in business, what specialized credentials they possess, and how their sales typically perform. Get the names and contact information of previous customers, and reach out to them for references. Be detailed and diligent about rates and fees, making sure you completely understand their fee and payment structure to avoid any surprise expenses down the road.

Once you’ve chosen an estate sale company that you trust, they will put together a contract defining the terms of your sale. Review the contract closely, and ask a trusted friend or advisor such as an attorney or accountant to take a look as well. Anything that the company promised you verbally should be written down in your contract. This includes:

  • Which items will and will not be included in the sale

  • Rates and fees, and what is included with each

  • How prices will be set, your authority to change prices or remove items from the sale if you do not agree with a price, and any discounting practices

  • The right to be present at the sale or have an advocate present on your behalf

  • Practices for records, documentation, and receipts

  • Details on post-sale procedures

  • How and when you will receive payment, including specific dates, penalties for not meeting those deadlines, and refusal to allow the company to utilize your share of the proceeds prior to payment

  • Finally, check in with your gut instinct before signing a contract. The estate sale company that you choose will work closely with your home and belongings, and it’s important that it’s a good fit. Do your research, get a second opinion, and make sure that you’re completely comfortable with the company you choose.

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    1. Robert July 15, 2015 Reply

      Hello, just came across this article after having an estate sale. If you are looking for a place to list your estate sale to get the most people there and consequently sell your stuff, check out I listed there and we had a great sale. It’s also free still, I think. There are some other sites as well like

    2. Mike Judkins March 8, 2017 Reply

      Nice article, thank you! I wanted to share a tip that I found a site called EstateSales . org which listed a lot of estate sale companies in my area and has their current qualifications listed out.

    3. Dave Anderson May 15, 2017 Reply

      Like you mentioned, a good estate sale company is hard to find but once you find them, they can help you transition from an old home to a new one easily. I think that it would be a good idea to ask for references from friends and neighbors so that you can find out which companies they have used and how the companies worked for them.

    4. Caden Dahl February 26, 2019 Reply

      As you said, you need to know what items you want to include with the sale. Now if it were me, I would probably put everything in there just to see what I could get for it. I would do as you mentioned and look at a few companies to go with and then compare them to see what differences they have.

    5. Kate Belvedere November 28, 2019 Reply

      Hi. It is in your best interest not to be present during your sale as it undermines the sale itself. It can be very emotional to see your things being sold plus it inhibits people from shopping if the owner is present. And they will know you are there. And owners tend to over price their items if allowed to set prices. Estate sale companies, the good ones, will research fair market value so your items will sell. People sometimes have sentimental attachments or recall the prices they paid years ago and will set unrealistic prices. Lastly once a company is hired it will surely enforce a penalty if items that were originally included in the sale are removed because the owner doesn’t like the price. Remember they accepted the sale based on what they were shown at the initial consult.

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