What Does An Estate Sale Company Do?
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If you’re here, you’re probably familiar with the idea of an estate sale. Maybe you’ve seen the signs around your town. Maybe you’ve attended one or two. Maybe you’re in line at a new sale every week, hoping to make a beeline to the item you’ve been stalking on EstateSales.NET for the last three months, having mapped its whereabouts in the house based on the photos posted online.
Not that I would know anything about that.
So you have the general idea, is what I’m saying. But what, truly, does an estate sale company do? Let me break it down for you.
Regardless of its method, estate sale companies have one main goal in mind: liquidation. They want to generate the largest possible amount of revenue through the sale of the estate’s items in a short period of time. How they go about it is a different matter.
The estate liquidation business has grown and changed over the years. Some companies specialize in a particular field, or build their business models around a particular way to liquidate. Hybrid versions of estate sale companies have also started to flourish. Below are the five types of estate liquidation companies we most frequently see:
- The traditional estate sale company conducts onsite liquidations where customers can walk through a house and buy items.
- Auction houses bring entire estates (or specific pieces from an estate) to an off-site location to auction them off. Some houses specialize in high-end liquidations, featuring things like multi-million dollar pieces of art. Mid-rage liquidations frequently include cars, guns, and furniture as their big-ticket items. Or the auction house can bring a client’s entire estate to a building and sells everything off through the auction format, including the “smalls”—low-value items that might bring only a $1 or so at a tag sale.
- Estate auctions liquidate estates on location. They are similar to the traditional estate sale in their offerings, but the merchandise is auctioned off, rather than priced by the company.
- Hybrid estate sale companies conduct both auctions and estate sales depending on the type of estate and the client’s needs.
- Estate sale companies with an auction house connection conduct traditional estate sales, but use an auction house for certain items. This usually occurs when there is a big-ticket item within the estate, like a priceless piece of art. These items are usually separated and sold at auction by a company specializing in the high end pieces.
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The estate sale company, in whatever its form, will work to sell as many of your items as they can, for the best price possible. Traditional estate sales usually last 1-3 days, and prices are determined by the company, and are often discounted as the sale progresses. At an auction, which typically only lasts one day—sometimes even just an evening—the price is determined by the buyer, through the bidding process. How much an item will sell for at any sale depends on many factors, like condition, scarcity, and location.
Regardless of the type of company, what happens when you hire one is pretty much the same. They’ll stage the sale, either by taking the items offsite and displaying them in their showroom, or by setting up tables in your home. Depending on the condition of the home and how much there is to sell, this can be a time-consuming job. The items must be unearthed, evaluated, inventoried, and priced. The company will advertise the sale (posting on EstateSales.NET, we hope) and put up the necessary signage. They will oversee the sale, and clean up afterwards. Many will even arrange to donate any unsold items, and have it hauled away, if that’s what you want.
You choose the company; they’ll do the rest.
Estate sales are the solution for those who find themselves with a lot of things they don’t need. Perhaps they’re faced with the estate of a loved one who just passed away, or are planning to start over in a new city, and don’t want to bring all their stuff with them, choosing instead to start fresh. If you’re ready to get started down the path toward your own fresh start, give us a call at (855) 956-1651, and we’ll help connect you to estate sale companies in your area.