Handling an estate sale can be a lot of work. Rather than taking it all on yourself, you may choose to hire a professional. If you decide to hire a company to manage your estate sale, you will want to choose the one that is best for you. You may very likely be dealing with a difficult time in your life. Perhaps you are grieving a loss of a loved one. In stressful times, you will want to have a company you can trust to handle all the details for you.
There are several things you can do to ensure you will have a successful sale. First, you will want to learn about the process of having an estate sale so that you will know what to expect. Go to an estate sale and see what it is like. Talk to others who have had an estate sale. All these things will give you a background to build on as you explore companies.
Narrow It Down
Look over a full list of companies in your area. You might check online. There are several websites that can help you find lists of companies in your area. Narrow the list down to a few to investigate further. You should follow up with at least 2 companies to compare. It is a great idea to go and visit another sale that each company is hosting. It may take up some time, but it will be worth it in the end. You will see them in action, and it will inspire you with specific questions to ask.
Once you have narrowed your list, schedule an interview with each company. Have them come to see what you are wanting to sell and talk to you about their process. Here are some sample questions to ask:
- How many days do you think it will take to set up?
- What is your commission?
- Are there fees besides your commission?
- How long after the sale will I be paid?
- What is your field of expertise? Antiques, Art, Furniture, etc?
- How many people do you generally have staff a sale like mine?
- How will my home be left? Broom Clean, Empty, etc?
- How many days will the sale itself be?
- When would you be able to do the sale (dates and times)
More questions. Do you:
- Have an appraiser on staff or access to one?
- Or your employees buy items?
- Have a store?
- Have a contract? Can I take a copy home with me to look over?
- Pre-sell or allow people early entry?
- Charge sales tax?
- Do you have insurance? What types?
- Have any sales coming up that I could visit to see how your sales are conducted?
You should also ask a potential company for references. Contact former clients and ask them what they liked about the process and what they wish had been different. It is especially great if you have someone you know and trust who has used a company before.
Bottom line- Make sure that you feel completely comfortable with the company before you hire them and sign a contract. LAWSON & CO is an Indiana auction house and full-service real estate company. Give us a call at 317-745-6404 or visit us at LAWSON & CO to see how we can make your estate sale easy and a success!
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