Estate Sale Checklist

Clients continually ask me what they need to do before an Estate Sale. Here is our list gleaned from over 15 years of experience:

1. Don’t throw anything away. Don’t throw anything away unless it’s really trash. If someone can use it, it is a saleable item.

2. Remove all items that are not for sale. Before you call an Estate Sale Professional, have family members remove the items that will not be included in the sale. We take the sale based on the quality and quantity of what remains.

3. Do your homework! Call several estate liquidators and ask them about their experience, their background and how long they have been in the business. Ask for recent references.

4. Beware of a conflict of interest! If you speak to a liquidator and they tell you they have a shop or are a dealer, that is a Red Flag. They could potentially buy from you and sell for a profit because they are pricing those items.

5. Have an in-home evaluation. After you have removed everything you want to keep from the sale, have an estate liquidator come to the home to do an evaluation. See if you are comfortable with them. Ask them about their selling techniques, discounting, book and record keeping, what type of payment they accept and how soon you can expect payment after the sale. They will be handling your money and your items, so you must have a high level of trust.

6. Choose the estate liquidator. This is the most important step. You only have one chance to choose the right company. Make sure you are comfortable with them and their selling methods.

7. Set a date. Set a date for the sale. Sometimes dates must be changed so be flexible if possible. It will all work out.

8. Let the professionals do their job. Step back and let the professionals do their work. They are the experts here, so let them do their job. If you have questions, be calm and upfront with concerns. There are always “bumps in the road”, but with communication, most problems can be solved or they go away on their own.

9. Attending the sale. You are, of course, welcome to attend the sale. However, we have found that it can be very emotional for family members. You might want to plan another activity that day so you won’t worry about it.

10. Work together. A successful sale depends on the client and the liquidator working together. In the end, you will be grateful that someone else did the hard work and everything went to a good home.

11. After the sale. Leftovers should be organized or boxed. You can arrange for the charity of your choice to pick up the leftovers at your convenience.

12. Cash the Check! When the sale is over….Cash the check and take a vacation. You deserve it!