The Better Business Bureau can also be a good source of information and referrals from satisfied customers are especially valuable. Shoppers are allowed to peruse the home’s assets at their leisure.
Types of Estate Sale Merchandise
“Think outside the box and go with an open mind,” Blankenship suggests. “You most likely won’t find what you’re looking for if you have something specific in mind.” Additionally, Fendelman says to make sure your space is safe for people to walk through. “Be aware of potential places where an attendee might fall or slip and eliminate those areas or mark them off-limits,” she says. The first step is to take stock of what you have, which will help you dictate the date for your event.
In the typical home sale, the home seller pays a commission, not just to their agent, but also to the buyer’s agent. This fee-sharing arrangement is part of a decades-old practice involving what realtors call an “offer of compensation.” As long as the estate sale host isn’t busy with other customers, “ask them whatever you want,” adds Safaei of Golden Estate Sales. By the second day, there’s typically a price cut — sometimes 25% off or more — on the remaining items. The discount continues to increase — sometimes to as low as 75% off — throughout the rest of the sale, which could last multiple days. If you’re trying to avoid long lines, Solomon recommends going to estate sales that are off the beaten path or even on the outskirts of L.A. Still, estate sales is a business that you should be able to enter with well under a $10,000 investment.
2. Develop a Plan Before You Start Sorting.
Annuity.org partners with outside experts to ensure we are providing accurate financial content. Take our free 3-minute quiz to match with a financial advisor instantly. Use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being. Both shoppers recommend steering clear of kitchen pots and pans, electronics, or anything too large to fit in your car or home.
Speaking with an appraiser is the best way to determine what the market value of what you’re selling. When it comes to the possessions of your deceased relative, if you are genuinely attached to them, it may make more sense to keep them. That will be better than try to sell them for a price that no one but you would be willing to pay. It is possible that profits from the estate sale need to be used to pay outstanding debts. You will want to get a clear understanding of what liabilities exist and what the law dictates concerning those debts. If the situation seems complicated or difficult to understand, it is best to hire an estate attorney to cover all your bases.
“It’s such an environmentally friendly way to shop, which is important to me,” says Solomon, a TV producer who runs a popular TikTok account called Estate Sale Freaks. “The curiosity of what you might find burns inside of me,” she says. These were the goods they’d scored at an estate sale for late actress Audrey Marlyn Singer, a co-founder of the nonprofit Actors Forum Theatre. If franchising isn’t for you, consider getting your start as a laborer in an existing estate sale company to learn about the industry from the inside.
It’s possible to bargain or to make a bid if you don’t want to pay the price on the tag. If you bid, you declare what you’re willing to pay, as at a silent auction.
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Depending on the condition of the estate, the initial clean up and set up may take several days and a few staff members. This is also something someone might not have time for, especially if in the middle of moving, handling last-minute affairs, or working a full-time job. Most estate sales companies charge a percentage of gross sales—typically somewhere between 25 and 50 percent based on the size of the estate and the complexity of the event. This will usually cover all of your responsibilities—appraising, pricing, promoting the sale event, staging the sale, hosting buyers, managing the event and final cleanup. But some estate sale companies price some elements separately, such as cleanup. That’s where hiring professional estate sale organizers comes in.
The best way to eliminate this is to prohibit sales without price tags. Ensure all the items for sale are marked with their designated price and that any items not for sale are marked as such. This will free your time during to help buyers make their purchases. If you’re unsure what to use for marking prices, you can download our printable price tags. The address and time of estate sales are often posted in a local paper or on estate sale websites a few days before the sale occurs. You can also find estate sales on Facebook, either through the Marketplace feature or by simply typing “estate sale” in the search function. “I relish storied objects with history and personality, which is why those with a second, third, or sometimes fourth life are often that much more intriguing to me,” Cook explains.
If your estate sale involves special conditions, the company should state those terms in the contract. For example, you may need to arrange for special access to a gated community.