How to Find The Best Estate Sale Company

You’ve in the middle of a big transition in life. Moving, downsizing, possibly a family member has passed away and you’re thinking about an estate sale. How do you find a quality company? How will their service look like? How much will they charge? We’ll answer these questions and more in our step by step guide.

Searching for “Estate Sale Companies Near Me”? 

The first step in your search is to identify 3 estate sale companies you want to interview. Different companies will provide slightly different services and they will have different fee structures. It’s a good idea to interview at least three companies to ensure you’re finding one that meets your needs. 

Start by asking your realtor, attorney, and HOA president if they have any recommendations. They will often have worked firsthand with companies and know which ones do a quality job. We’ve also had clients ask for recommendations on Facebook from their friends. They received a dozen responses by avid estate sale shoppers who know who’s quality and who’s not in the local estate sale scene. Online review sites are also a good source of information. Googling “estate sale companies (your city)” will give you a list of service providers next to their Google reviews. Lastly, EstateSales.net has a listing page of all the companies in your area. This can be found at: www.estatesales.net/companies

How to Interview An Estate Sale Company: 

Once you’ve found your three companies to interview, reach out to each of them and make sure they could do your sale in the timeframe you’re needing. Quality estate sale companies are often scheduled 4-8 weeks in advance. If they have an opening that works with your needs, schedule a free home consultation. All companies (that we’re aware of) will do this consultation for free. 

The consultation will really be a two way interview. You’ll be interviewing the company to see if they’re a good fit. They will be interviewing the project, to make sure it can be profitable. Make sure to show them any significant items or collections that would be included like fine jewelry, coins, original art, appraisal reports, and so on. 

Somewhere during the consultation, they will likely give you an overview of their services. We would encourage you to use our: 14 Questions To Ask When Hiring An Estate Sale Company – guide when interviewing each company. The questions will cover everything from getting references to how they leave the house after the sale.

Main Questions To Ask When Hiring An Estate Sale Company:

When interviewing each company, the five main things to understand are: liability, fee structure and service provided, do they have knowledgeable pricers, advertising, and post sale expectations. 

     

      • Liability: Essentially you want to make sure they have the proper insurance in place and you wouldn’t be liable if an accident occurs. You should not hire a company that isn’t insured and bonded, as doing so would put you at risk. Check to make sure they also have a workers compensation policy in place so a hurt employee doesn’t fall onto your homeowners policy. 

      • Fees / Services: Most companies charge a percentage of the sale total for their services, this can range anywhere from 30% to well above 60% for low value projects. You need to understand what services they perform for that percentage or are there extra fees. Some companies in addition to the percentage will charge for some of the following: trash removal, advertising, credit card  fees, donation management, and cleaning. There’s not a problem with having extra fees, you just need to make sure you understand the total cost and the total service you’re receiving. 

      • Knowledgeable Pricers: From diamond rings to museum quality art, we’ve aware of multiple estate sale companies selling an item for $100 worth $10,000. While every category can have valuable items, art and fine jewelry are the two most significant. Ask if they have appraisers or specialists on staff. If you know you have really significant and valuable items in the house, this becomes more important to find a very knowledgeable company. 

      • Advertising: At the end of the day, if the company you’re going to hire can’t get a large number of customers to your sale, your sale will not be a success. How many customers are on their email list (5,000+ is good, 10,000+ is great), how active is their social media, what is the revenue total from their last five estate sales? Ask them to tell you all the ways they will advertise your sale.

      • Post Sale: What will your house look like when they’re finished? Will they handle the donation and trash? Will the house be cleaned? Especially if your sale is close to the closing date of the house selling, these questions become very important. You also want to know how soon you will receive payment for the items sold and what level of accounting transparency you can expect. 

     

    Brown Button certified appraiser, pricing a rare mid century clock in Mission Hills.

    Choose the best estate sale company for you:

    At this point you’ve asked for recommendations, read reviews, interviewed three companies, and asked all the pertinent questions. You should have all the information you need to find the best estate sale company near you.

    Contact the company you want to work with. Plan on signing a contract that details out all the fees, schedule, and work they are responsible for. Don’t have any significant agreements with the company that are not listed in the contract. 

    After the sale is completed, leave an honest review for the company online. This will help the next person needing an estate sale to make an informed decision just like you. 

    If you’re interested in interviewing Brown Button for your upcoming estate sale, you can click schedule an free in home consultation to start the process:

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