How Much to Pay for Estate Sale Services

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.

Summary

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.

6 Reasons Why Estate Sales are held

To start, it’s important that we make a distinction between an estate sale and a yard sale, as the two aren’t interchangeable. An estate sale is held when you need to get rid of the majority of your or a loved one’s estate. A yard sale is held when you need to get rid of unwanted items or are looking to make a bit of extra money. You might be thinking; well why would someone want to get rid of all of their items? The answer isn’t always simple, and the truth is that many estate sales are sometimes held for extenuating circumstances. Read on to learn about the most common reasons people have an estate sale, and if hosting an estate sale is right for you.

Top Reasons People Hold Estate Sales

When it comes to holding estate sales, there are generally common themes as to why someone would hold such an event. Here are the top seven reasons:

6. Death of a family member or friend: This is probably the most common reason a person would hold an estate sale. Often, the family member that has passed on has it written in his or her will that their estate should be sold by an estate liquidator to avoid their living family members fighting over what to do with the estate. Even if it’s not required by a loved one’s will, many families choose to hold an estate sale to get rid of the items that exist after the family has gone through and claimed their wanted items.

5. Divorce: When couples split up, sometimes it’s easier to have an estate sale to get rid of joint assets instead of dragging out the divorce proceedings by splitting up every single shared asset. In the event of a divorce-generated estate sale, it’s best to employ a third-party professional to facilitate the estate sale to avoid any hostile feelings.

4. Downsizing: When a family or couple is forced to or chooses to downsize, it’s pretty likely that they’ll have many items that they can’t take with them to their new, smaller space. In this event, couples will generally hold an estate sale to get rid of their unwanted items for a profit instead of donating or just tossing out their items.

3. Debt/bankruptcy: In the event of crippling debt or bankruptcy filing, an estate sale is generally held to recoup costs and payoff some of the debt. Whether this is court-ordered or facilitated, debt-related estate sales generally don’t compromise on prices because they’re trying to get as much money back as quickly as possible.

2. Relocation: If a person finds out they have to move across the country to help out an ailing family member or for their job, chances are they’re probably not taking all of their belongings with them for the trip. When this is the case, they typically hold an estate sale to make money on the items they have to get rid of.

1. Retirement: When people retire, they’re entering a new phase of their life. This new phase generally prompts questions about if they need to keep their items or if they should liquidate their estate to start from scratch and make some funds while they’re at it. Whatever the case, retirement-related estate sales are generally very popular.

Summary

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to holding an estate sale. If you’re considering hosting one, you should reach out to a professional to walk you through all your options!

Essential Tips on Advertising Garage Sales on Facebook

In the age of technology and social media, one of the best ways to reach people over a major social networking site like Facebook. Using this site is, in most cases, way safer and more effective than using other sites like Craigslist and eBay. Additionally, using this site is free, which will help you boost your sales. Here are some simple ways that you can advertise your yard sale on Facebook.

Posting on Your Page About Your Sale

One easy and free way to let your Facebook friends and family know that you’re going to be hosting a garage sale is to post about it on your page. Make sure to include the details about your sale, like the days, date, time and length of the sale. You’ll also want to include pictures of hot-ticket items that you’ll plan on selling at your sale to entice people to attend. Ask your friends to share your post with their friends to double your potential sales pool. Pro tip: Make sure you set the privacy settings of the post to public so that it can be shared.

Posting to Your Local Garage Sales Page

The vast majority of large cities have a Facebook page dedicated to advertising garage sales around the area. You can promote your personal sale on this page. You might want to plan ahead, as some of these pages are private, and only accepted individuals will be allowed to post and advertise your local sales. Typically, these groups have an administrative staff that review potential members or posts. You can expect an approval to take as few as a day or as long as weeks to come. That’s why you should plan ahead if you’re wanting to post about your upcoming sale on a local garage sales page.

If you’re planning on posting, you should include the same types of information that you would post on your personal page to promote the sale. This information includes the date of your sale, days, times and length of the sale. You should also include sneak peeks of the items that will be included at the sale and pricing information to entice prospective buyers.

Using Facebook Ads

Most people already know how to use Facebook to upload wacky pet videos, post pics of their lunch or send a flirty message to an ex.

Posting items for sale on a local group is just as easy. Just post directly on your group’s page and upload a pic. Most for-sale groups just have a super-simple ‘for sale’ form, including item, price, category and a photo.

Handily, when you post an ad, any Facebook pals who are also group members get email alerts. Users can also tag friends who might be interested. Don’t worry about spamming all your friends with ads for scrapped espresso makers and hamster cages though. If it’s a closed group, only members can see ads.

Summary

When you’re posting on a public site like Facebook, it’s important to keep safety a top-of-mind concern. Never give out personal information like your social security number or credit card information to potential buyers. With common sense, you’ll be well on your way to having a safe yard sale.