If you find yourself in need of having an estate sale, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve looked into hiring a third-party professional estate sale company to run the sale for you. As with any service, you’re probably keeping cost at the forefront of your mind. When you’re shopping, especially if you’ve never held an estate sale before, it can be tricky to know what to pay for an estate sale professional, and it can be equally as confusing to figure out the different pricing options. Have no fear. We’ve put in the hard work to give you an easy-to-read overview of estate sale services charges.
Services Typically Provided by Estate Sale Agents
When you’re shopping for an estate sale professional, you need to ask exactly what their fees include. And, while it seems obvious, you should always triple-check that the agencies you’re contact are insured estate sale agents. While you’re contacting local companies, you’re going to find that there’s a wide discrepancy in what services are included. Be sure to review each bid you receive carefully and ask clarifying questions if need be.
How Estate Sale Companies Structure Pricing
This is probably the area that you’re most desperate for information on. Unfortunately, every company in every region will have differing prices. Some companies will charge you a commission fee in addition to charging based on the duration of the sale. Sometimes payment is due up-front and sometimes payment is due after the sale is completed. Some companies may even offer additional, optional services like trash removal for an additional charge.
To break things down for you, here are the three most common ways estate sale professionals determine the percentage that they’ll make on your sale.
- General set percentage: While it’s the least common option out of the three listed here, some estate sale agents will charge a flat, set percentage commission fee for their services, regardless of the size of the sale. This option is great for those who have larger sales but don’t want to give up an extensive portion of their sales, but it could potentially be detrimental to those with smaller sales.
- Sliding scale percentage: Some companies vary their commission scales based on the sales gross total. In short, the higher your estate’s sales, the higher percentage fee you’ll be charged.
- In-person evaluation: Out of the three methods described, this is probably the most common. A company will come into your estate and evaluate the work load it’ll take to sell the items and the value of those items. If a company you’re contacting wants to do this, make sure to clean up the estate as best as possible so to not deter any good bids.
Unfortunately, there’s no right answer or golden number to keep in mind when it comes to how much you should pay for a professional estate sale service. Across the board, the national average is between 30-50% commission on your sale. While this seems high, many reputable companies take care of absolutely everything in relation to your sale for that charge, so it may be worth it. Contact a few reputable agents in your area and compare quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.