Estate Sale & Liquidation Services Near You

Selling your estate and liquifying your assets is a major process. Read an informative guide on estate sale and liquidation services near you today.

Selling your estate and liquifying your assets is a major undertaking. Estate sale and liquidation services are available to help you navigate the process and maximize its outcome. The popularity of estate sales has increased in the U.S. to where they are now considered big business despite the personal and often emotional nature of the process. Preparation is a time-consuming and integral element with which you might need professional assistance. Read ahead for an informative guide on estate sale and liquidation services near you today.

Estate Sale Liquidations 101

Estate sale liquidations were previously and primarily based on the sale of property and assets after the death of a loved one. The process involves publicly selling off the personal property of the deceased or applicable household for the primary purpose of quickly earning estates income. The secondary purpose is to empty the house entirely by the conclusion of the sale. Buyers have been aware of estate sale liquidations for ages. The dual appeal includes taking advantage of low prices on common items and sometimes finding rare items unavailable anywhere else.

Estate liquidation companies offer services to help plan, manage and facilitate these sales. Estate sales have been booming in recent times because their purpose has become multi-faceted for a variety of reasons. They are still used to liquidate property and assets after the passing of a loved one but some are now held while the loved one is still alive. The population is aging and seniors in their final years with children nearing retirement age are planning estate sales together. Financial hardship is also causing many people to hire estate liquidation companies for the purpose of infusing cash back into struggling households. Exactly how popular has the estate sale business become? According to one top member of the trade association American Society of Estate Liquidators, approximately fourteen thousand estate liquidation companies are operating in the U.S. today. The industry has no centralized licensing body or regulations committee and is currently free to expand as needed to meet demands.

Estate Sales vs. Garage Sales and Other Auctions

Estate sales have similarities to garage sales and other types of auctions. They also have significant differences. For example, an estate sale is run from inside the home of the deceased or owner as opposed to in a yard or third-party location. Estate sales are open to the public, whereas many auctions are invite-only affairs. The process lasts two to three days on average and places a large variety of personal property up for sale. Each item is priced individually and a strong marketing and visual appeal are created both in advance of and during the sale. This is done to increase the chances of selling every single item available. Items are also commonly discounted incrementally over the length of the sale. The longer the sale progresses the more the discounts are applied to liquidate every single item. Smaller estate sales are easier for families to manage unassisted. Sales with larger or more valuable inventories are best left handled by a professional estate liquidation company.

Types of Items and Inventories Typically Sold at Estate Sales

Each estate sale is unique because it involves the selling of personal household property. General furniture is a common sale item at estate sales, as are china, jewelry, and silverware. Depending on the owner, valuable antiques and artwork might also be sold in addition to boats, cars, all-terrain vehicles, and electronic devices. Clothing is another common item sold, especially designer dresses, outfits, and suits. All items are priced according to a combination of value and the market where the sale is located. For example, an expensive designer pair of cowboy boots in pristine condition might hold more value in Texas and a mint-condition snowmobile will sell for more money in Massachusetts.

Estate Sale Services - Average Costs

Estate sales companies offer many helpful services. Planning the sale is a major ordeal with or without emotions. Emotions are almost always involved, however, because an estate sale is held due to a recent or imminent death or financial hardship. An estate sale service removes the pressure and burdens of responsibility from family members by helping plan out the entire process and sale. This includes taking inventory and assessing value of all items up for sale. Discussions are had with family members about the items they are willing to sell and those which they intend to keep. Once the inventory is agreed on an estate sales specialist organizes all items for an appealing display. Advertising and promotional campaigns are initiated. Once buyers begin to appear, estate sales services help maintain order and a positive environment. Most companies also clean and organize the home after the sale concludes.

Average Costs

Most estate sale services charge a minimum fee plus a commission. The minimum total fee, also referred to as the minimum total sale amount, is based on expected total sales from the event. Some companies demand this fee up front as a retainer or deposit. Others get paid in full at the end of the sale. Twenty-five to thirty-five percent is the average commission taken by estate sale services. Sliding scales are used to set exact percentages based on the size and value of the overall sale. Flat fees are rarely used by estate sale companies. The nature of the business and sales is simply too fluid for flat fees to benefit either party in most cases. This is even occasionally true for hard percentages. For example, a high-dollar item such as a yacht or private plane might be itemized separately from percentages assigned to other items to prevent families from losing too much money on the item’s sale.

Normal Preparation Time for Estate Sales

Estate sales involve significant preparation time and effort. The sale itself is completed in one to three days but the handling of preparation tasks and responsibilities can take one month or more. Sales with higher item counts take longer to prepare for than smaller sales. Deciding what to put up for sale and what to keep often consumes the most amount of time during preparatory phases. Occasionally it is necessary to hire a third-party appraiser for unique or high-value items. Accurately documenting all items in your sales inventory is crucial to guaranteeing you receive the proper amount of money. Items must also be cleaned to maximize sales potential and final profits.