Think about and Estate Sale?

FAQ’s Check List

Where do I start?

Look up Estate Sale Companies:  use estatesales.net  or www.estatesales.com, both are good although www.estatesales.net has been around longer and has more companies registered.

  1. Review their websites and make notes of what they offer.
  2. Call and interview at least 2.
  3. Ask lots of questions, remember we are competing for your sales and should be pleased to answer all your questions.


  1. How many sales you have at one time?
    1. This question is important, if they have more than one sale who will be responsible for your sale? Are they experienced, will the owner stop by and police the sale?
  2. Are you licensed and insured? Most will be licensed if you found them on either website, but insured maybe not.   You need to be sure that you are covered for theft or accidents that are not covered by your homeowner’s policy.   You homeowners policy is the first insurance a claim will be made through but you need to be sure that the company you hire is also insured to cover your homeowners will not.  This insurance is a minimal cost to any estate company doing multiple estate sales every month.  Be concerned if they do not.
  3. Will you sell everything in the house?
    1. The answer to this should be yes! Do not throw anything away. There are buyers for everything from ½ bottles of shampoo to diamonds.  Let the estate sale company decide what should be thrown and what should be sold.
  4. Do I need to advertise?
    1. The Estate Sale Company pays a monthly fee to belong to these two websites and advertise on these sites as part of that fee. Most estate sale goers will look here for sales.   org is the next best place for advertising and also free.   Personally I have had little luck with local papers which cost for advertising sales.  I advertise at the local auction houses and in several antique shops in town along with a mailing list of followers.  No need to pay.
  5. How do I prepare for the sale?
    1. Clearly mark or store any item in a designated place that is not to be sold and you should leave the rest to the estate sale company.
  6. Can I be there for the preparation and sale?
    1. This can be very emotional time no matter why you are having a sale. Items that belong to you or a loved one have memories attached and to see them go at a lower than expected price is even more emotional.  That is why so many companies ask that you not be there.  Other than the emotion, if you are willing to deal with that then there is no other reason.  If you do stay never let the customers know you own or are responsible for items being sold or they will direct all pricing questions to you and that can under mind the job you have hired the estate company for.  It is usually best that you enjoy a day without worry and leave the site of the sale for some fun and down time.
  7. How do I get paid?
    1. Most will pay you in your preferred method; cash, check, bank check or money order.
  8. When do I get paid?
    1. Most contracts give some time to close the sale out and up to 72 hr.s is normal. We close our sales out the following day in most cases and payment is ready the following day. We don’t like having your cash and want to pass it onto you as soon as possible.
  9. When do the taxes get paid and do I have to worry about it?
    1. No worries on your part, the sale will have been done under the company name and they are responsible for taxes and process the payment at the end of the calendar quarter. You must make sure that the company you use is collecting and reporting taxes or you may become liable.  Any questions you should call the Tax Collector at 850-617-8346 and reference FAC # 12a-1.037.
  10. What happens to the things that don’t sale?
    1. This is 100% up to you, read the contracts on this part. I have heard of some that say at the end of the sale all items will be taken by the estate company.  Items not sold are yours until you decide what you would like to do.  They can be kept, donated, given away or taken away with the agreement of a clean and empty home.
      1. We offer a clean-out service in our services that allows us to donate left over items with the exception of items you have designated. We sweep, wash floors and clean our refrigerators so the home is ready for the next step.  In most cases this is part of our percentage, but it does depend on the home and its contents.
    2. This is all great, but what if I live out of State?
      1. This is very normal and most estate companies can scan a contract to you review. You will need someone to show them the home and contents or mail them a key. If you mail a key make sure you give authorization for them to enter the house.

“I_____________ authorize __________ from Estate Liquidators to enter the property for review of contents for sale.”  That simple.