Just like in any other industry, there are going to be good estate sale professionals and then there will be less than exceptional estate sale professionals. It’s honestly the responsibility of the estate to choose the right liquidator, so how can you tell the differences and find the perfect fit? Do some research.
Not every estate sale company is alike. Some will operate with a high standard of ethics and integrity who have dedicated their careers to the industry. These are the types of estate sale professionals that you want to seek out and use. Here are a few tips for choosing an estate sale company, and what you should look for.
Ask friends, family, your local real estate agent, an accountant, or a trusted financial planner for recommendations. You might even want to go to the Better Business Bureau or the ASEL to look for companies with good track records. You have got to ask for references and then make sure to check them.
Every liquidator does things differently. Some could offer brokering services, while others will offer online auctions or clean-out services, or both, or all. One company may charge 25% over a competitor’s 30%, but they might not offer as many services as the other company. Never choose a liquidator because their fees or commissions are less. Investigate and compare what their levels of service are. You also want to make sure to always have a contract and take everything into consideration before making your choice.
You should meet with two or three different companies before you decide which one to work with. Pay attention to the details. Things to think about include: professionalism- do they represent themselves well? Do they have a dedication to the profession? What is their reputation and do they have any unresolved complaints against the company? Are they transparent in their information? Did you leave the meeting with them feeling like you got all your questions answered, plus more? It’s an emotional time when people are letting go of their personal belongings. Because of this, it requires a special kind of person to help you through the process. Use your gut, and if you like someone, take notice. If you don’t, then walk away.
If any company demands a quick decision, then walk away. You should also be wary of any company that doesn’t have a written contract that details what services will be provided and outlines the payment schedule. Take your time to digest the information. Check their references. The best tips for choosing an estate sale company would be to make the best possible decision that you can by being thorough.