About Estate Sales – Part 2: 5 Questions You Should Ask an Estate Sale Provider

 December 2015

As the nation's largest and most trusted resource for estate sales and online auction liquidation, Caring Transitions owners are often asked how customers can best prepare for their estate sale.  While there are several things that can be done even before the sale begins, we have outlined some of the questions one should ask an estate sale provider they are considering as a partner.

1. How long will it take to set up the sale in my home?

The amount of time needed to set up a sale may depend on the quantity and condition of your possessions, however getting an estimate is important. The success of the sale is subject to the amount of traffic and competitive bids received during the sale, factors which are often influenced by weather or the number of competitive sales that fall on the same day/weekend

v Caring Transitions® has the ability to provide an accurate digital estimate based on the size and volume of inventory in your home. We also offer CT Online Auction options for sellers who may not have enough items for a full sale.

2. What is your commission structure and what does it cover?

Most Estate Sale companies base their fees on a percent of the sale. Percentages in the U.S. range from 30 to 60%, depending on services provided and the estimated value of the sale. A lower percentage does not necessarily mean more profit. A skilled professional with a developed a list of qualified buyers, may make more money for you, even while charging a higher percentage.

v Caring Transitions® charges a minimum fee to guarantee service and/or a % commission for which we: price, research, organize, categorize and stage inventory; place signs, promote, advertise, set up and staff the sale; provide tables and display fixtures, secure permits, arrange for security, send invitations to known buyers, provide oversight and traffic control, manage transactions and provide a final accounting.

3. Have you and your staff been trained and certified and what is your field of expertise?

The Estate Sale industry is unregulated and can be a haven for scam artists and unethical companies. It is important to understand how a provider is qualified to serve you. Unfortunately, many companies do not have regular qualified staff, but hire contract workers or friends to help with a sale.

v Caring Transitions® In addition to their own expertise, our offices complete a corporate program including classroom, online and on-site training. All offices are accountable to a parent corporation and our W-2 employees must meet all professional standards including industry exam, independent certification and background screening.

4. Can you provide client references?

Any professional organization should be able to provide letters of reference and contact information for recent clients. Contact those clients and find out what they liked and what they didn't like.

v Caring Transitions® asks every client to complete a Quality Assurance survey after each sale. Reference are available upon request.

5. Do you have a legal contract and do you carry insurance?

You should not engage an estate sales representative without a contract and should receive a copy of the signed contract. Any qualified organization should be prepared to protect your possessions, as well as their own business and employees, through insurance.

v Caring Transitions® is subject to corporate oversight regarding all legal matters, including sound legal agreements. All clients receive a copy of their signed legal agreement. We also carry liability insurance for business operations and the merchandise we sell, as well as personal injury liability coverage and importantly, workers compensation.

Written by Nan Hayes

©2015 Caring Transitions®. All rights reserved not for reprint in part or entirety without permission. Live links to this article must include copyright information.

Did you know the estate sale industry is unregulated? As the nation’s largest and most trusted provider of sale and liquidation options, Caring Transitions® believes in helping clients make informed decisions. Find out more www.CaringTransitions.com