Before you start, plan for how you’ll handle any leftover items. You might make donations to thrift stores like Goodwill or local charities.

How to Find an Estate Sale Pro

Derek Fu, left, and his brother James Qi, from Walnut hoist a cabinet that they purchased at an estate sale into the back of their SUV. Carly Frondell and Alec Thompson study a pair of gloves at an estate sale in Los Angeles.

Placing an ad in your local newspaper, publishing a post on sites like Craigslist or Facebook, and putting up signs in the neighborhood are just a few ideas. In other words, putting processes in place prevents you from having to reinvent the wheel for every estate sale. For example, some estate sale companies have go-to cleanup crews or reliable charities they use every time. The fewer variables in your sale goes a long way toward ensuring a smooth experience — for yourself, your client, and your shoppers — from start to finish.

The Secret to Scoring Estate Sale Finds

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Lastly, ensure you have ample cash on hand to provide change during the sale. While some buyers may prefer electronic payments or checks, many still prefer using cash for smaller transactions at estate sales. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you how much you’ll make at your estate sale. Or the average turnout for the company you will ultimately hire. In addition to the estate sale costs and additional fees, these are some other items that may affect the cost of your estate liquidation. Let’s say you want a quick-turnaround estate sale, as several realtors are interested in the property.

This is because it can be hard to watch strangers poke through your own or your loved one’s belongings. However, if you want to maintain access to your home throughout, select an estate sale company that allows for family member access. During the estate sale, the estate liquidator ensures the sale goes smoothly by managing the traffic flow and resolving pricing issues. Be aware that most estate liquidator contracts don’t allow any family members to be present on the estate sale day.

That way, you can get a better understanding of how much estate sale companies charge. Another service estate sale companies charge for is advertising and marketing your sale. It’s one thing to have a great estate full of valuable items. Estate sale companies take care of blasting the sale out to their established email lists, post the sale on estate sale listing the Internet, and share it all over social media.

If you leave the sale and return later, you have to go to the back of the line. Starting at a specified time, they hand out numbers to people as they arrive. Once you receive a number, you don’t have to wait in line, and can return when the sale opens.

Additionally, Fendelman says to give away flyers and advertise your sale in local newspapers or antique publications. “Put signs in the grocery or drugstore, if allowed,” she adds. Estate sale companies generally charge a standard commission rate between 30 to 40 percent of sales. Before they agree to take on a client, they’ll typically provide a gross sales minimum.

When weighing the pros and cons of certain companies, don’t automatically dismiss ones that charge a higher percentage than others. Choosing a company with a low percentage fee doesn’t necessarily mean you will make more money. A company with better advertising and presentation is often much more successful at selling your items, though they probably charge a higher percentage. There is usually a first come, first serve policy, where people are admitted to the sale in the order they arrived. Estate sale etiquette dictates that people keep this order as they wander through the sale, so that the person who arrived first gets to look at everything first. People are allowed to mingle once they enter the sale, but you’re responsible for knowing who was both ahead of you and behind you in the original line.

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