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How Do Estate Sales Work: What an Estate Seller Should Know

Simply put, an estate sale happens when someone needs the home’s assets to be sold or otherwise liquidated. Often, the estate’s previous inhabitant passed away, and the family members who inherited the estate perform an estate liquidation on the property. Estate Services explains that you should expect for anywhere between 5 to 25 percent of your items to be left over after your estate sale. It’s important to determine what you want to do with these items. First, review the final report on revenues made from the estate sale.

But if you feel your advertising can stand up to the competition, hosting your sale on the same day as others may not be an issue. To avoid pricing your items lower than they’re worth, consider having an expert take a look. “Appraisers typically charge by the hour, will come out to your home, and will provide the top retail value for valuable items on site,” Ruby says. “Although these prices may be too high for an estate sale, you will now have important information regarding your pieces of value, which will help you advertise and sell them to the public.” But under the verdict, the sellers would no longer be required to pay their buyers’ agents, and agents would be free to set their own commission rates, which could be slashed in half or less. For example, a home seller with a $1 million home can now pay as much as $60,000 in agent commissions — $30,000 to their agent and $30,000 to the buyers’ agent.

How Much Do Estate Sale Companies Charge?

If you are doing this as a business, performing the service for someone else, or want to document sales for tax reasons, receipts would come in handy. Put up signs, arrows, balloons, and other notifications in the neighborhood.

What Is an Estate Sale?

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Let’s say you’re organizing an estate sale for your late grandfather’s belongings. You choose a Friday to Sunday timeframe in early summer when the weather is expected to be pleasant, anticipating increased foot traffic from potential buyers. Estate sales usually last several days, with prices either firm on the first day or reduced later. Bargain hunters often wait until the last day to get a deal. Those interested in attending should research estate sale companies, read reviews, and come prepared with cash to purchase.

They strive to balance attracting interested buyers and maximizing return on investment. Furthermore, professional organizers possess extensive networks within the industry. They have connections with collectors, dealers, and enthusiasts who may be specifically interested in certain types of items being sold. By leveraging these connections, they can help widen the reach of your estate sale and increase the likelihood of finding interested buyers.

How do I find estate sales?

They might bring people in or keep people away, depending on circumstances. Your contract should include details about what happens after the sale is complete. While the estate sale pro often handles clean-up, there are instances where this responsibility falls on the homeowner. Since items that don’t sell are often donated, designate who will take care of that step. Since you’ll be trusting an estate sale company to go inside your home and handle valuable items, be sure to properly vet them before making a final decision. Though the hope is that you sell every single item, it’s likely that you will finish your estate sale with some items still on hand.

“While the Internet and social media platforms will help attract a wider net of serious buyers, drive-by traffic can surprise you.” Find an estate sale company in Atlanta or fill out our estate sale questionnaire to have the companies contact you. Connect with other professionals on the biggest Facebook Group for estate sale companies. According to the New York Times, there are over 14,000 estate liquidators in the U.S. alone – and that was in 2015. The government withdrew a proposed settlement agreement in 2021, saying the move would allow it to conduct a broader investigation of NAR’s rules and conduct.

Afterward, there will likely be an extensive cleanout of the unsold items. Taken together, these factors probably mean the estate sale company will charge a higher commission rate. A garage sale involves selling unwanted household items to replace with new ones or for some extra cash. It’s typically done in a person’s driveway or garage and while the person is alive. An estate sale involves getting rid of all household items following the death of a family member, relocation, divorce or bankruptcy. Unlike garage sales, estate sales are typically managed by a professional company. Many estate sale companies advertise estate sales online, so potential shoppers can see ahead of time which items are for sale.